Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ideal High by Valerie Ipson {Review}

Ideal High by Valerie Ipson
Published February 24th 2015 by Smashwords Edition

There’s no way Taryn’s taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of their friends is over, she’s resigning as VP. Really.
Except people say the fire was no accident.

(She say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)
When Taryn reads the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, she knows what it means. To get to the truth she has to come out from under her paisley comforter.

But, seriously, what stage of grief says Taryn has to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe she’s the one who’s broken.


My Review: 5 Stars

I can't even imagine the effects a tragedy such as this would have on a school and a community. Taryn has pretty much spent a summer in bed, after her almost boyfriend and six other classmates die in a fire. Taryn has a choice: sit back and do nothing her Senior Year or makes some hard, yet necessary changes to make her school better. 

I love the play on the word Ideal. Not only does Taryn try and change Ideal to make it more ideal, but that's the name of their small Texas town. There are some great characters, in both good and bad ways, that accentuate this word, this school, and this community.

Change is hard and I admire Taryn's persistence to persevere, even when it's not the popular choice. There are some very serious issues addressed within these pages--bullying being the main one. It can't be solved easily, but Taryn tries her best to chip away at the problem and I love the way some unlikely characters jump on the bandwagon with her. Of course, I love the potential romantic and mystery elements. It's so important to Taryn to find out the truth of what really happened that night. Was it an accident or not?

I can't stop thinking about the way each of these lives intersect. The same goes for real life--we never know the way we can effect people and situations and these cross-threads were fascinating, in a sometimes horrifying way, to watch unravel. This book really made me sit back and access my life and the world around me. Sometimes tradition outweighs change, even when it's more beneficial to adapt. It's too easy to get stuck in a rut and I'm really thinking hard about the comparisons between this story and life. Is it better to stick out and make a difference or conform and turn a blind eye to evil? There's a lot of growth and self-confidence developed throughout this book and I loved it.

Content: mild violence (bullying, death--not too graphic); mild romance (some very mild innuendo). Clean and especially great for teens and parents, if only to bring about awareness to modern life.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*


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About the Author:
Valerie IpsonValerie Ipson loves her family...and reading, writing, family history, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Nuggets. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, and IDEAL HIGH is her debut novel.

She claims two hometowns: Richland, Washington, where she was born and lived until she was 10, and Amarillo, Texas, where she lived until leaving for college at 18. She thinks Richland is the best place to grow up, but wouldn't trade her growing experiences in Amarillo for anything.

Reading has always been a huge love in her life, but she never thought she'd be on the author side of a book. Valerie hopes she can give readers the same experience she has enjoyed through the years while being curled up with a good book!


  1. Thanks for posting the review on your blog! I had no idea you had this review site. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

    1. You're very welcome! I'm looking forward to reading more of your books. :)