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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison (REVIEW)

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Genre: YA Fantasy - Publication Date: October 11, 2011 - Publisher: EgmontUSA - Pages: 304 - Source: NetGalley

A modern retelling of the German fairy tale "Tristan and Isolde," Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school. (

*This review contains spoilers.  

The cover of this book was so beautiful, I was certain that I was going to love it. I was so thrilled when I found this book on NetGalley, because I wanted to read it so bad. Now, I'm even more glad that it was on NetGalley because I would have been seriously pissed if I purchased this. Let me make it clear, that I have not read Tristan and Isolde, which is the original story that this is based off of. Therefore, if I say anything that may be considered criticizing to that story it is unintentional.

I thought that the plot of this story was cute and fun, but executed poorly. First of all, when Isolde drinks the love potion, it's just like, "Really, are you that stupid?" That's how I felt about a lot of the decisions that were made in this book. Some of it didn't even make sense.

The writing was nothing special. I hate to feel like I'm just completely flaming this book, but in all honesty I felt like I was reading fanfiction or something. The writing was okay, but not great. There were frequent switches in verb tense, and Harrison definitely broke the infamous "show don't tell" rule. Izzie's narration was not even that exciting. She had nothing especially intriguing about her. No little quirks in what she said or thought that made her entertaining. I had a hard time connecting with her and getting a firm grasp on her personality. Sometimes she was a coward, other times she was brave. Sometimes she was selfish, other times she was selfless. But one thing that I realized was that she only really did things that benefited her.

One thing that really bothered me was the love triangle-square-thing. I'm not one of those people who loathe love triangles. In fact, most of the time I adore them. I love cheering for the underdog and swooning for two hotties at once. However, in this book the love triangle felt forced and pointless. I mean, I wonder who Izzie is going to pick...perhaps the guy whose name is IN THE TITLE? Harrison didn't even make the guys that great, either. In fact, I thought Tristan was just creepy and unappealing. I love love loved Mark. Until he punched Izzie in the face. Yeah. You read that right. He fuggin punched her! And what bothered me even more was that when Izzie broke up with him, after TWO YEARS, after it was made clear that Mark was pretty damn whipped, all of a sudden he was head over heels in love with her best friend. It was completely unrealistic. And Branna...well, she was sort of a bitter bitch. Perhaps she had good reason, but she had no right to be as angry as she was with Izzie.

I feel horrible for trashing this book so badly, but I just wanted to get it over with. The action didn't leave my heart thumping in my chest, didn't get my blood pumping. The almighty big bad villain wasn't even frightening.

I feel like Izzie and Tristan fell in love much too fast, even if there was a love potion. They knew absolutely nothing about each other. I'm thinking that Tristan could have definitely grown on me throughout the novel--if we were to learn anything about him. We don't. Just how his parents died, really. In fact, we see more of Mark  in this book than we do Tristan.

I wish that we could have learned more about the magic in this story. The world just seems to undeveloped. Izzie goes from not knowing she has powers to suddenly being able to kill giants and heal her best friend with it with little struggle. It takes her a few hours to do a simple thing, but after that it was practically smooth-sailing. And supposedly, Izzie is supposed to be super powerful, but we barely even see any of that power go to use. And it is said that Tristan has magic through metal, but there is no further explanation.

The pacing was sporadic. There were several battle scenes, but they just sort of popped up. There was no intense build up or tension that made me jump up and down with anticipation. And they were all definitely stretched, focusing on things that were sort of irrelevant at the moment, like kissing while Izzie's best friend is probably dying. And fighting.

The dialogue was artificial and awkward and out of place. Like when Branna admits her love for Mark. The way she declares herself just made me feel itchy and uncomfortable. "Do you burn for me?" Who the hell says anything like that?

And please, do not get me started on the prologue. I don't usually mind prologues. In fact, just like love triangles, I usually love them. The gushy squishy happy endings. But my god, this one just made me roll my eyes.

I wanted so badly to love this book.I even kept reading it in hopes that it would improve. I wish that I could say my wish was granted, but it sadly was not. I think this book would make for a good fairytale for anybody under the age of ten, though I don't think that was the author's intentions.

The romance was forced and sort of painful to read. The characters lacked in every category. The action was not actionful. And the writing could have been improved by, like, 39857938798.

  • The cover. It is so purrrdddy!
  • The creatures. I thought the idea of the creatures was pretty nice. A giant, a two-headed dog, and a giant serpent.
  • The ending. Just like the plot, there wasw a really good idea behind it. Clever and smart. However, just like the plot, I feel like it was too easy and executed poorly.


  1. Great review. I was considering reviewing it for netgalley, but I've consistently seen these sorts of reviews for it, so I don't think I want to put myself through that agony. :)

    Lari @ Lari Is Writing


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