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No Ivy League

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When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compell When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compelling memoir is an important story of a girl's awakening to the racial insularity of her life, the power of white privilege, and the hidden story of segregation in Portland.


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When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compell When 17-year-old Hazel Newlevant takes a summer job clearing ivy from the forest in her home town of Portland, Oregon, her only expectation is to earn a little money. Homeschooled, affluent, and sheltered, Hazel soon finds her job working side by side with at-risk teens to be an initiation into a new world that she has no skill in navigating. This uncomfortable and compelling memoir is an important story of a girl's awakening to the racial insularity of her life, the power of white privilege, and the hidden story of segregation in Portland.

30 review for No Ivy League

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    I feel like this graphic novel bit off more than it could chew, tbh. It tried so hard to do so many things and I feel like every aspect was lacking because of it. I am SO BUMMED that I didn't love this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    Earnest, but needs so much more reflection, because ultimately this homeschooler-meets-the-real-world narrative touches upon many issues (white privilege, racism, dating a younger and a much older man, etc.) but understands absolutely none of them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ~ Althea | themoonwholistens ~ ☾

    FORMAT READ: eBook (Adobe Digital Editions) READ FOR: coming-of-age- themes TW: Cursing, Under-Age Relationships ⇒MY BLOG⇐ *All my reviews are spoiler-free unless stated otherwise* *Thank you to Lion Forge for the ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* OVERALL: 3.5/5 This was.. interesting… (in a good way) This is a story I probably would not have picked up nor would I have enjoyed if it wasn’t a graphic novel. The illustrations gave the story a lot of life and it was able to translate what the aut/>/>*Thank/>*All/>/>READ FORMAT READ: eBook (Adobe Digital Editions) READ FOR: coming-of-age- themes TW: Cursing, Under-Age Relationships ⇒MY BLOG⇐ *All my reviews are spoiler-free unless stated otherwise* *Thank you to Lion Forge for the ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* OVERALL: 3.5/5 This was.. interesting… (in a good way) This is a story I probably would not have picked up nor would I have enjoyed if it wasn’t a graphic novel. The illustrations gave the story a lot of life and it was able to translate what the author wants to show well. The book tackled problems that Hazel, as girl who grew up homeschooled and sheltered, encounters when she meets other kids who grew up practically the opposite of her environment. I like how you can clearly see the difference in her headspace and how her actions/reactions differ from the those that in the “No Ivy League” with her. ((you also learn a bit about Ivy plants :D)) There is a lot of mature themes in this novel so consider yourself warned because I was not. I was a bit shaken at the beginning but it proved to be important in the plot. It also makes for a good coming-of-age novel. There are important lessons that I think a lot of people can benefit from. Though, there some topics that I felt like were never closed properly and just simply ended. I really enjoyed seeing Hazel develop as a character and I have to admit that I was rooting for her every step of the way. I loved seeing her grow and I feel like she is someone that a lot of people can relate to at one point in their lives. I think she was a great protagonist and I really enjoyed reading about her. Even though I’m still not the biggest fan of how awful most of the No Ivy League people were to her (this was one of the things that I felt wasn't closed properly). This was also not a long read so it's easy to get through. PLOT: ★★★☆☆ CHARACTERS: ★★★★☆ THEMES: ★★★★☆ ILLUSTRATIONS: ★★★★★ PAGE TURNER: ★★★★☆ Thank you to Lion Forge for sending me an ARC to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This book is released on August 20, 2019.

