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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but not great -- paranormal teen romance
"Tris and Izzy" is a loose retelling of the old "Tristan and Isolde" tale, but set in a 21st century high school rather than in the past. Izzy (Isolde) is a senior at Tintagel High. She has a boyfriend, Mark, who is safe and solid, and a best-friend-since-kindergarten named Branna. Izzy's father is dead; her mother works as an ambulance driver but has a secret side:...
Published on September 28, 2011 by D. Williams

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless retelling of the legend of Tristan and Isolde
I was excited to read Tris and Izzie because I'm really interested in Arthurian legends and I like retellings of myth, legends, and fairytales. When I heard about this modern retelling of the legend of Tristan and Isolde, I was all over it. Unfortunately, this book was a waste of my time. The author has taken a fascinating, compelling legend and reduced to a bunch of...
Published on October 2, 2011 by schmettajames


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless retelling of the legend of Tristan and Isolde, October 2, 2011
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This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
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I was excited to read Tris and Izzie because I'm really interested in Arthurian legends and I like retellings of myth, legends, and fairytales. When I heard about this modern retelling of the legend of Tristan and Isolde, I was all over it. Unfortunately, this book was a waste of my time. The author has taken a fascinating, compelling legend and reduced to a bunch of unlikable teenagers behaving badly.

Izzie (short for Isolde) is one of the most annoying main characters I've ever encountered. She's a complete moron. She's part of the in crowd at her high school because she's dating the basketball team captain Mark, and she has a best friend named Branna, who's sad because she's secretly in love with someone who doesn't love her back. She won't tell Izzie who the object of her affections is, but it's painfully obvious (although not to the terminally stupid Izzie). So, what does Izzie do? Console her friend and point out to her that they're 16 and unrequited love isn't exactly unheard of that age? No, she decides to give Branna a love potion, despite the fact that her mother (who's a witch) has told her that love potions are very dangerous. Since Izzie doesn't know who Branna's in love with, she randomly picks this hot guy named Tristan who's just started at their high school. She knows nothing about him, but she decides that he should become her best friend's lifelong true love (because once you drink the potion, you're in love forever). Of course, since Izzie doesn't actually plan any of this out, things go horribly awry and she ends up drinking the potion herself, so she and Tristan fall madly in love

Everything's a mess, and Izzie doesn't know what to do. Then weird things start happening, and Izzie learns that a giant serpent wants to kill her. Izzie has to learn to harness the magic she never knew she possessed and somehow fight the serpent for her life. Unfortunately, my dislike for Izzie meant that I just didn't care what happened to her.

The other characters are unfortunately just as unlikable as Izzie. At first I didn't mind Branna, but she also ended up annoying me. Sure, it sucks that she's in love with her best friend's boyfriend, but maybe she needs to just suck it up, move on, and realize that she's only 16 and life will go on. Instead, she makes out with this creepy guy and manipulates Izzie into taking a truth serum so her boyfriend will learn the truth about her being in love with Tristan. And then there's the boyfriend, Mark. Izzie goes on and on about what a great guy he, but at one point, he punches her in the face. Yes, it's during a stressful time, but that's no excuse. Tristan didn't annoy me, but he basically has no personality so I couldn't work up any enthusiasm for him.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but it just didn't work for me on any level. If you're interested in the legend of Tristan and Isolde, there are other retellings. Tristan and Iseult by Rosemary Sutcliff and White Raven by Diana Paxson are both interesting interpretations, and I've heard good things about Rosalind Miles' Isolde trilogy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Review from My Overstuffed Bookshelf, November 3, 2011
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
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I wasn't familiar with the fairytale of Tristan and Isolde, but the summary intrigued me when it said that it involved love potions and falling for the wrong person. I was thrilled to step away from the normal paranormal of vampires, shape shifters and mermaids for a bit and step into a book involving magic and teen angst. I have to say though that this book is not as great as that cover unfortunately. The cover is so pretty with all the flower petals and shirtless guy, but the reading material inside is less than memorable.

With not much background to base an emotional tie to the characters on, I wasn't really invested in the story enough to enjoy what was going on. The main character is at times naive and predictable, but the path that the author takes her on really isn't explained well enough to understand why she is on this path. The secondary characters were just as much unappealing as the main character. The bad guy is the cliched bad guy that makes you cringe whenever he speaks from predictability and not evil creepiness.

