Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Thursday, September 8, 2011 with 1 comment
Tris & IzzieTitle:  Tris & Izzie
Author:  Mette Ivie Harrison
Series:  n/a
Publisher:  EgmontUSA
Publication Date:  October 11, 2011
Links:  Amazon | Goodreads
Rating:  Photobucket

From Goodreads:

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.

Okay, I admit it. I haven’t actually ever read the original story of Tristan and Isolde, but a quick Wikipedia search tells me that, yes, this could be considered a retelling, though I’m not entirely convinced. I’ll still need to read the original legend to have a good grasp on this. I thought not knowing the original legend very well might make reading this version more intriguing, though. Hey, it worked with Entwined. (Who was responsible for reading me fairy tales when I was a kid, right?)
That said, I had really high hopes for this novel. I mean, that cover is gorgeous! If ever I bought a book simply for the cover, it would be this one. Alas, I read a copy provided by Netgalley, and so I probably won’t ever own that beautiful cover.

Alright, I’m done lamenting. On to the actual review. This book definitely had its ups and downs. One minute, I agreed with every reviewer who came before me when they admonished the author for butchering this tale, even with my lack of knowledge for the original story. Then, I’d read a little further and wonder, How could they say that? This novel has promise. But a few pages later, I’d be in despair again, realizing that, Man, this book could have been soooo much better. (I really did want to love this book.) *sigh*

You can’t really go wrong with a retelling, right? The story’s already been told; you just need to add your flair to it. What you can do wrong is write flat, irritating characters that make me want to pull my hair out. Not one of the characters in this story had any depth. I found that Izzie’s naiveté was just insulting, and it was hard to believe that she could be so clueless when it came to her relationships, platonic or otherwise.

Not only was the story itself executed poorly, but it could have used a better editor to catch some of the plot holes. Within the first pages of the novel, I noticed that at one point, Izzie is whining about Branna having arrived (or departed?) separately because she was lucky enough to have her own car, but not much later, Branna is riding the bus home from school with Izzie. Then a few chapters pass and Branna is driving them to the homecoming game in her own car. I don’t know any self-respecting teenager who would suffer a bus ride for a friend when they had their own wheels. Wouldn’t said teenager just give their friend a ride? Another instance that could have used some editing was a discussion that takes place between Branna and Izzie early in the book about graduating in two years, but later they’re discussing when Izzie started dating Mark – two years ago – when they were sophomores. So, are they seniors or sophomores? Who knows.

Overall, I was obviously disappointed with this novel, even after reading several mediocre reviews and still deciding to give it a shot because of that stunning cover. So, the blah story gets two stars and the cover itself gets its own star. That’s fair, right?

I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley.

1 comment:

  1. Man, this is one that I was really looking forward to a while back, partly because of its GORGEOUS cover and partly for the Tristan and Isolde. But I have not heard a single good thing about it from anyone that I trust! Sigh. Maybe I'll read it anyway just to witness the horrible first hand. I too am sad that this cover will likely never be on my shelf. Maybe I can find a print from this artist to put on my wall instead.


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