Book Review: Poison Ivy by Kathryn White


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A short and bitter-sweet tale of toxic friends, bad decisions and growing up.

Once again Kathryn White delivers an insightful tale of family dysfunctional and the trials (and triumphs) of a girl who appears to have it all but who is just as messed up as the rest of us. Ivy is an occasional model who also writes a book review blog under the pseudonym Poison Ivy and it is this that sees her embroiled in an argument about literary merit that gets out of hand. A few tense slips in the early chapters left me confused about what was happening in real time and what was in memory, but the threads were easy to pick up. There were times when I began to wonder why Ivy put up with the so-called friends in her life, many of whom seem to exist to put her down. I enjoyed the mystery built into the on-off relationship with Ivy’s girlfriend, Hannah, and I would love to have seen more of that and the dynamics of their relationship. There are some lovely snarky comments about books and reviewing that made me laugh. Ivy’s voice which is the strength of this novel: White captures Ivy’s personality beautifully; she’s not always likeable, but she’s certainly interesting.

Poison Ivy is a novella that touches on some heavy topics and White has the ability to deliver these in the breezy, confiding voice of a character who is a complex mix of confidence and low self-worth. Poison Ivy is a New Adult novella that will speak to anyone who has ever doubted themselves.

Read my interview with Kathryn White about her books and writing


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