Overall, this book was a disappointment to me. The cover was basically the only thing I enjoyed about this book. Not one I would reread again in the future.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did Not Finish, September 29, 2011
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
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Isolde, AKA Izzie, is in love with Mike, the perfect popular high school jock. Her life is perfect except for her best friend, Branna, who refuses to act girly or seek out a boyfriend. To help her best friend, Izzie tries to make a philtre, or love potion, but fails miserably. She snoops in her mother's things and finds what she thinks is a philtre and uses that instead, pouring it into a soda for Branna and her unknown love to drink. Enter new boy Tristan, who instantly rubs Izzie the wrong way. She figures he's a good match for her friend and has him drink the soda, but then Mike wants to drink as well, causing Izzie to chug the rest so they won't fall in love. Now she is completely repulsed by Mike and inexplicably attracted to Tristan.

I really wanted to like this story. I love the Tristan and Isolde story and I love retelling of legends and fairy tales. You'd think I would love this, but you would be wrong. Izzie is completely unlikeable. She is absolutely horrible to her best friend. She criticizes pretty much everything about Branna from her size to her dress to her disinterest in having a boyfriend. Since Izzie thinks a girl's life is only valid with a boyfriend, she wants to help her in the most awful way possible. Therefore, without her friend's consent, she is going to make her love someone else forever. Great friend. I can't even fathom the arrogance and disregard for everyone around her that goes into making a decision like that. She has no idea who Branna likes, so simply picks someone random who seems nice enough and then tries to tie them together forever. When her potion fails, she just grabs a random bottle out of her mother's cabinet that could be absolutely anything and wants to give it to Branna and unknown boyfriend. I was really hoping Tristan and Mike would drink because that would have been infinitely more interesting and amusing.

Mike is also problematic for me, at least through Izzie's eyes. She sees him as absolutely perfect, which is really boring and unrealistic. No one is perfect no matter how much you love them. In the scene with a classmate using magic to get girls drunk, she threatens to tell Mike to exile him so no one in school will talk to him. I think she's lying or exaggerating. In every school, there are people who don't like the popular and would talk to the "exiled" one just to spite him. Beyond that, he doesn't control everyone in the school and to think he does is ridiculous. Izzie is either incredibly delusional or the author has a very unrealistic view of what high school is like.

Just about every page filled me with rage and indignation. The book isn't well written and does a lot of telling rather than showing. Even the reveal that Izzie's mother worked with magic just made me think she was lying. The rhythm was extremely choppy and really jarred me. I struggled through 50 pages of the book up to when Izzie drinks the potion that ties her to Tristan, but by then I didn't really care about her problems. I didn't care about Izzie and would have been more interested in a story about Branna escaping the creepy, abusive friendship with Izzie. The only thing I enjoyed about the book is the gorgeous cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf Reviews: DNF Thoughts, March 14, 2012
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
I was really excited when I started this book. I loved the idea of a Tristan & Isolde retelling. Sadly this one just did not live up to it's potential. I could not connect with any of the characters. Even for teens they seemed exceptionally naive and showed incredibly poor judgement to the point of being extremely annoying. I just could not relate to them at all and many times I found their actions to be confusing. Harrison didn't always explain very well why they were doing what they were doing...which also increased my frustration. As a reminder, I am a 30-something adult reading some YA. Perhaps this might appeal to a younger audience.

Note: I recieved a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Tris and Izzie by Sarah@Catchingbooks, February 26, 2012
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
When I first heard about this book, I was immediately drawn to the cover! I loved the boy in the girl on the lake, and the colors were beautiful.

Overall, this was a pretty good book but at times it felt very rushed. I wished that the book went at a slower pace because I felt that I could not really keep up.

I did really like the retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde" and thought that it was interesting to see a modern take on this story.

Overall, Tris and Izzie did not live up to my expectations but still was a fun book to read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars skip skip, February 23, 2012
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
Isolde or Izzie has always known her mother was a witch, she didn't know however that she had her own powers. And so she lived the life of an ordinary high school student with a popular boyfriend and a shy bestfriend until she meets Tristan, a mysterious boy who later saves her from an attack and almost dies doing so. Their attraction to each other is too strong, so much so that Izzy mistakes it for a love potion plan that went awry. but they eventually realize the truth, right before facing an ancient enemy that only Izzy can finally destroy.
I have to admit, I had big expectations for Tris and Izzy. I was expecting a good love story and was hoping for a good element of paranomal adventure. It tried to deliver that. However, it did not succeed.
I felt rushed throughout the book. There wasn't really room to breathe in between developments from point A to point B. it felt like the author wanted to put all her immediate ideas into the book, so much so that I failed to sympathize with any of the characters..... It also spelled lack of believability and suspense.... From The nonchalant way that Izzy mentioned Magic, Mark's immediate transfer of affections from Izzy to Brenna, and this after groveling at the hospital when Izzy got hurt, Izzy's realization that she can not live without Tristan, Mark's acceptance about the reality of magic, plus the epilogue which just seemed like rushed closure to the whole story.
Tris and Izzy, the book, does have its moments though. The sweetness between the two main characters as well as the wit of Izzy as she thinks is still something to read. In all though, this book is not something I will pick up again.
If you like books that are light, breezy and easy to read through, then this can be for you. However if you like characters that tug at your heart, then skip this one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as the Original, October 28, 2011
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
First Thoughts:

