Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.
As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.
I was super excited by the premise of this book. Prehistoric love story with allusions to Pride and Prejudice? How could I not enjoy that! (Hint: the answer to that question is pretty easy). Unfortunately, pages in I realised that this book was simply not going to live up to my expectations.
I think that the problem of the premise is the authenticity. It's hard to write about life in the stone age authentically because the general is idea is that they didn't have the most advanced communications methods. As a result, by writing in pretty modern dialogue, Eshbaugh jeapordised her own book and reduced the authenticity. That being said, the research is there - the lifestyle of hunting and gathering is well written, but this is also another weak point because that makes for some pretty monotonous reading. When Kol isn't communicating with either Mya or Lo, his general day-to-day life was just not good to read.
I did like the relationship between Mya and Kol and the way this developed and concluded, that was what kept me reading even when my interest in the book started to wane. There is also Lo and when she gets into the story, things started to be more interesting because there is drama and action, but it was just a bit too late to save this story.
The writing was also a little bit distracting - Kol is telling the story to Mya so it is written where when he is talking about Mya he says 'you'. It didn't work for me, but I can see why some people may find it a really effective device.
Overall, Ivory and Bone didn't live up to my expectations, but it definitely had some redeeming features. I did like the central relationship and the action towards the end but all the bits in between just didn't grab my interest. I can see why some people may find this book a great read but for me it just didn't mesh.
Overall Rating: D+
Book released June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review