Friday, June 3, 2016

Ivory and Bone Blog Tour: Review of Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1) by Julie Eshbaugh + GIVEAWAY

Hello lovely followers! I'm very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh! I'm slowly trying to push myself back into the blogging world, and these kinds of posts really help.

You can find the rest of the blog tour HERE.

First, here's the book information and my review!

Goodreads rating: 4.00
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected publication: June 7th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings, Fiction

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

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.

This book was...weird. And I still haven't decided yet whether that's a good weird or a bad weird. I'm going to attempt to write a cohesive review, but know going in that the negatives are about equal with the positives.

I think the first thing that threw me off was the tag line on the back of the ARC: "a sweeping prehistoric fantasy debut with allusions to Pride and Prejudice." That's a pretty tall order to fill (mostly the P+P part), and once those allusions started to become obvious, I got a little bored. That's always the problem with a retelling, though, and the author did find ways to throw in a couple of surprises. The thing is, a lot of times the ideas in YA are great and the execution of them turn out disappointing, but I don't believe this was much of a doable idea in the first place. Believe me, I know that was harsh; I cringed as I wrote it because I like to believe that there are no bad ideas, just like there are no stupid questions.

Mostly, my beef with this is that the way they spoke was too Victorian, even though it was supposed to be prehistoric. Plus, the customs seemed ridiculous for their situation (though I freely admit to the fact that I haven't studied this time in history except for what they teach in schools and have no idea what life was really like back then). It seems like it was more of a time for a simple life of hunting and gathering rather than high society traditions and drama. I have to try to be lenient with this point, though, because it's not like the author could make them grunt at each other, but if you're going to label it prehistoric... I guess I was just hoping for something different in the speech aspect.

The second thing that threw me off was that it's a story being told to the girl who's a gender-swapped version of Mr Darcy. So when the main character Kol (Elizabeth Bennet) was talking about her, he was always saying "you". Like, you crested over the hill, or you were being a crazy person. It was totally unnerving at times, when I really just wanted to read the story. It also doesn't really fit the P+P comparison because Elizabeth would've never told the story to Darcy, so it made Kol seem like a bit of a lovesick fool from the get-go.

I liked the beginning and the ending a lot because the Pride and Prejudice allusions were few and far between. Honestly, I think the author chose the wrong allusions to focus on--then again, I've watched the BBC version about 5 times, which if you know anything about it, that's a bit of a feat considering I only bought it 6 months ago and the running time is 5-6 hours. But I did fall in love with the landscape, and I appreciated the entire cast of characters. Mr Darcy (I mean, Mya) was a very strong, stubborn woman, and I liked her style! There really were some high points of excitement in this novel, and honestly I think I might have liked it more if I hadn't been told off-the-bat that there were P+P allusions.

I'm not sure how this will be a series, but I might be inspired to read them depending on what they're about. It would be interesting to see if they're still prehistoric but have allusions to other Jane Austen novels, or maybe even the Bronte sisters.

I give the author kudos for this idea, it just fell a little flat for me. But if you're looking for a light fantasy and are really looking forward to a prehistoric P+P, then this book is definitely for you!



Julie Eshbaugh is the author of the upcoming Ivory and Bone (HarperCollins, 2016). She used to have trouble staying in one spot, having lived in places as varied as Utah, France, and New York City. Julie eventually returned home to the Philadelphia area, where she now lives with her husband, son, cat and dog. Her favorite moments are when the unexpected happens and she cheers loudest when the pitcher gets a hit.



Okay, so this is a bit of a complicated giveaway announcement, so try to stay with me.

Fist, here's a short announcement about a pre-order giveaway that Julie is holding:
Everyone who pre-orders the book before June 7, 2016 and submits a valid proof of purchase will receive the Pre-Order Gift as a THANK YOU from me! (You will also receive my appreciation and affection!!!) This gift is for ALL PRE-ORDERS--print and e-book--international included! 
In addition to the Pre-Order Gift, everyone who pre-orders will be entered to win a PRIZE!!! There will be THREE levels of prizes: 
  • FIVE Second-Place Prizes,
  • FIVE First-Place Prizes, and
The prizes include tote bags, posters, and even an American Express gift card worth at least $60 US dollars! (The value of the gift card has been increasing as the number of pre-orders increases.) 
For all the details on the Pre-order Gift and Giveaway, please visit

And now, the giveaway hosted by the blog tour:

PRIZE: Win a pre-order of IVORY AND BONE by Julie Eshbaugh (INT)
Win a pre-order of IVORY AND BONE by Julie Eshbaugh (US Only) 
*The international prize will be gifted through Bookdepository while the US Only pre-order will be gifted through So make sure you can receive the copy before entering the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I had a really hard time with the second person present style of writing. I could NOT get into it. It does seem like a lot of people have mixed feelings and there are may who enjoyed it and some who didn't, so I may try to pick it up again. Great review!

    1. Anna!!

      Yeah, the second person POV was what kind of killed it for me. I'd really be into the story, and then all of a sudden I'd be reminded that he was telling it to her. I hope you do try it again! It was still a well-crafted story.


I always appreciate comments and cherish every one of them. THIS IS AN AWARD-FREE ZONE. I don't have the time to fulfill the requirements for the awards, but thank you so much for thinking of me. I just ask for no vulgarity, and if you have any issues with my reviews or writing style, please e-mail me instead of commenting. Now, vent to your heart's content!

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According to FTC guidelines, I'm obligated to share with you that all of the books that I review on my blog are either purchased by me or given to me by an author/publisher. All of the opinions expressed in my reviews are mine and I do not receive any sort of monetary goods for writing either good or bad reviews.