Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ivy League Review

“Within a few months, everything changed for me, and as anyone could probably guess already, not for the better. Life, itself, began to fall apart…

But I guess that’s what happens when you become a teenage drug-dealer.”

Jamie Brewer has just gotten the one piece of mail he’s been waiting for his whole life: his college acceptance letter. But when a series of unfortunate events makes paying tuition to one of the most prestigious universities in the country practically impossible, Jamie makes a decision that will not only provide him with the cash he needs, but may also get him killed in the process…

Selling drugs starts out well for Jamie, but things quickly begin to spiral out of control: his best friend and girlfriend are weary of his career choice, a local police officer is determined to catch him in the act, and worst, his partner in crime, Gabe, may be more dangerous than anyone ever imagined.

What begins as fun and games is about to become much more serious, causing Jamie to question just how far he will go and who’s lives he will risk in return for becoming Ivy League.

In Ivy League, Christopher Waltz had written, issues that are true to life.  They are issues you and I might not see, because it  does happen. What would you do if you had forgotten to apply for financial aid for college and  your parents were getting a divorce?  Jamie Brewer did Just that.   All it took was someone joking around about selling drugs to pay for college and Jamie ran with it.  He ran right into the toughest guy at school, Gabe.  Jamie’s best friend Airic warned him off of this but Jamie thought he could handle it, and just jump back out.  But can he?  Jamie’s brother Kip, is suspicious, and wants to know more about what his big brother is up to.  Jamie seems to have it all together, until he loses his best friend instead of giving up selling the drugs.  He has to sneak around school, answer Gabe’s texts, avoid other people, and potentially lose all the friends he has.  Through it all he manages to work on a relationship with a girl named Riley.  She knows what he is doing, doesn’t approve but encourages him to end it after graduation.  When a few deals go down and the police are on their trail, will Jamie give up his plans and work with the cops?  During this time Gabe informs him that a major drug lord wants to buy their whole stash, this would set Jamie up for most of college.  Graduation day arrives and it all goes down, what will happen, who will be caught up in all this mess?  Seriously you want to read to find out.

My favorite Character has to be Gabe.  I think under his tough exterior, there is a guy just wanting a friend.  We see glimpses of remorse and a slight tender side sometimes when Jamie is talking to him.  I think Chris Waltz did an amazing job it giving us a full view of all his characters.  Even though Jamie was the main character I felt that Gabe, Airic and Kip all played front and center.  This book read like someone talking to me and in essence that was true because Jamie was telling us his story.  I recommend you read this book. It was so different than most books I have ever read, In the best way possible!
- Christina - 

It seems lately Christina and I have stumbled across new authors every day. Whether we are introduced by friends, sharing the same love of books, or by pure coincidence. Christopher Waltz is no exception to that. Christina started talking to Christopher and mentioned to me that he had his own book out. Being me I went to check it out. Like most of you I wasn’t sure about it. By the cover and description it doesn’t seem like something I would typically read, but I thought why not. I mean if we didn’t give people a chance no matter what the books are about, we would all be a bunch of writers with no reader’s right? Well I’m glad I took the chance. 

Ivy League is definitely worth the chance. I know I say to trust me a lot, but I stick by my word. We all have different tastes and though I like this book you might not but that’s ok. Christopher managed to write a book that is seriously packed with some hard choices, tough love, and major consequences. I have this problem were I have to listen to music when I write or read. It helps me understand the story more fully by having all my sense fully committed to what I’m focusing on.  Obviously through the synopsis you see that this book is going to be about drugs. So if you have an opinion on that, this book is probably not for you, however I encourage you to keep an open mind and take the chance.
Jaime, a high school senior who just found out he made it into his first choice College. As seniors we have these big dreams about going to our choice schools. Some of us make it, some of us don’t. Well Jaime did but he didn’t look at the bigger picture. He focused on the applying process not so much on the paying for it if he got accepted. An easy thing to overlook, especially when you so worried if you’re going to get in or not. Surrounded by his best friend Airic and a few other people in his group of friends a comment is made when Jaime realizes he doesn’t have a way to pay for college.

“And look, if all else fails, you can always sell drugs.”

Granted it was said as a joke, but why not right? I mean that’s an easy way to make money and Jaime knew just who to go to. Resident bad boy Gabe. It doesn’t happen immediately. But Jaime thinks it over does research, and his deciding factor is when his parents announce the splitting of their family. Which begs the question would he have done it if his parents would have stayed together? Why not see if he could apply for financial aid late? So many other options that he could have looked into, that’s what you’re thinking right? And you might be right, but who at 18 thinks everything fully through? You see a possible solution to a problem and it’s not going to a permanent career right, so why not do it just until you get the money you need?

“A part of me wanted to strip my clothes off and dive into the pool of Jacksons, Grants, and Benjamins, letting the money wash over my body like cleansing water.”

Well like everything, nothing is ever that easy. Jaime talks to Gabe and they start on this partnership endeavor. In the process Jaime and Airic’s friendship becomes strained. Kip, Jaime’s little brother, starts sticking his nose into his business, and then there’s Riley. Riley is a girl that Jaime has had a crush on for a while now. Just when things start looking up, Jaime’s making good money, the quote above is perfect. I don’t know about you but have you ever gotten paid a lot of money for the first time and all you wanted to do was through it in the air and let it fall all over you? Or throw it on the bed and roll in it because it’s your money and you can? No? Well I guess I’m like Jaime here, I’ve always wanted to do that, lol. On top of his money making gaining speed, he’s dating the girl of his dreams, but with the good comes the bad. The bad being in the form of Gabe. Gabe is becoming more than Jaime bargained for or more than he can frankly handle.

Every choice has their own sets of consequences. Something finally happens to push Jaime. What is it you ask, well I’m not going to tell you because you need to read this book. And just when you think, YES!, you are shocked beyond your imagination. You know something bad is going to happen, but when it does you’re like OMFG NO!  Intrigued, you should be. Like I said this book isn’t the typical YA romance you’re used to seeing us post on the blog, but this book is definitely worthy of its spot here. 

One of the things you’ve noticed from the way I do my reviews is how I connect to the story. My connection to this story is high school. I wasn’t a drug-dealer or a user for that matter, but growing up where I did, running into a dealer or a user was more common than not. The neighborhood I lived in was notorious for it. Like Gabe there’s always that one person who thinks they are better, untouchable, yet every time they are proven wrong. So in the end like Christopher Waltz puts it so perfectly…
“One day we will all become monsters.”

The playlist that I made for Ivy League while I was reading is below. Enjoy!

Make sure you head over here---->Christopher Waltz Blog for the next set of Character Posters! 

Don't forget to visit the post from Saturday to enter a chance to win 1 of 2 Ebook copies of Ivy League! go here ---> Ivy League Giveaway 

1 comment:

  1. I love the reviews and I LOVE the playlist! You guys rock!