Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow

House of Ivy & Sorrow

Publication Date: April 15th 2014
~A copy was provided by HarperTeen and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review~

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.


I was pleasantly surprised with The House of Ivy and Sorrow, after Transparency, which let's say, I hated didn't really like all that much. Probably since it was being compared to X-Men, and it didn't even come close, and I'm very protective of X-Men. It's serious, okay?  And since The House of Ivy and Sorrow had nothing to even remotely to do with that, what the hell?
And I enjoyed it. (I know.)

In a way, it really reminded me of Charmed, it had that feel and atmosphere to it, don't get me wrong, it's not Charmed, and besides that feeling of comradeship and family, and potions, it is different. There was a shaky bit in the beginning where I thought I wasn't going to like it, but it proves that sometimes if you carry on, you'll find yourself actually loving it. It's not a heavy read, and didn't have much weight to it, which is why it's not a perfect rating.
IIt had this overall light feeling to it, fun and cutesy, especially moments with Winn, and in that way, also reminds me of, you know that film Twitches with Tia &Tamera Mowry (that I only just found out was a book series. You learn something new everyday, people) It has that fun comic feeling, which was refreshing to read. Especially the magic and witchy part of it, it's pretty unique in itself. It's not to do with magic and power as such as they create and pull magic from the earth, a place, instead of having the magic already there inside you. If they brew a potion, or use magic for a spell, their magic drains and they have to replenish it. It's not this endless supply.

And, to be absolutely cheesy, it definitely Charmed me. (I'm so imaginative.)
The characters were charismatic and solid, you could really sense the character's relationships, especially our main character, Josephine and her grandmother, who helped raise her, who brought her up after her mother died. It was nice to see an actual positive relationship with a parent figure, since we all know how most YA like to play out. Then there's the relationship with her best friends, Kate and Gwen, though being side-characters, they were present and very much there, yes we didn't get to know them as much as I wanted, well, we didn't get to know them too much all, but they didn't seem flat. They had flare. In some places I wanted there to be just...something else there.

In some revelations, things just felt too easy, especially when it came to Joseph, I expected that to be when things got a little more serious, a little more emotion, a little more depth.  So, it lacked that extra little thing that could've made a lot of difference. Besides that, I really did like Josephine, she's a likeable person....I wouldn't call her stupid in the beginning, but more naive and stubborn, since a whole lot of the little annoying things in the plot could've been sorted out a lot sooner.
Speaking of, again, the plot itself needed a little more, too. There was so much build-up and so much fear to create the intensity of the it, that it fell flat on the outcome. One minute things were hopeless and the next it got sorted rather coincidentally and quickly. Things magically sorted into place and the end.

While I did enjoy House of Ivy and Sorrow, and I loved some aspects that were refreshing to its genre, and with a charismatic characters, it lacked the something that could've made it great.

Rating: 3.5/5