Tris and Izzie (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

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.

I'm gonna start off with a warning that this review will be full of spoilers, as there is no way to really explain why I felt the way I did without talking about some of the major events. Also, as a forewarning, I really did not care for the book at all. I only finished it due to its short length and my inability to stop something in the middle no matter how much I dislike it.

The sudden change of love and devotion between these characters was so unrealistic to the point of absurdity. You have Izzie and Mark being so in love, but then in walks Tristan and BAM! she only has eyes for him. Granted there was supposed to be a love potion involved (I'll get into the ridiculousness of that in a moment), but it still was excessive. Then, you have Mark who is so devoted to Izzie and is such a wreck after she is hurt, yet not a few days later he just accepts that Izzie doesn't care about him, and Oh! Wait! He is madly in love with the best friend, Brangane. I understand that there had been a long brewing attraction there, but you just don't fall completely out of love with one person, and head over hells for another in the next moment. Life just doesn't work that way. It would have been easier to swallow if Mark hadn't have been so instantly crazy for Brangane, to the point where he was extremely violent to Izzie when Brangane got hurt. You can't be in love with a person and then hate them so much the next, it just didn't make sense at all.

Now, for the love potion. This will be just one example of Izzie's extreme immaturity and selfishness. Her mother had warned her that love potions are forever, and nothing, not even death will break them. Yet what does Izzie do? She steals one of her mom's and tries to give it to Brangane and Tristan. She tells herself it's so her friend can find love, but she really does it because she has this attraction to Tristan that she wants to avoid. Of course the joke was on her when she winds up taking it instead which spurs on an all consuming connection to Tristan, and generally makes a mess of everything. What made matters worse, was that she didn't even have any real remorse, and lived in a denial state that the potion could be broken rather then stepping up to face the consequences of her actions.

This book could possibly appeal to a younger audience, but it will seem much too juvenile for anyone sixteen and up, perhaps even younger depending on the maturity level. The characters just come across as whiny and incredibly immature, making everything seem quite one dimensional. Also I really felt cheated as this "retelling" of Tristan and Isolde had nothing in common with the original story, nor was there any tragedy. Maybe I would have liked it a little more if the characters had had a little more maturity. Perhaps it would be better marketed as a middle grade rather than a young adult. It's just a shame that the story did not live up to the beautiful cover, but in the end this is one of those times that proves you can't judge a book by its cover.

(Received a copy from Netgalley)


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1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I read the first few pages on an online preview and I just could not get into it. I didn't request it on netgalley, because I knew it just wasn't for me.

    You are right, it comes off as incredibly juvenile. Whats weird is that it tries to be a book for an older audience.

    That Bookish Girl


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