Title: Tris & Izzie
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Release Date: October 11, 2011
A modern day twist of the German fairy tale "Tristan and Isolde," Mette Ivie Harrison give us the story of Izzie, a young girl with a perfect boyfriend and loyal best friend, but everything goes wrong when Izzie takes the potion meant for her friend and accidentally falls in love with a new guy at their school. While this book is filled to the brim with magic, secrets, and danger, something was lacking character-wise for me and it kept me from enjoying this book more.
What initially drew me to this book was the fairy tale Harrison drew from. Fairy tale retellings have a way of being just as magical as the original, and this was. Magic options, witches, monsters, magical enemies, sorcerers and healers. There is nothing lacking in the fantasy element.
Unfortunately, what had a habit of putting me off was certain characters and their choices. Because Izzie is the narrator, I connected with her far more than others, but that's because we're only given her opinions of them. Mark is her awesome boyfriend, Branna is her best friend. But Izzie couldn't see what was right in front of her face at times. She's clueless to the feelings of those close to her, and sometimes makes rash decisions that would often turn her life into a huge smoking crater.
The language also didn't agree with me. At times it felt too simple, too obvious, too just describing actions or surroundings. On the first page, I started to edit in my head, pick which words I would take out and imagine how I would phrase the sentence. That's not a good sign. At other points, the language felt dated and stilted
I wanted to love this book as much as I love the cover, but it fell flat for me in terms of characters and language. Perhaps this book would fit with a younger teen reading audience, thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds. The idea was amazing, the magic and fairy tale elements were sound, but the characters brought it down for me.
(I received this book from EgmontUSA through NetGalley for the purpose of reviewing it.)