Oh my GOD this book.
White Ivy is a book that I INHALED. This was one of the most compelling books I have read all year; every platitude about propulsive books applies here: I couldn’t put it down! It kept me up all night! I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next! I couldn’t stop turning the pages! (except I listened to the audiobook so maybe this one doesn’t quite apply). It was a page-turner in every sense of the word.
I don’t know how to put this in a less informal way, but this book was just so juicy: I was living for all the drama. The main character, Ivy, finds herself caught up in the world of the wealthy– and what a world it is, deluded and insipid and parochial, completely out of tune with the rest of the world. You get to follow Ivy as she tries to navigate the strange landscape of this world, and oh my god SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN. When I say “drama,” I mean drama. And not in a melodramatic or reality tv show kind of way, but in a way that makes sense in the context of the story and, specifically, in the context of Ivy’s character development. That’s what makes White Ivy such a brilliant novel: it gets to have all the narrative intrigue and surprise of a more outsized–and potentially more contrived–story whilst still maintaining the integrity of its characters and their development.
Also, Susie Yang’s writing is just pitch perfect. Her metaphors and similes work so effectively, always tilting or reframing a situation or moment in such a way that they become more layered, sometimes a little more clear and sometimes a little more opaque.
If this is Susie Yang’s debut novel, then I can’t even imagine what she has in store for us next.