Review | No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant | the illustrations gave the story life

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Publishing Date: August 20, 2019

Publisher: Lion Forge

Genre: Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Contemporary

Format: eBook (Adobe Digital Editions)

Pages: 208

My Rating: 3.5

 

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When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compelling memoir is an important story of a girl’s awakening to the racial insularity of her life, the power of white privilege, and the hidden story of segregation in Portland.

 

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Oh, Darling (feat. Cady Groves) by Plug In Stereo
Upbeat Feelgood by Foy Vance

(all of these songs can be found on Spotify)

 

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MY GOODREADS REVIEW ✧

★★★☆☆

 

THIS WAS… INTERESTING… (in a good way)

This is a story I probably would not have picked up nor would I have enjoyed if it wasn’t a graphic novel. The illustrations gave the story a lot of life and it was able to translate what the author wants to show well.

The book tackled problems that Hazel, as girl who grew up homeschooled and sheltered, encounters when she meets other kids who grew up practically the opposite of her environment. I like how you can clearly see the difference in her headspace and how her actions/reactions differ from the those that in the “No Ivy League” with her.

((you also learn a bit about Ivy plants :D))

 

MATURE THEMES…

There is a lot of mature themes in this novel so consider yourself warned because I was not. I was a bit shaken at the beginning but it proved to be important in the plot. It also makes for a good coming-of-age novel. There are important lessons that I think a lot of people can benefit from.

Though, there some topics that I felt like were never closed properly and just simply ended.

 

HAZEL’S DEVELOPMENT…

I really enjoyed seeing Hazel develop as a character and I have to admit that I was rooting for her every step of the way. I loved seeing her grow and I feel like she is someone that a lot of people can relate to at one point in their lives. I think she was a great protagonist and I really enjoyed reading about her. Even though I’m still not the biggest fan of how awful most of the No Ivy League people were to her (this was one of the things that I felt wasn’t closed properly).

This was also not a long read so it’s easy to get through.

 

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A STANDALONE GRAPHIC NOVEL

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