  4. 4 out of 5

    laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    Insulated in her homeschool group, Hazel has no idea how privileged she is as the daughter of vegan, middle-class hippies in Portland, Oregon. Many of her preconceptions and ignorance are challenged, however, when she accepts a job at No Ivy League, a youth program designed to get city kids working in nature pulling ivy. I enjoyed this, but felt like it would have been better if it was a little longer and explore the major theme of white privilege a bit more instead of dancing across Insulated in her homeschool group, Hazel has no idea how privileged she is as the daughter of vegan, middle-class hippies in Portland, Oregon. Many of her preconceptions and ignorance are challenged, however, when she accepts a job at No Ivy League, a youth program designed to get city kids working in nature pulling ivy. I enjoyed this, but felt like it would have been better if it was a little longer and explore the major theme of white privilege a bit more instead of dancing across the surface. I did like that Hazel explored her discomfort and realized that her actions (like reporting the sexual comments of a Black coworker) would have different ramifications for him and would be treated differently than the incident of boys sexually shaming another girl for her choice in reading (that the team leaders saw). While his words were completely uncalled for and the incident was alarming, Hazel realized first hand the differences in repercussions and how unfair a system can be. Another thing that I liked was that Hazel bumped against her parents' own racial prejudices. I grew up in Oregon and it took me a very long time to realize that many, many free-loving hippies have racism and prejudice embedded deep into their core. Plus, not-fun fact: Oregon was founded as a whites only state, with some very harsh anti-black laws and a strong KKK presence. So when integration began in cities that were segregated (there were many sundown laws preventing black people from moving into many places in Oregon—it was very dangerous to be a person of color, and in some places it still is), there was a lot of push back, in ways that rippled down through the adults of Hazel's parent's generation, as she realized when she learned why her parents homeschooled her and why there were so few people of color among her homeschooled peers. Speaking of homeschooling, I did enjoy the turmoil Hazel felt when (view spoiler)[she won the video competition (hide spoiler)] , particularly when she had learned many of the methodology behind children being homeschooled and had been confronted with the inequalities her coworkers at No Ivy League faced. However, there were some parts of this book that felt very...stereotyped, such as Aisha wanting to bring grape soda to celebrate her culture (I also get Hazel wanting to find something about her culture because she had no culture—girl, I feel you there). And I wasn't a big fan of the weirdness of Hazel flirting with Toño (her doing the math of 32-17=15 with an "oh, same age gap as my parents!" and flirting through music was...ehhhhhhhhh). I get it. I was a sheltered upper middle class white kid like Hazel (although I did go to public school), and I can see the appeal of flirting with and having an attraction for an older dude. Toño's discomfort with Hazel is all over the page, showing that current day Hazel sees the cringeworthiness and inappropriateness of her flirting, but he still offers to take her home on rides and lets her borrow his ipod. I dunno. It just felt weird. Anywho, much of this story hit home with me (for reasons discussed in the above paragraph), particularly when you're a pretty sheltered kid with lots of privilege that you aren't really aware of. Having your privilege smacked in your face and feeling out of place can be hard. But you gotta learn to deal with it, and confront your privilege and learn. And yeah, those kids were mean to her, but they were also trying to tell her about her privilege—even what she ate showed how privileged she was that she had the options to get better food. Anywho, it was a decent coming-of-age graphic novel, I just wish that it had gone a little more in depth (and had kinda less of Hazel playing with Shane and Anson and less kissing? that seemed a little much? I dunno). I received this ARC from Edelweiss for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I think this book only touches the surface of a major problem which is white privilege. Hazel doesn’t realize how sheltered her life has been until she has the chance to work alongside a group of very diverse people. This story deals with her coming to realize some truths not only about the outside world and what she has never encountered because of her homeschooling but also about her fa The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I think this book only touches the surface of a major problem which is white privilege. Hazel doesn’t realize how sheltered her life has been until she has the chance to work alongside a group of very diverse people. This story deals with her coming to realize some truths not only about the outside world and what she has never encountered because of her homeschooling but also about her family life and her parents. I would have liked the graphic novel to delve more into these themes, instead of lightly touching upon them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A large part of this graphic memoir is about homeschooling, and I must be up front and admit that I have a knee-jerk negative reaction whenever I'm confronted with that subject. I hear homeschooling, and my first thought is of parents who are religious fundamentalists like in the recent book Educated or weirdos like in Glass Castle. This book adds a couple new wrinkles that do not help improve my opinion. Frankly, the first half of the book is pretty dull as Newlevant slowly establishes her homogeno A large part of this graphic memoir is about homeschooling, and I must be up front and admit that I have a knee-jerk negative reaction whenever I'm confronted with that subject. I hear homeschooling, and my first thought is of parents who are religious fundamentalists like in the recent book Educated or weirdos like in Glass Castle. This book adds a couple new wrinkles that do not help improve my opinion. Frankly, the first half of the book is pretty dull as Newlevant slowly establishes her homogenous homeschool friends and the many diverse coworkers at her summer job weeding invasive ivy out of a large Portland, Oregon, municipal park. There's pretty standard coming-of-age stuff like crushes and social anxiety, but in the second half there is some sexual harassment that topples dominoes leading to Newlevant having to confront her white privilege and one of the reasons behind her parents' decision to homeschool. This turn elevated the book from ho-hum to worthwhile for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Drewthereader20

