No Ivy League

No Ivy League

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...

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Title:No Ivy League
Author:Hazel Newlevant
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No Ivy League Reviews

  • 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 :)

  • Emma

    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

    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.

  • 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 coming of the

    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

  • ~ Althea | themoonwholistens ~  ☾

    eBook (Adobe Digital Editions)

    coming-of-age- themes

    Cursing, Under-Age Relationships

    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.

    eBook (Adobe Digital Editions)

    coming-of-age- themes

    Cursing, Under-Age Relationships

    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 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.

    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.

    ★★★☆☆

    ★★★★☆

    ★★★★☆

    ★★★★★

    ★★★★☆

  • 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 in society shields you fr

    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.

  • 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.

    Interesti

    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.

  • 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 the surface.

    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

    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

    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

    , 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

    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.

  • Chloe Quartier du Livre

    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 kno

    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

    .

  • 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.

  • Tatiana

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

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