Jul 3, 2011

Review: Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Title: Tris and Izzie
Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: 10.11.2011
Pages: 272
Genre: Romance, Arthurian Legend
Series: No

Rating: D-

Summary (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.

If you are 13 and have no knowledge of the legend of Tristan and Iseult there is a chance that you may like this book. But it’s probably a very, very slim chance. This book was quite possibly the biggest let-down of my reading year, maybe because I had some seriously high hopes for it.

Nevermind the fact that the book makes a mockery of the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Iseult (Isolde) or that the plot jumps around more than a sleep deprived, over-caffeinated teenager, but the characters in this are just flat out annoying. Our heroine, Izzie, is a whiny, self-indulgent child who irritated me to no end.

When Izzie makes the potion for her best friend, Branna, she makes it in the hopes of finding a true love for her best friend. But she doesn’t give the potion to a guy she knows Branna likes, or even a guy she’s known for more than five minutes. She literally meets Tristan, decides he’s open for business and basically forces the potion down Tristan’s throat. Then Branna refuses to drink, and Izzie’s boyfriend, Mark, reaches for the bottle. God-forbid Tristan and Mark fall in love, so Izzie drinks it herself.

She drinks the potion. She doesn’t simply drop it and say, “Clumsy me.” She drinks the potion knowing full-well what will happen, and then spends the next ten chapters complaining about it. Did I mention she didn’t even tell her best friend she was manipulating her into falling in love forever? Some friendship.

Not that Branna is much better. She is seriously the worst best friend I have ever read in a novel. And Gwen, Izzie’s mother, is quite possibly a contender for Worst Mother of the Year. When Izzie confesses she drank the potion and she and Tristan are now stuck together and Mark will be devastated, Gwen pretty much says that sucks for Izzie, but it’s not her problem. Way to help your daughter, Gwen. Kudos.

I found the romance thin and anticlimactic. The scenes where Izzie and Tristan were together gave you whiplash because Izzie threw herself at Tristan and the next page slapped him for lying to her. Uh, pot meet the kettle? The whole book was ludicrous, which is a shame because the legend of Tristan and Iseult is a great story.


  1. I was planning on requesting this but I guess I'll be happy with a poster of the cover instead then!

  2. I requested this and I knew from about 2 pages in that I would hate it. The whole "I'm queen of this school" line that Izzie spews made my just shut my computer.

  3. I was looking forward to this but than again I have never read Tristan and Isolde. Love the honest review though! :)

  4. I completely agree! I read an ARC of this not too long ago, and it was awful. It was a shame that a story so beautiful as the original Tristan and Isolde has to be compared to this "modern retelling."

  5. I was so psyched when they had this book up for review on Netgalley. Then I actually started to read it. It seriously hurt my head way too much to actually read. I don't know if I'll ever get around to finishing it and I'm not sure I want to. I like your honesty about Izzie. (I felt that way too).

    P.S. I'm sad to see this cover go to waste.

  6. I had expectations from this book but it looks like a dissappointment:( the pretty cover does not help the story it seems..guess I'll give this book a pass..

  7. I read the book and I totally agree with your review. The summary and the cover set you hopes high that this will be a great romance and a great retelling of an old love story. Then as you begin to read it is one be let down. I think if the characters had a little more feeling and were caring that may have helped a little. It was a bummer that it was not very good. Love your honest review.

  8. Oh, what a shame! I saw that there was a book about Tristan and Isolde and was so eager to read it. Love their story!

    Now I'm not so eager! Thanks for the honest review! Why must people play so much with a good thing!

  9. I came to read this review to see whether the book was worth looking into. Apparently not! Legends like that are usually best left alone, or set in their proper context rather than trying to superimpose them on modern day life.

    I read the lais "Chevrefoil" in Marie de France's Les Lais earlier this year as well as a short about the legend and really enjoyed both. I think I'll stick with the mediaeval versions of the tale!


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