Tris and Izzie
by Mette Ivie Harrison
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 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.
I love Arthurian legends, so when I heard that this was a re-telling of Tristan and Isolde I jumped at the chance to read it. Tristan and Isolde was never one of my favorite stories, but I was very interested in how an author would modernize it. I must say that Mette Ivie Harrison did a good job of keeping to the original in many ways while making it much less depressing. I liked how she worked all the names and places into the story. In many other ways, though, she failed completely. The characters are just as idiotic as they were in the original.
Izzie was an irritating heroine. I wanted to yell at her many times because she was just so stupid, especially at the beginning. She is in a steady, solid relationship with Mark, who is a great guy and possibly my favorite character in the story. She is so oblivious to her best friend's feelings that she tries to give her and the new boy, Tristan, a love philter. Of course, she messes this up and ends up taking it herself. I could sympathize with her fighting the effects of the potion, but she still ended up treating Mark terribly.
Tristan was not a very interesting hero. He was naive and not very believable. The romance in this book was weird, with couples breaking up and switching around in a matter of minutes, even without the interference of a love potion. The abrupt changes left me unsatisfied; the characters were too quick to recover from heartbreak. It would have been better if there had been a little more development when it came to the main character's relationships.
Content Ratings: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).
I rate it a 1.10. There was no swearing but one of the characters flipped someone off.
I give it a 1.10 for brief admiration of a nice rear and a nude giant.
I give it a 6.10 for murder, attempted murder and a few fights with fantasy creatures.