Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher: Egmont USA
Expected Publication: October 11th, 2011
Pages: 272
I received an eGalley of this novel via NetGalley. Thanks to Egmont USA for giving me the chance to review this. This did not influence my opinion.

Goodreads Summary:
A modern retelling of the German fairytale "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. 

My Rating: 1.0 / 5

What I thought about it:
Tris & Izzie is a book that I immediately put onto my wishlist when I first heard of it. It has an incredibly pretty cover and the summary sounds fantastic. Overall it looked like the perfect book to add to my collection and when I saw it on NetGalley, I was so happy that I could read it even earlier.

And then I saw the first few bad ratings and reviews for this. People said that they didn't like Izzie or any of the other characters, that the plot was confusing and not elaborate enough and that the writing was immature and difficult to follow. But I was so much looking forward to this novel that I didn't really want to believe all those reviews.

But now I have to admit that I feel the same about every single aspect.

Let's start with Izzie: She is not a very likeable character. While there are attempts at making her seem like a person who cares about others, she mostly thinks and acts for her own interest. Even when it's about helping her best friend, in the end it's more important that Izzie feels better by doing so. She is childish and not very consistent in her opinions, therefore it's quite hard to like her.

The other characters sadly don't make up for Izzie. They are flat and you cannot detect any kind of development during the story. While, like Branna, they do something that could be defined as development, their actions only seem to be forced and part of the story just to make it easier for Izzie.

With that we come to the second part that I didn't really like: The writing. Maybe I'm being hyper-sensitive about it and maybe I should try to remember that this is actually supposed to address a younger audience (it's a young adult novel after all), but to me it's incredible childish. It reminds me of those stories that I wrote when I was younger - paratactic, disjointed and with lots of confusing dialogues. And to my defense, I haven't read a young adult novel like this before.

I'm a little bit sad to be saying so many bad things about a book, especially because the idea itself had so much potential. Tristan and Isolde's legend is so beautiful and leaves so much room for a modern retelling. And I have to admit that there were parts of the novel that did have potential if it just were more detailed and not so rushed.

All in all, I just couldn't make myself like Tris & Izzie. But you should know that there are not only negative reviews about this out there - I have read a few written by people who really enjoyed this. I can only say that it wasn't the right book for me.

Have you read Tris & Izzie? What did you think about it?


  1. I agree with everything you said, and they are all valid reasons not to like this novel. If the characters had been written a bit better it would've made a world of difference. I too hated giving it such a low rating; the concept had such promise. Too bad it just didn't live up to it.

  2. I didn't like this either. It sounded so good and promising. I guess it wasn't for me either.

  3. Oh no, what a bummer. I actually watched Tristan and Isolde last night. I've been looking forward to this book, but most of the reviews I've seen have been about how this book wasn't very good. Oh well, I'll still read it and see what I think. Thanks for the honest review!

  4. I keep hearing bad things about this one, which is kind of sad since I was really looking forward to reading it. However, Izzie does sound somewhat childish and I always dislike it when the writing isn't up to par. Hmm, I think I'm going to be skipping this. Thanks for the honest review!

  5. I'm really not looking forward to reading this, unfortunately. So many bad reviews! Thanks for sharing your honest opinion of the book!

  6. I was excited to read Tris and Izzie because I'm really interested in Arthurian legends and I like retellings of myth, legends, and fairytales. When I heard about this modern retelling of the legend of Tristan and Isolde, I was all over it. Unfortunately, this book was a waste of my time. The author has taken a fascinating, compelling legend and reduced to a bunch of unlikable teenagers behaving badly.


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