I loved the original story of Tristan and Isodle and was excited to see a more modern version of it. It was a interesting story in itself, so much happened and the characters in themselves were interesting in themself but I thought this story was too rushed, so much happened so quickly that I really didn't get to let one thing sink in before another thing happened. But other than that it was a fun and fast read.

Summary:

Izzy has the perfect teenager life, she has the perfect boyfriend, she's pretty and she has a best friend that is with her all the time. But soon Tristan shows up and changes everything. When Izzy tries to give a love potion to Tristan and her best friend things go badly, she ends up getting Tristan to fall in love with her. So now she is strung between the two boys and on top of everything her heritage comes to haunt her and Izzy discovers there's more to herself than she ever new, she has elemental powers and her dead fathers enemy is after her. Soon she is in a battle to save her lives and the lives of the people around her. And the most challenging thing yet, untangle the mess of her love life and sort out her feelings...

Last thoughts:

It was a good book overall, 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. I would give this book 3.5 stars, for it's character buildment and storyline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars if you like Arthurian legend, don't bother......, October 15, 2011
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
I have never been so disappointed in a book in my entire life. For reals.

I love Arthurian retellings. I mean really love them. As in, it was Howard Pyle's "King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" that made me a book lover when I was just a wee little thing. Then, in college I picked up Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon" and I have never been the same since. Really.

I have read so many Arthurian retellings, I don't even know where to begin with listing them. I have also read other retellings of the Tristan and Isolde myth. I was so, so, so excited when I saw that this was a modern day twist on the story of Tristan and Isolde. I kept imagining that maybe this book would do for that legend what Meg Cabot had done in "Avalon High".

This book was sooooooooo not Meg Cabot.

Where do I even begin? Izzie was vapid and trite. I hated her. Tristan was flat and uninteresting. The whole magic premise probably could have worked, but it felt like there was no world-building for it. In the original legend, both Tristan and Isolde are so torn apart by their forbidden love and they fear hurting Mark, whom they both love. Here, it was all very middle-school drama. It felt fake.

And please tell me how a giant can attack a school and then one person, who is supposed to not be so powerful anyway is able to erase everyone's memory of it??? Really?

It was impossible to suspend my disbelief in this novel. Much like half-vampire mutant babies in a book that shall remain nameless, there was no set-up here for the reader to be able to buy into the magic. An author has to carefully craft supernatural fiction and this one was not carefully crafted.

Obviously, I finished the book, so there was enough of a plot to keep me going, which is the only reason this book is getting a C-. But it's a very bottom C-. And I'm really being generous with that rating. I kept reading and reading, hoping that I could find some sort of redeeming quality in this book. I hate to give bad reviews, but I just couldn't find anything I liked about this one.

Maybe 7th grade girls who don't know anything about the legends of King Arthur will like this book. But high school girls who are used to having a little more substance to the plotlines would do better to pick up "Avalon High". I also agree with another reviewer that Diana Paxson's "The White Raven" is an excellent re-telling of this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We have been waiting for you., September 24, 2011
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
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Honestly, this book sounded kind of lame. An urban fantasy series that transplants the Tristan and Isolde legend to modern-day teens? Ugh.

However, "Tris and Izzie" turned out to be surprisingly gripping, action-packed, and a rather touching story about a young girl pursued by malevolent magical forces and the mysterious boy who helps her. Mette Ivie Harrison does struggle with the love story (since it relies on love-at-first-sight and a love quadrangle) but otherwise it's a pleasant light urban-fantasy.

Izzie's mother is secretly a witch, but otherwise she has a perfectly normal life -- she goes to Tintagel High, and has an absolutely perfect boyfriend, Mark King. When a mysterious new boy named Tristan transfers into Tintagel, Izzie tries to use an eternal love philter to set him up with her friend Branna. But she accidentally drinks the philter herself. Oops.