    This was such a fast and fun and even cute read at the time! It's not my favorite graphic novel but it's still good!(:

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    Hazel grew up white, middle-class, vegan, and home-schooled in Portland, OR. Lacking a social circle outside other home-schooled teens, Hazel had no idea how sheltered she was until she started a summer job pulling invasive English ivy out of parks in youth nature summer program. For the first time, Hazel worked along side teens from different schools, races, backgrounds and with different goals. It's a rude awakening, but ultimately an enlightening one. Newlevant (the author now uses they/them Hazel grew up white, middle-class, vegan, and home-schooled in Portland, OR. Lacking a social circle outside other home-schooled teens, Hazel had no idea how sheltered she was until she started a summer job pulling invasive English ivy out of parks in youth nature summer program. For the first time, Hazel worked along side teens from different schools, races, backgrounds and with different goals. It's a rude awakening, but ultimately an enlightening one. Newlevant (the author now uses they/them pronouns) hasn't cut themself any slack, and their honesty leads to a story which is at turns humorous and uncomfortable, but always compelling. I picked up an advanced reader copy at BookExpo 2019, which is printed in black and white. The final volume will be printed with ivy-green washes, highlighting the nuanced watercolors. This is an important, timely, and engaging story and I can't wait for its official release! Full disclosure, the author and I share a publisher and we are friends :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Queen Cronut

    When I first looked at this book, I'd assumed it was about Ivy League schools but as it turned out, was the memoir of Hazel Newlevant, told through a graphic novel depicting the summer she joined No Ivy League, a program for at-risk teens to clear invasive species in state parks. Hazel Newlevant, a vegan, home-schooled, and extremely sheltered girl finds a summer job working alongside other teens from different backgrounds leading to realize just how naive and ignorant she's been. A c When I first looked at this book, I'd assumed it was about Ivy League schools but as it turned out, was the memoir of Hazel Newlevant, told through a graphic novel depicting the summer she joined No Ivy League, a program for at-risk teens to clear invasive species in state parks. Hazel Newlevant, a vegan, home-schooled, and extremely sheltered girl finds a summer job working alongside other teens from different backgrounds leading to realize just how naive and ignorant she's been. A coming of the age story as Hazel forms new perceptions on the world around her regarding privilege and inequality in society. While No Ivy League does an excellent job depicting Hazel's emotions and reactions, I wish there was some more depth in exploring some of the overarching themes though I did like the portrayal of trying to find a sense of belonging. Highly recommended for older fans of Smile and Rollergirl *Thank you to NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing a free ARC

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    This is definitely one of my favorite books I've read this year and probably will always be one of my favorites. My teenage self had much in common with teenage Hazel so that relation made my reading of the story very enjoyable. Also, my first interactions with other teens from different high schools at my first summer job as a rec counselor totally felt similar to Hazel's peer interactions. My biggest takeaway from this book or why I LOVED it so much was the kindness and overall char This is definitely one of my favorite books I've read this year and probably will always be one of my favorites. My teenage self had much in common with teenage Hazel so that relation made my reading of the story very enjoyable. Also, my first interactions with other teens from different high schools at my first summer job as a rec counselor totally felt similar to Hazel's peer interactions. My biggest takeaway from this book or why I LOVED it so much was the kindness and overall character of Hazel. Like I mentioned before, my teenage self was very similar to teenage Hazel. A #METOO sort of moment happens in this story and I really admired how Hazel handled the situation. There were many times in my youth I was bullied, teased, or threatened because I was different and my parents/authority figures NEVER supported me like Hazel's did. As a teacher now, I'm happy to own a book like this to reference this scenario and share with my students. Currently I'm a 4th grade teacher so unfortunately there is language used that would deem it inappropriate to have in a classroom library. However, I did bring the book in today to "gush" about it to my students and explained how I hope they seek it out themselves once they start middle school. Personally, I think this book is SO perfect for that middle school age group. Thank you Hazel for creating this and I totally look forward to whatever project you'll be releasing next!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is the story of Hazel, a home schooled teen who has never had to mingle with people who might be from a different economical background, with different life experiences. The author writes this memoire from a distance of bout 10 years. There are other things going on, beside the homeschooling, as Hazel is also dating someone much younger than her. This is brought up by some of the boys, she is working with, and she is teased about it in a gross way, so she reports him. He gets fired. Interesting take on this world that s This is the story of Hazel, a home schooled teen who has never had to mingle with people who might be from a different economical background, with different life experiences. The author writes this memoire from a distance of bout 10 years. There are other things going on, beside the homeschooling, as Hazel is also dating someone much younger than her. This is brought up by some of the boys, she is working with, and she is teased about it in a gross way, so she reports him. He gets fired. Interesting take on this world that she find her self in. The main problem I had, and it may be fixed in the final edition, was that the ending seemed rushed, as though everything was fixed by just talking a little bit about it. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I was fortunate enough to get to hear Newlevant speak as a plenary speaker at a conference I attended last year and got a pre-print of the first chapter, so I definitely knew I wanted to read this when it was completed. This is a very focused autobiographical story about a summer Newlevant worked digging up ivy and was forced to recognize how much privilege they had in their life up to that point. It makes for a quick read but there’s no way it needed to be any longer. Story-wise, I w I was fortunate enough to get to hear Newlevant speak as a plenary speaker at a conference I attended last year and got a pre-print of the first chapter, so I definitely knew I wanted to read this when it was completed. This is a very focused autobiographical story about a summer Newlevant worked digging up ivy and was forced to recognize how much privilege they had in their life up to that point. It makes for a quick read but there’s no way it needed to be any longer. Story-wise, I would recommend this to white folks as I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us that it’s a thing that we now try to do the best we can with our whiteness but sure as hell weren’t born with the recognition of just how far our privilege takes us. I appreciate Newlevant’s honesty with the situation described and I think white people can learn from it. In terms of art, whew it’s lovely! It’s entirely in a gray/black/green watercolor that’s both simple and detailed. It really emphasizes this story as a memory. Newlevant doesn’t fill the panels with words and it really helps the reader imagine themselves in this situation.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Quartier du Livre

