22 December 2011

Review: Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Title: Tris and Izzie
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Published: 11th October 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Source: eARC (thanks to Netgalley and Egmount USA)

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. - From Goodreads

I feel that often retellings can be very hit or miss. I am vaguely familiar with Tristan and Isolde, but I have never actually read it. Unfortunately after reading this book I have no desire to read the original. I wanted to like this book so much, I mean look at that cover, it is stunning, but for me the story did not live up to my expectations.

Izzie has the perfect life, a best friend, a hot superstar boyfriend, Mark, and a witch mother. So when Tris turns up as the new boy at school he throws Izzie into a spin. Izzie tries to help her best friend fall for Tris by trying to give them both a love potion, but she accidentally eds up drinking it herself with Tris. This starts the beginning for Izzie's inner war between staying with Mark or following her heart and going with Tris. After she is attacked by a two headed dog at a football game Izzie finds out that not only is she also magic, but she is only one who can save the magical community from a giant snake who eats magic.

I found a lot of things about this book rather annoying. Firstly the dialogue felt very immature and one dimensional. Tris's speech felt very stiff. I understand that it is intended to show that he is from a different society where modern day has little influence, but I am sure that he would still revert to don't, won't and can't. The magic love potion in this novel is referred to as a love philtre throughout, and was spoken about quite a bit which left me wanting to shout "just call it a love potion"!!

As I say I have not read the original text, so I am not sure if there is magic in the original story, but it all felt a little thin for me. It is just assumed that some people are magic and some are not, and that few non-magical people know about magic. I thought that this could have used a little more back story, like have they always lived in their own community, and have the fairies, dragons, giant butterflies or any other creatures ever been seen in the real world, and if so how was it covered up? I thought it could have used a little more depth.

I thought Izzie was also a little annoying. She was constantly moaning about how awful it was that she had taken the love potion and was going to forever love Tris, but she was going to do this to her "best friend" in the first place! The other characters also seemed to be quite happy about swapping relationships, all with no hard feelings.

This book was a bit of a struggle for me to finish as I didn't particularly care what was going to happen and the battle at the end all seemed to be quite easy for Izzie, I didn't feel her struggle or pain the way I have with other characters. I am interested to find out how close this is to Tristian and Isolde, but after reading this I realise there are other stories out there I want to read more.


  1. Oh, this is unfortunate... The story itself is painfully, painfully beautiful. And beautifully painful. (You get the idea.)

    Once you've given yourself some time to clear this version out of your mind, you should watch the movie with James Franco and Sophia Myles. I **LOVED** the movie and the way they adapted the plot. (No love potion at all!)

  2. I loved the ideas and characters in this book but like I said earlier it was a little too rushed to me and too convient I think if it would have been drawn out a little more I could better believe the events that took place and enjoy the story more. But I still think you should read it and judge it yourself.

  3. When I first heard about this book I was excited, but now after the reviews I have seen I don't think I will attempt to read it.

    There are plenty of online sources if you are looking for the original story or history of Tristan & Isolde.

    I enjoyed the movie with James Franco. Although it is not true to the original story either. I had a serious problem with the way in which their love was portrayed - let's have sex every time we sneak off to be together and call it love.