Even worse, monsters are suddenly appearing to attack Izzie, claiming that they must kill "magic." Her mother reveals that Izzie is an elemental sorceress, and that the ancient, malevolent serpent that killed her father now wants to destroy her. As her love life falls into ruins, Izzie must master her magic if she has any hope of saving her friends, family... and Tristan.

"Tris and Izzie's" most striking flaw, ironically, is the romance -- Harrison is obviously struggling with the love philtre/love-at-first-sight romance and love quadrangle. Both Branna and Mark have whiplash-inducing changes of personality in less than half an hour, and Tristan's budding romance with Izzie feels somewhat flat until the book's last quarter.

However, it's a fairly entertaining urban fantasy otherwise. Harrison wraps her own plot around the loose framework of "Tristan and Isolde," and peppers the story with references to that -- Curvenal, "black sails," love philtres and stuff.

And once she's unkinked the love knots, Harrison's book is quite charming -- colorful magic, a hidden magical town, and a slightly tongue-in-cheek writing style ("Let me tell you, a naked male giant is not pretty"). And she crams the second half with loads of blazing, chaotic action scenes that are made even more complex because Izzie is still on magical training wheels.

Izzie herself is a likably flawed heroine. While she talks about how girls in love triangles are "worst scum of the earth," she struggles between the sweet, attentive, pleasant guy she thought she was destined for and the guy she feels an instinctive connection to. Harrison's obviously not comfortable with love-at-first-sight, but she does try to address the problems with it.

Tristan takes awhile to be fleshed out beyond "hot old-timey guy with sword," but he does become a more earnest, tragic figure in the last half. Mark is a nice guy who is in over his head at first. Branna is probably the most inconsistent character of all -- she's allegedly Izzie's best friend, but badmouths her behind her back and actively tries to destroy her relationship. And yet we're supposed to LIKE her after she does all that?

"Tris and Izzie" struggles with a love story that the author obviously is uncomfortable with, but she does spin out a pretty entertaining urban fantasy, with wit, magic and a giant evil snake.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre YA Paranormal Filled with Unlikable Characters, October 2, 2011
This review is from: Tris & Izzie (Hardcover)
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Tris and Izzie is a loose interpretation of the Tristan and Isolde tale that is mediocre at best with unlikeable-angst filled teenagers and is set as a 21st Century High School drama that unfortunately falls flat.

WARNING-REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS:

The main character, Izzie, who narrates the story, is so unlikeable, annoying and self-absorbed. She is the daughter of a witch and is herself a witch with a capital "B." She treats her boyfriend, Mark, like crap and he falls all over her like an attention starved puppy. He is an absolute tool and you will see what I mean when you read this. He changes his feelings of undying love from one girl to the next in a matter of hours. Next, we have Branna. She is so angry, nasty and quite possibly the worst friend you will ever want. She literally acts like she has a permanent burning ember sticking out of her rear-end. I don't know if she has multiple personality psychological problems or if it's just her natural horrible every day personality. Boy does she ever set up her "so called best friend." I have not seen best friends like each other this much since the movie "Heathers." Izzie keeps badgering Branna into telling her who she is secretly in love with. It's obvious to the reader who it is, although not to the dimwitted Izzie, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. Lastly, there's Tristan and to be honest, he's not that bad. Why this guy wants Izzie, I'll never understand. Yes, there was the so called love philtre that was meant for Branna they both consumed, Izzie by accident or shear stupidity since she knew what she was drinking to begin with, but she is so horrible to him, yet attracted to him (oh please) at the same time and he eats her crap with a smile. Finally, she realizes her true feelings for him.

THE WORST PART (MAJOR SPOILER-STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW:

Mark, who less than a few hours ago was madly, deeply in love with Izzie, punches her in the face because Branna is gravely injured, not Izzie's fault at all by the way, but Mark is too angry to be rational. Izzie is not even angry about this and as Mark tries to deck her again, Tristan jumps in to stop him and she in turn jumps on the guy trying to protect her, screaming at him not to hurt Mark - really Izzie??? Are you effin serious???

In closing, the story reads like bad fan fiction. It was not well executed and the characters were awful. Unfortunately, I just wished one of the magical creatures trying to track down Izzie would have just decimated the entire town and put me out of my misery. Sadly, this was a few hours of my life wasted that I will never get back. Really the only nice thing I can say about this book is the cover is beautiful. But as the saying goes, "never judge a book by its cover."
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Tris & Izzie
Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison (Hardcover - October 11, 2011)
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