    3.5/5 a very nice autobiographical graphic novel, in wich the author/MC confronts the reality of the world that homeschooling didn't let her see. it's not mindblowing nor game changing, but seeing how her perception of the world changes because (or thanks to) a summer job in a national park was interesting. i liked the art, the author definitly has her own style and worked hard on it, defining it. The MC is very mature, however very naive since she's lived a very privileged life. When all she knows 3.5/5 a very nice autobiographical graphic novel, in wich the author/MC confronts the reality of the world that homeschooling didn't let her see. it's not mindblowing nor game changing, but seeing how her perception of the world changes because (or thanks to) a summer job in a national park was interesting. i liked the art, the author definitly has her own style and worked hard on it, defining it. The MC is very mature, however very naive since she's lived a very privileged life. When all she knows is challenged, she has very mature and intelligent reactions. Overall, i would recommand, it is a very nice, quick summer read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'd give it a 3.5 actually. I liked the idea behind it a lot -- of exploring white privilege through the eyes of a coming of age memoir. My slight issue with it was that it felt unbalanced in a white-privilege-y way. I loved the dynamics between daughter and parents and their reasons for homeschooling her and how that affected her decisions. I'd be interested to talk about it with somebody.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nea

    I was hoping to love this.. but it turns out i almost dnf it...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Boldon

