I received this book for free from Greenwillow in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 21st 2015
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle-Grade, Mystery
Buy on Amazon
Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid of no importance, with a very lofty opinion of herself. Dumped in Paris by the Countess Carbunkle, who would rather run away to South America than continue in Ivy's companionship, our young heroine (of sorts) finds herself with no money and no home to go to ... until she is summoned to the bedside of the dying Duchess of Trinity.
For the princely sum of £500 (enough to buy a carriage, and possibly a monkey), Ivy agrees to courier the Duchess's most precious possession – the Clock Diamond – to England, and to put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. It's not long before Ivy finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, mayhem and murder.
Illustrated in humorous gothic detail by Iacopo Bruno, Anyone But Ivy Pocket is just the beginning of one girl's deadly comic journey to discover who she really is ...
I was hoping that this would be cute and fun, but I found myself so annoyed by the MC that I couldn’t really enjoy the book at all. I think that the story itself was pretty interesting, but I couldn’t stand Ivy. I did enjoy the stuff about the Clock Diamond and its magic and Ivy’s journey though. I wish that I could say that I enjoyed some of the characters, but I really didn’t. This is a middle grade book, so the younger crowd might enjoy it much more than me, and probably won’t find things as irritating as I did. The other thing that I liked about this book was the artwork. It was very good and thought that it really brought something more to the story. Since I read an ARC, not all of the final art was included, but what was in the book was great.
Ivy is twelve, but in some ways acts older than she is. That has a lot to do with how she has been raised. She doesn’t know her parents because she grew up in an orphanage, and then got into maid service rather young. She thinks she is pretty much the most awesome person alive and that everyone must love her too. She is actually quite a little shit. She says very rude things, speaks highly of herself, and is a horrible judge of character. She insults people and is judgmental, and she thinks nothing of it. Like she is just stating a fact. I wouldn’t say that she is dumb, she is just a young girl who doesn’t know better and has been forced to grow up quickly. She is surrounded by people who are wealthy and entitled. Though she is just a girl, she does take on a lot of responsibility and she is trying to create a good happy life for herself. She lies to make herself seem important, but she doesn’t intend it to hurt anyone. She has a very creative mind. It was hard at times for me to remember that she is only twelve and that I shouldn’t be annoyed by her behaviors. I didn’t find her to have many redeeming qualities though, even towards the end. Unfortunately, she just didn’t have anyone to teach her how to behave correctly.
This was quite an adventure. From being a maid for a crazy woman, to ending up on a mission for a woman out for revenge, there was a lot of things going on. The center of it all was the Clock Diamond. It is a priceless diamond with special powers. It is Ivy’s job to deliver it to a spoiled rotten child at her birthday party. The only problem is, there are others who want it and they trail her every step of the way. The mystery was easy to figure out, but this is a book intended for younger people. I wish I could say that I enjoyed this, but Ivy was a horrible characters head to be stuck in. I didn’t like her at all so I didn’t really feel anything for the story that she was telling. I think that kids would enjoy it, though I don’t know that I would want my daughter reading it and thinking that how Ivy acts is okay for anyone. Sadly, I just can’t say that this is a book that I would recommend mainly because of the main character. The story and the artwork were good though.
2.5 Hot Espressos
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Nick @ Nick's Book Blog
That’s a shame that you couldn’t enjoy this book more! It’s always a bummer when you can’t connect more with a character and for me, that’s such a big factor. That cover is so cute though. At least the story was decent!
Lovely review, Amy!
The story sounds great and I think I can definitely recommend this book. Thanks for sharing.
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence
Ah, sounds like the main character was hard for you to relate to, Amy! The diamond thing does sound interesting though. Lovely review!