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Review: Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Monday, July 18, 2011
3 Stars: A Good Read
Hardback: 272 Pages
Publication: October 11, 2011 by Egmont 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.

Harrison brings fantasy and magic into the modern world through the presence of magic and fantastical creatures and her modern retelling of the classic German tragedy, Tristan and Isolde.

Izzie has always found comfort in the fact that she’s normal, unmagical. When a slurg attack her, however, she soon learns that not only is she magical, she’s so powerful that she’s being hunted by the giant snake that took over her home village. While learning how to wield her powers and defending herself from magical creatures sent to kill her, she must come to terms with her growing feelings for Tristan, a boy with the magic of metals.

Because of the suggestive cover and pastel colors, I believed that Tris and Izzie would be directed towards older teens. I was wrong. The romance was sweet, there were the clichéd jocks and weirdos as well as best friend moments. Factor in Izzie’s naïve way of thinking, the lack of very detailed imagery, and the short read, and you have the perfect read for tweens!

Actually, I do recommend it for younger readers. Older teens will be disappointed by the lack of action, as I was. Sure, Izzie’s life was at stake and her best friends were put in danger, but you never really threatened. I think the main reason because of the lack of details that older readers are used to seeing. Younger readers will be able to look past the lack of action and see this as a fun read to pass the time.

I did like Tris and Izzie is that it felt more like a fantasy novel than a paranormal read to me. Sure, there’s magic and magical creatures, but the magic was never really out there. The villagers keep to themselves, and Izzie’s mom is adamant about using magic for good and never to put it out there in public. It’s like there are two worlds. This magical world and our world. And that makes it a fantasy-ish novel to me (the kind where you can travel between our world and the next world, not the entirely-a-new-world kind of book).

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An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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