    Good art and good intentions can't push my recommendation higher than 3 stars, which is rounded up from 2.5. Also, the title would be more accurate as The No-Ivy League, since teen protagonist Hazel joins a summer parks program in Portland to mitigate literal ivy infestations. There is some good stuff here: how home-schooled Hazel realizes her position of privilege compared to the at-risk kids at her job, learning that her mother chose to homeschool rather than send her to a desegregated school, Good art and good intentions can't push my recommendation higher than 3 stars, which is rounded up from 2.5. Also, the title would be more accurate as The No-Ivy League, since teen protagonist Hazel joins a summer parks program in Portland to mitigate literal ivy infestations. There is some good stuff here: how home-schooled Hazel realizes her position of privilege compared to the at-risk kids at her job, learning that her mother chose to homeschool rather than send her to a desegregated school, how a black student who harasses her at work is treated more harshly than a white student who mocks a black student. But there are other things that aren't fully explored, such as Hazel's crush on her older and not interested boss (she pursues him to the point of discomfort even harassment, and that's never addressed), and an ending that feels pat and unearned. A tighter focus, and a more complex ending, perhaps letting the work unspool a little longer, might've helped.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    I read an eARC of this novel through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. This graphic novel starts off with an author letter, where she talks about what inspired the novel. One of the main themes is learning who you are as a person, in relation to the world around you. As always, the question here is if it's even possible to fully know yourself: "It's incredible, believing over and over again that you've figured things out - only to stumble on new ways your place i I read an eARC of this novel through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. This graphic novel starts off with an author letter, where she talks about what inspired the novel. One of the main themes is learning who you are as a person, in relation to the world around you. As always, the question here is if it's even possible to fully know yourself: "It's incredible, believing over and over again that you've figured things out - only to stumble on new ways your place in society shields you from the truth." It's about white privilege and the ignorance that comes with it, and how being confronted with your own ignorance can feel uncomfortable: "It's intimidating to publish a story about my younger self doing and saying so many profoundly embarrassing and regrettable things, but I hope that it helps those who see their own shame reflected in mine resolve to move forward with compassion." This is by no means an exaggeration: this is at times a very uncomfortable novel to read, because the main character, Hazel, is a very naïve and sheltered 17-year-old. She takes on a park maintenance summer job alongside at-risk youth. Being homeschooled, she doesn't have a lot of experience interacting with peers her own age, and her coworkers are a diverse group of people. She's quite clueless interacting with them, which is quite annoying to read at times, but also, I think, quite realistic, and important to be aware of. People don't become socially aware out of nowhere, they aren't born with an innate grasp on inequality. So it was good to see Hazel's development and increasing awareness as a sheltered white girl. I especially appreciated one of the side characters stating explicitly that he didn't want to be a part of her "journey of self-discovery". I wasn't able to fully appreciate this novel though, because it was a bit hard to read at times since it's not yet finished. This meant that some pages were only sketches, and certain panels weren't completed yet. The ending also felt really abrupt, giving me the impression the final edition will be longer. If so, I hope it brings together both of the storylines more to make for a more well-rounded ending.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This author and artist has a lot of potential, and this graphic memoir is an intriguing story, but almost like the first few chapters of a work instead of the whole thing. I loved the art style (can’t wait to see in color), and they did a great job of capturing Hazel’s conflicted feelings in each drawing. I agree with some other reviews I’ve seen that it seemed both unfocused and too tidy. But as someone who also grew up in a suburban Portland home and was mostly surrounded by other white, middl This author and artist has a lot of potential, and this graphic memoir is an intriguing story, but almost like the first few chapters of a work instead of the whole thing. I loved the art style (can’t wait to see in color), and they did a great job of capturing Hazel’s conflicted feelings in each drawing. I agree with some other reviews I’ve seen that it seemed both unfocused and too tidy. But as someone who also grew up in a suburban Portland home and was mostly surrounded by other white, middle-class families, I can really relate to her first exposure to kids of other backgrounds. I will be very interested to see what they do next!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤

