This work, the first full length graphic novel by Sarah Oleksyk, was years in the making – and it shows. A rite of passage set in the high school years that has the look and feel of being a fictionalized memoir – akin to Craig Thompson's wildly popular Blankets – Ivy is a hard won work of lasting value. Yes: sex, drugs, angst, body-issues, parental conflict, high school hatin' – it's all here; but there's more. The unfolding narrative demonstrates a rare understanding of the adolescent development of character through peer to peer interaction in the crucible of the quotidian; how character imperfections can be magnified, drawn out, examined, and, with diligent application – and a little luck – be alloyed to inner strengths to forge an enduring adult persona. We'll stack this 218 page hardcover up against Blankets anyday. Recommended!