Book Review: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake


Five stars! 😍

Genre(s): Middle grade, LGBTQ+, contemporary

Published: March 6, 2018

Book in a few words: Heartwarming, sweet, beautiful, excellent character growth/development, everyone needs to read this!!

Page BreakSynopsisWhen a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?


Page BreakSypnosis

I’ve now officially read three Ashley Herring Blake’s books in a row!! 😊 (How to Make a WishGirl Made of Stars, and now, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World.)

And can I just say, Ashley Herring Blake’s book covers are absolutely gorgeous!! 😍😭

(By the way, I’m not posting my review of Girl Made of Stars on this blog, but it is on Goodreads! It’s not really a review, but rather a (short) incoherent rant of how much I loved the book. Still, I hope you enjoy it!)

Ashley Herring Blake really is an amazing author; I’ve read and loved all three of her books!! (I highly recommend all of them.) However, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is most likely my favorite book from her.

Even though Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World is a middle grade book, I honestly think that this book is one that everyone should read, because it is such an important story that’s beautifully told through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl. Please add it to your TBR if you haven’t already; it is such a beautiful read that is worthy of your attention. 💞

By the way, I’m going to be using a new format for this book review!! (If you’d like, please let me know what you think of it in the comments!)

Me when I’m trying to sum up all my thoughts in a (somewhat) coherent review

Page BreakWhat I liked

    • I loved how, throughout the book, Ashley Herring Blake compared for Ivy’s feelings for a girl to a storm, because a tornado was what changed her life forever, both on the outside and inside. And when you’re questioning yourself and your identity, you definitely feel conflicted and stormy inside. ⛈

“She slammed the locker shut, her belly full of lightning. But not just her belly – her fingertips and toes, eyes and ears – lightning and thunder and bone-soaking rain and darkening clouds.”

  • Drawing, writing, creativity, and expressing yourself through art were prominent themes of this book, which I loved. I really enjoyed the scenes where Ivy and June were drawing and writing together.
  • It addressed the struggles of being a middle child and feeling forgotten and unimportant in your own family.
  • All of the characters were amazing. Of course, they had flaws, but the character development was A+ and I loved them all by the end of the book.
  • I really loved Robin in particular!! She was definitely one of my favorite characters; she was such an inspiring and supportive adult figure to Ivy. She didn’t try to pressure Ivy to label herself and told her that it is perfectly normal to be unsure of her identity, and that is such an important message to send to questioning readers.

“‘If a person was questioning all this stuff, that person doesn’t have to know all the answers. They don’t have to be sure about anything. They don’t have to label themselves as anything but a human being if they don’t want to…That person can just let themselves feel and think about what they need to. It’s okay to wonder. To be curious. And it’s okay to be sure too.”

  • Ivy often grew frustrated that heterosexuality was the norm/default (👀 @ Simon from Simon vs.) and that everything that she saw in the media was straight. (So relatable.)
Me when I see that there’s another movie about straight couples (jk but lmao not rly)

“How was Ivy supposed to handle all these feelings for June, all these feelings at all, if everything she saw and read about and heard about was all boy-girl, girl-boy?”

“It made Ivy so mad that June didn’t already know. It made Ivy so angry that she had to reveal this part of herself, that she couldn’t just be and let that be okay and enough.”

  • The ending wasn’t what I’d expected. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m going to be vague, but the ending surprised me (in a good way) and I still really liked it!! 🙂
  • Ivy grew so much and learned a lot about herself by the end of the book, and she finally realized how she belonged in her family. Her character development was absolutely beautiful and made me so happy. 😊

“There were dozens of pictures, drawings of the things that made Ivy happy, self-portraits, all the colors of her world, all the things that made her feel like her. Liking girls was part of that, but it wasn’t everything. It was one piece in a bigger puzzle, and when you put all the pieces together, there was Ivy.

“A girl who was sure about who she was. A girl who wasn’t afraid or ashamed, even if a time came again when she wasn’t sure so anymore. Because Ivy knew that wondering was what life was about. Wondering was how you found yourself.”

Page BreakWhat I disliked

  • NOTHING. Like, literally nothing. I loved EVERYTHING about this book.
    • Ok, there might’ve been some parts that I didn’t really connect to, but I really can’t think of any right now, because this book was overall SO amazing that there isn’t really anything to dislike.
Me @ this book!! Also, yes, I did use three gifs/pictures from B99 in this post, and yes, I am proud of that fact 😂😊

Page BreakI enjoyed reading Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World so much; nothing I write can do it justice tbh. Please read this heartwarming and beautiful book if you haven’t already; you won’t regret it. ❤️

Thank you so much for reading this review! I hope you enjoyed it. 💗 Lol my overly critical self is telling me that this review sucked and was all over the place…can you tell that I literally have no self-confidence? Whoops. :’)

Also, thank you so much for all of your support and kindness as always! I appreciate it so much, and I always love interacting with you all in comments and around the blogging community. ☺️💞Page Break

Have you read Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World? Did you love it as much as I did? And have you read any of Ashley Herring Blake’s other books (How to Make a Wish and Girl Made of Stars)?

What are other middle grade books that you’ve enjoyed? Let me know your thoughts; I’d love to hear them! 💗

As always, I hope you all are having a wonderful day/night! Are you doing anything special this month?


Page BreakGoodreads | Twitter

Background image for blog graphic from Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

  1. Beautiful review ❤ I have to say that this author's books always look SO stunning, I love the covers way too much and definitely need them…. okay, 10% for that haha. All of her books seem amazing as well, so I want them for that reason as well haha 🙂
    I don't usually read middle grade books, but I have to say that I would be very interested in checking out this one, you make it sound SO good! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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