    Find this and more reviews and content on my blog Sometimes Leelynn Reads Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Edelweiss, Lion Forge, and Hazel Newlevant for this free copy. I don't know when I finally realized that this was an autobiography of the author's life growing up, but I think I finally got it. I mean, unless Hazel named the main character after themselves for no other reason than just Find this and more reviews and content on my blog Sometimes Leelynn Reads Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Edelweiss, Lion Forge, and Hazel Newlevant for this free copy. I don't know when I finally realized that this was an autobiography of the author's life growing up, but I think I finally got it. I mean, unless Hazel named the main character after themselves for no other reason than just to use it, which I doubt. I think after realizing that this was a personal story, I went into this in a totally different light. One, I wanted to make sure that I give this story the right attention, and remember that what they decided to tell us and share with us was personal. Two, I wanted to understand where they were coming from when certain situations came up, without judgment. I want to say that I was able to do just that, and from there, I was able to appreciate this novel for what it was. There were themes in this novel that while I may not have gone through personally, Newlevant was able to portray in a way that I would be able to understand and put myself in their shoes. For one, Hazel in the novel was homeschooled and taking community college courses at the age of seventeen. Extremely proud of them and their accomplishments from just that point alone! To top it off, they were able to get a summer job with No Ivy League, where the company's mission is to save the forest by removing the poison ivy that has been growing in that area since European colonists brought it there. It's to help maintain the environment since the poison ivy can damage the ecosystem of the forest. So Hazel takes on a lot, while also working with their best friend and their boyfriend on a project to win them some money to travel to DC to see one of their favorite bands perform live. Another thing that I felt Hazel go through was that they felt out of place with the other teens that worked in the group, from cultural differences, sexual identity differences, and even romantic differences. There are times where you feel like Hazel feels out of place, but doesn't really know why, or doesn't want to explain why. They just had a weird day, which is okay, but that also didn't stop them from doing what they had set out to do in the first place. We also see Hazel develop feelings for their instructor, who is 15 years older than her and can be a borderline inappropriate relationship. There are times where Tono (short for Antonio) feels like their conversations are straying from what is appropriate between an adult and a student, and Hazel seems to want to push that boundary, despite having a boyfriend who is a year and a half younger. Now, I get having a crush on an authority figure. I'm pretty sure I had a few crushes, but I don't think I could have acted on it. Hazel is pretty damn brave, or foolish. Take your pick, but I'm not judging. Nothing's wrong with having those feelings, right? Wow, sorry that got a long longer than I was anticipating. Basically I really enjoyed this graphic novel, and I felt like I learned a little bit more of Hazel Newlevant and what they wanted to tell us about their coming-of-age story. It was deeply personal, honest and brave to be so vulnerable like that. Additional Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    No Ivy League is a coming of age graphic novel following our protagonist, Hazel,during the summer as she gets her first job clearing ivy from a forest. I really liked Hazel. She is homeschooled, white and middle class so that makes her more privileged then other kids in the group. There is so much that she never had to think about and never noticed. This summer job opens her eyes to many things that her social status and homeschooling sheltered her from. I love how once Hazel realizes all this s No Ivy League is a coming of age graphic novel following our protagonist, Hazel,during the summer as she gets her first job clearing ivy from a forest. I really liked Hazel. She is homeschooled, white and middle class so that makes her more privileged then other kids in the group. There is so much that she never had to think about and never noticed. This summer job opens her eyes to many things that her social status and homeschooling sheltered her from. I love how once Hazel realizes all this she is open and willing to learn more and educate herself. Because Hazel was homeschooled she never had to interact with larger groups of kids. So the first few days of the summer job felt so awkward to her and were awkward to read through as well. But it reminded me of those days when I had to fit in the new class of kids in school so that brought a nice level of nostalgia. There was also commentary on sexual harassment in this book that I found interesting. Blaming of the victim,not knowing what to do in these situations, people making you feel like the consequences that the bully faces are somehow your fault. The art style was very pretty and unique,the themes were timely and important. Overall I would definitely recommend this graphic novel, I gave 4.5* out of 5*. Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marti M

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a free advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review. This graphic novel comes out August 20th. 3 ⭐ This graphic novel follows 17 year old Hazel for the duration of a job she had clearing ivy from a park for one summer as a teen. Hazel is homeschooled and through working this job she is introduced to kids from different backgrounds than she’s seen during her sheltered life. Likes: -I thought this was a quick read. -I liked how Hazel definit Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a free advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review. This graphic novel comes out August 20th. 3 ⭐️ This graphic novel follows 17 year old Hazel for the duration of a job she had clearing ivy from a park for one summer as a teen. Hazel is homeschooled and through working this job she is introduced to kids from different backgrounds than she’s seen during her sheltered life. Likes: -I thought this was a quick read. -I liked how Hazel definitely showed some character growth from the beginning to the end of the book and realized that her own little bubble of the world isn’t all that’s out there Dislikes: -I felt like it tried to do too much in one stand alone graphic novel. It had the main plot of hazel realizing that other races and other socioeconomic levels existed, and it also had the side plot of her entering a homeschool video contest. I see why they’re connected but I could’ve dealt without the side plot. -there’s also a side plot where she, a 17 yo, has the hots for her mentor, a 33yo, and has a few awkward conversations with him and a fantasy dream which made me feel uncomfortable.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Miller

    This book captured the confusion, conflict, and intense emotions that come with being a teen and beginning to explore the world outside of your comfort zone. In a fully fictional book, the themes and plot may have been a bit neater, but this is a memoir and as such the author is pulling together themes and plot from their memory of events. Life is complicated and our stories don't always have finite conclusions. The main character has a lot of concerns about the world around them and This book captured the confusion, conflict, and intense emotions that come with being a teen and beginning to explore the world outside of your comfort zone. In a fully fictional book, the themes and plot may have been a bit neater, but this is a memoir and as such the author is pulling together themes and plot from their memory of events. Life is complicated and our stories don't always have finite conclusions. The main character has a lot of concerns about the world around them and seems to worry about multiple issues at once in a way that feels honest and realistic. I wish some of the ideas could have been explored deeper, but I think the overall message still comes across clearly and is an important one. This is a review of an ARC, so my copy didn't have fully completed art, but I still feel confident saying that the art was WONDERFUL.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ije the Devourer of Books

