Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison


Tris & Izzie
 by Mette Ivie Harrison

Pages: 272
Publisher: Egmont USA
Published: October 11th, 2011
IBSN: 9781606841730

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.

As soon as I found out there was an upcoming retelling of Tristan & Isolde, I added it to my wishlist. I was crazy-excited for this one, but was actually disappointed.

The writing style was simplistic and not particularly engaging. The basic language seemed to evoke a young, naive voice from our main character, which didn't help me at all warm to her.

The characters' personalities were annoyingly extreme, and their actions much the same. Their interactions and dynamics felt unnatural, like actors hired to play characters that they weren't given any background on. This was especially obvious as the characters play Musical Chairs but with love interests in lieu of chairs.

The major complication came with a strong sense of deja vu. In Tris & Izzie, Izzie discovers she has powers in elemental magic inexplicably stronger than anyone's ever seen before. A giant, evil serpent which terrorises Tintagel -- the home of magic wielders -- is sending monsters to kill her because of her talent, so she and Tristan go to fight him with her untrained but apparently strong magic skills.

The villain was that classic overconfident and mouthy guy who says things like "stupid humans!" and has no real motive. But what I found more annoying than that was that our main character had little motive to travel so far from her comfort zone and slay a beast tormenting people she doesn't know in a place she's never been to. She was irritatingly Mary Sue-esque.

Overall, Tris & Izzie is something I'd recommend to people who aren't phased by cliches and not to people who enjoyed the movie.

I give Tris & Izzie a 1 out of 5.