The Ivies

Crown. May 2021. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593303702.
Gr 9 Up–This thrilling and vicious tale focuses on the Ivies, five young women doing everything they can to enter the Ivy League colleges, plotting to one-up schoolmates and each other to get into the college of their choice...or figure out why they were rejected. To eradicate the competition, ringleader Avery assigns each girl a school to apply to. However, scholarship student Olivia ignores this mandate and gets accepted to Harvard—Avery’s school. When one of the group dies, it sends Olivia reeling into a real-life investigation of murder and fraud. The girls’ friendships are contentions and mean-spirited, though the characters’ lack of redeeming qualities is what propels the intrigue and interest. Profanity makes this title suitable for older teens. Olivia is coded as white and the cast includes Black and Korean American characters.
VERDICT This compelling thriller will have teens asking whether sacrificing one’s morals to get into college is worth it.

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