    I thought this was an interesting memoir about a young girl who is home schooled, protected and privileged. She begins to realise this when she works on a summer project with kids from racially diverse and less affluent backgrounds. I enjoyed the artwork and it was interesting to see the way Hazel becomes aware of difference. What is more interesting is the way she then seeks to know and learn more. I actually think this is a story about a commendable young person who was willing to go beyond th I thought this was an interesting memoir about a young girl who is home schooled, protected and privileged. She begins to realise this when she works on a summer project with kids from racially diverse and less affluent backgrounds. I enjoyed the artwork and it was interesting to see the way Hazel becomes aware of difference. What is more interesting is the way she then seeks to know and learn more. I actually think this is a story about a commendable young person who was willing to go beyond the boundaries of her own protected life to encounter others and then learn from those encounters. The artwork is good too but best of all the story leaves the reader with much to think about. Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    The illustrations do a wonderful job conveying exactly what Hazel is trying to depict; however, the story itself it trying to tackle too much and suffers as a result. The reader does not find out that Hazel is working with what the story considers at-risk teens until a good portion of the story is over. While this is a memoir about Hazel's life, her awakening seems underdeveloped. Additionally, there is a side plot that is tossed in and then tossed out and I honestly wanted to see how Hazel's fe The illustrations do a wonderful job conveying exactly what Hazel is trying to depict; however, the story itself it trying to tackle too much and suffers as a result. The reader does not find out that Hazel is working with what the story considers at-risk teens until a good portion of the story is over. While this is a memoir about Hazel's life, her awakening seems underdeveloped. Additionally, there is a side plot that is tossed in and then tossed out and I honestly wanted to see how Hazel's feelings were changed on it as well. Overall, I feel lengthening this story could have helped out in the long run. I received an ecopy of this through Edelweiss; however, all opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Thanks to Edelwiess for the ARC of this graphic memoir set in Portland, OR over the course of one summer. The novel follows Hazel, a homeschooled student that decides to earn money pulling ivy in forest park, interacting with other teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. I’m not quite sure that I understood the central point of this graphic novel, which had several side stories and seems like it wants to tackle bigger issues of race and a general sense of belonging. It felt unfocused and the en Thanks to Edelwiess for the ARC of this graphic memoir set in Portland, OR over the course of one summer. The novel follows Hazel, a homeschooled student that decides to earn money pulling ivy in forest park, interacting with other teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. I’m not quite sure that I understood the central point of this graphic novel, which had several side stories and seems like it wants to tackle bigger issues of race and a general sense of belonging. It felt unfocused and the ending was might have been what happened, but it also feels much too clean. The drawing style is really fun and the setting itself lends to the overall feel of the book, and I think it will look great in color.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Billie

    It was fine. I think the author was well-intentioned, but the length or the format or maybe both meant that she was unable to really explore both the environmental aspect and her ideas about privilege in any depth, which meant that both ended up feeling superficial and occasionally glib. I think this graphic memoir could have benefited by focusing on Hazel's privilege and her dawning awareness of it and putting the information about invasive species and their impact on the environment in an afte It was fine. I think the author was well-intentioned, but the length or the format or maybe both meant that she was unable to really explore both the environmental aspect and her ideas about privilege in any depth, which meant that both ended up feeling superficial and occasionally glib. I think this graphic memoir could have benefited by focusing on Hazel's privilege and her dawning awareness of it and putting the information about invasive species and their impact on the environment in an afterward or appendix.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I felt like this was trying to do so many things that it fell short of the mark on most things. I had high hopes, but I've read coming-of-age graphic novels that were much more effective. It would have been best to pick one narrative thread and stick to it rather than throwing in a lot of B-plots. Also at first glance I thought this book was about something entirely different. Which is fine but I felt like the title was misleading.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    2.5 stars. This is an interesting graphic memoir that focuses on a specific summer of the author's life. It touches on some important topics (class, race, sexual harassment) but I wish it had dug a little deeper. I will say though, that the dialogue and experiences are very authentic to the teen experience.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kassy MacPherson

    A very good book. I was not expecting this at all. It had great graphics!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    2.5 This could have been SO much better; especially the ending, which felt too after school special-ish to really make much of an impact.

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