“I don’t want him to love me because of a potion,” she said.
Izzie loves Mark, and why shouldn’t she? As the captain of the basketball team, he is kind and loving and he’s everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. Her BFF loves . . . somebody, but she won’t say who. So when a hot new guy, Tristan, shows up at school, who better for Izzie to fix up her friend[LL1] with? And what better way to do it than with a love philtre?
But even the best of magic has a way of going awry—and Izzie finds she’s accidentally fallen in love with Tristan herself. And that’s a problem. First of all, there’s Mark. Second, Tristan comes with baggage—like the supernatural creatures that keep attacking whenever he’s with Izzie, and the fact that he comes from the place where Izzie’s father was killed, years ago, by an enormous, evil serpent that’s still around—and it knows Izzie is out there.
Like Mettie Ivie Harrison’s The Princess and the Hound, praised by Orson Scott Card as “powerful, surprising, moving, and deep—a classic,” Tris and Izzie rings the changes on a timeless legend, this time in a contemporary high school setting.
The beginning of the story starts off well, off. Everything in Izzie’s life is too perfect, her relationship with Mark, her happiness with life in general. Not your typical teenager, that’s for sure. I don’t feel like I’m a part of the story, I feel like the story is being told and I’m watching it happen but I don’t connect with any of the characters.
The scene with Mel at the beginning of the story with the wine bottle made me roll my eyes. The author doesn’t explain why Izzie and Branna cared one way or the other about Mel using his magic wine bottle. The whole situation was, meh.
I can’t say that I was a fan of the way that this story was told. I never once felt like I was a part of the story, I felt like the author was talking at me instead of to me and because of that, I never once connected with any of the characters. I found Izzie to be annoying throughout the entire story and when we finally meet Tristan, I never once felt that immediate pull that I usually do to the love interests in the books that I read. I was bummed because I was so looking forward to reading this book and when I finally did, it didn’t live up to the hype that I built around it in my head.
My main gripe was the main character, Izzie. She was a self absorbed little crap head who thought that her best friend Branna couldn’t possibly be happy since she didn’t have a boyfriend. So in an effort to make her BFF happy, she goes about trying to get a love potion for Branna and the boy of her dreams so that Branna can be as blissfully happy as Izzie is with Mark.
This, dear readers is where this story went downhill for me. Izzie talks to her Mom about the love potion and her Mom (who’s a witch) tells her that messing with those kinds of things are dangerous because it takes away people’s choice and that’s not anything you want a part of. It’s good advice, Izzie’s Mom gives but does Izzie listen?
Of course not.
She still goes through with the love potion (which she calls something else, but I forget- filter, philtre, something like that) and ends up drinking the potion herself instead of Branna so her plan to get her best friend and the new hot guy (who she was rude to) together blows up in her face. I could go on and on about how much I didn’t like Izzie. She just wasn’t a likable character and with her being the main character, the rest of the story just fell flat on its face for me. I couldn’t find anything that I enjoyed about it and really, I just wanted to finish the book so that I could move on to another book because this one just wasn’t my cup of tea.
The one thing that kept reading until the end was Tristan. I was interested in him from the moment he came onto the scene and Izzie shows us all just how stupid and mean she really is. I wanted to know more about him and to be honest, he’s the only reason why I kept reading this book. With Tristan, his whole personality just seemed off compared to everyone else in Izzie’s life (Mark, Branna, etc..) so I just knew that something was up with him. I wasn’t interested in him because he had this strong appeal or anything, mostly I was interested in him because he was so strange. Good looking, yeah but weird. As the book wore on and the story starts to really unfold, I couldn’t say that things got better. Izzie continued to get on my freaking nerves and the rest of the characters didn’t stand out for me. They were all pretty two dimensional characters that didn’t add anything to the story.
One of the things that drew me to this book was I thought this book would be a re-telling of the story Tristan & Isolde but I couldn’t see it. I think the only things that are the same are the names of the characters but that’s where it all stops. I never read the old stories but I did watch the movie and enjoyed it. That story was epic and I felt the love that Tristan and Isolde had for each other when I was watching that movie. The same couldn’t be said for this book. The romance between Tristan and Izzie never popped for me and that was just one more thing to be disappointed in with this book.
Overall, this was such a disappointing read. I went into this book with such high hopes but I didn’t feel like the author ever delivered anything. We have a self absorbed, snotty main character who isn’t likable at all and though we see her grow throughout the book, I didn’t feel like it was enough to redeem her in my eyes. The best I could say about Izzie was by the end of the book, I didn’t hate her but I didn’t exactly want to be her friend either.
..and that’s your scoop!
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com