Review| Chasing Ivy – S.J. Sylvis

Earlier this year I read two other books by this new author: Three Summers and Yours Truly, Cammie. I enjoyed both of these books and was excited when she announced the first book in her new Oak Hill series, Chasing Ivy.

Thanks to the author I received an ARC to read and review. Today I want to share my thoughts on Chasing Ivy.

Six years ago, I had a best friend with sky-blue eyes, purposefully messy brown hair, and a body that made every single girl drool on sight. I would know—it drove me absolutely crazy…until I was the one doing the drooling.

Our days were filled with stomach-hurting laughter accompanied by easy conversation, and our nights were filled with secret, awkward teenage flirting.
But that was when Dawson was just my best friend. Nothing more, nothing less.

And then… it was more.

It’s a memory I pretend to see through blurry eyes, hazed by passing years of no communication. The one night that my heart was suddenly soaring through the starry night, only to catch fire as it rapidly descended seconds later.

Six years was a long time to get my heart under control. A lot has changed, and yet here I am, still drooling over Dawson—my ex best friend.


Chasing Ivy starts out really strong. We start reading about the past. Dawson and Ivy are best friends from the start. It’s cute seeing them both feel more, but not wanting to change anything. When they finally get the chance to make it more, something tragic happens and Ivy’s life changes for good.

I loved how this was all described, from the first feelings of having a crush to the heartbreak Ivy experiences a few years later. Then the story fast forwards six years later. A lot has happened since then, but nothing has really changed. Ivy and Dawson haven’t talked in all those years and are both heartbroken for their own reasons.

I thought it was very brave for Ivy to move back to her home town even though there were a lot of bad memories. It was nice to see a character fight for good things even after being dealt a bad hand in life. She graduated college, is starting a new job and is really close to her little sister.

Dawson isn’t doing bad either.  He’s working for his father’s company, which he plans on taking over after his father retires.Dawson never expected Ivy to be their newest client when her house needs some improvement.

This is when things got weird for me. I loved that the two of them meet again and it’s clear there are still feelings and misunderstandings that need to be discussed. I guess some things were just a bit too cliché for me and I normally love that in romance. The way certain things were written just rubbed me the wrong way I guess?

I also had the feeling that the age descriptions weren’t always correct. It seemed like she was 15 when we read about the past, but the way the present is written, she should’ve been 17? That would also make a bit more sense with certain aspects of the story.

Also, before the happily ever after. Dawson and Ivy hit a rough patch that just felt out of place and I kind of wonder why that had to be added. I think the story would’ve been fine without that last element of drama.

All in all, I did enjoy these characters, but it just didn’t all fit for me. I am really curious about Emmett’s story though. Even though there were things that bugged me, I’m not giving up on the series. I’m curious to see where it goes from here.

I definitely can understand where the author wanted to go with this story and there quite a few characters I wouldn’t mind learning more about. Have you read anything by this author?

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