Review: Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

Tris and Izzie Book Cover Tris and Izzie
Mette Ivie Harrison

Izzie loves Mark. He’s the perfect boyfriend: kind and loving and handsome, and he’s captain of the basketball team. Meanwhile, Izzie’s friend Branna 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 love philtres are tricky, and Izzie finds she’s accidentally fallen in love with Tristan herself. And that’s a problem. First of all, there’s Mark, and second, there are the supernatural creatures that keep attacking whenever Tristan is around. It’s bad enough she has two guys and Branna has none, now Izzie has to fight for her life?


My husband is probably getting ready to banish me from our living room. The poor guy is trying to kick back and watch TV after a long day at work, but I’m not making it easy for him. Every time he starts to relax, I unintentionally disturb the peace by grumbling to myself and exclaiming, “Are you kidding me?” and “Wow, I can’t believe she’s such an idiot!” while shaking Tris and Izzie in disgust.

I’d say Tris and Izzie exasperated me from beginning to end, but I didn’t actually make it to the end. The sheer absurdity of this book led me to call it quits around the midway mark.

The problems with this novel begin early on. One of the things that turned me off is how Harrison casually tosses outrageous revelations and occurrences into the story, with no apparent attempt at making the transitions seem natural. For example, in the very beginning Izzie and her best friend Branna are walking through the halls of their high school, chatting about GPAs, dating, and other run-of-the-mill topics. Then, in the midst of this oh-so-average high school scene, Harrison casually drops the line, “Branna knew my mom was a witch,” completely throwing me off. It was so abrupt and nonchalant, and it didn’t really fit.

This just kept happening. Two-headed dogs, giants, bizarre relationship twists, and unnecessary truth serums pop up at random, resulting in a story that feels goofy and disjointed.

Another reason I couldn’t bring myself to finish Tris and Izzie is that the titular characters annoyed the heck out of me. Izzie is a nincompoop with a habit of slapping people across the face (again, so random), and Tristan is nothing but a pretty boy with a woefully stilted manner of speaking. His most amusing line, (“Mark, could I offer to fetch some refreshments for the group?”), delivered during a homecoming football game, had me rolling my eyes and grumbling loudly enough to cause my husband to give me the hairy eyeball.

The whole thing is so annoying and overdone that I had no choice but to set it aside. I love the legend of Tristan and Isolde, but not enough to keep reading this version of the story.

2 thoughts on “Review: Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

  1. I’d heard that this was just…a huge mess haha! Have you read any of her other books? Her book The Princess and the Hound was actually really great (if you like fairy tale things. It’s not a retelling, but it’s very much in the style of. Kind of like some of Shannon Hale’s books?) In any case, even though this was AWFUL, don’t write her off forever! (…unless that genre isn’t your thing, in which case, by all means do haha)

    • I’m glad to hear you liked The Princess and the Hound. I’d thought it sounded good but had been wary of reading it after my experience with Tris and Izzie. Sounds like I should give it a try, though, especially since I love fairy tale-type books – they’re my favorites. 🙂

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