Monday, 17 March 2014

ARC Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

House of Ivy & SorrowHouse of Ivy and Sorrow

Author: Natalie Whipple
Series: -
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: 15th April 2014

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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.

Review: 3 out of 5 stars

I really love the premise of this book, everything to do with witches and magic appeals to me so I literally devoured House of Ivy & Sorrow as soon as I received it but I have to admit I do feel it would be suited to the younger YA audience.

Josephine Hemlock is from a family of witches and is protected by her grandmother from a mysterious curse that killed her mother. Jo tries to be a normal teen by having fun with her friends and trying to win the heart of the boy she likes which doesn’t come easily with an interfering meddling grandmother.

Jo was a interesting character with a realistic yet young voice, she was witty and protective of those closest to her; when a man comes to town with darkness following him it’s up to Jo to work out his purpose, protect her bloodline and find a way to break the family curse. It was a mysterious and intriguing plot which flowed well; it was a lot more lighthearted than what I was expecting but enjoyable none the less.

The romance is not at the forefront of the story but I liked Winn, he made for a nice love interest and I was surprised by the secrets he too was hiding but I would have liked to have had more page time with him to get to know more about him.

Natalie Whipple’s writing is simplistic and engaging, the details she gives allows us to envision what is happening – a magic spell and the description left me cringing at times. Each of the characters are interesting enough and although there were a few over the top moments from a few of them they are each believable in their actions and reactions as teens.

Overall, I enjoyed the characters, the witchy magic and the way the author showed the strength and love of family and friends interwoven in to a captivating story of magic and power.

I will definitely read more books written by Natalie Whipple, I'm not sure if this book is a part of a series but I can definitely see it becoming one.


Thank-you to Harper Teen for the opportunity to read and review House of Ivy & Sorrow.


Natalie WhippleAbout the author: 

Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption. 

She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, Pho, and “real” ramen.

16 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderful! I really don't read that many books involving witches and I can't take my eyes from the cover, so pretty!

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    1. Isn't it wonderful Mandee! I'm a sucker for a pretty cover.

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  2. I'm a sucker for a great title and a pretty cover, so I already had my eye on this book. And reading you're review I realized that I at least need to pretend to interested in more than that, LOL, b/c I didn't even know it was about witches (I love witchy stories too). Maybe I did at some point, but forgot. Anyway, it sounds really good and I'm especially happy about the well-developed characters to go with the witchy story. Great review!

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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    1. I'm with you Jessica! I'd buy this for the cover alone. I read this one a while back now and I remember for a YA magic/witchy book it had depth and was an easy read. I hope you get a chance to read it.

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  3. This sounds like an excellent witchy read; I'm glad to hear that there were a lot of aspects of this book that you enjoyed. And, the cover is definitely a looker, thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Thanks Carmel! I was just reading your blog post 'Do You Ever Forget' and I'm embarrassed to admit I read this one in August last year and my memory has gone blank *embarrassing*.

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  4. I have this coming up in my arc pile and look forward to it. The witchy aspect is what drew me so I am glad to see you enjoyed this one Sharon :)

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    1. I can't wait to see what you thought Kimba! :-)

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  5. I'll probably be reading this one later this week and I'm very excited to hear that you enjoyed it, Sharon. It sounds fantastic and Jo sounds like a lovely MC. I'm glad that the romance is not at the forefront.
    Lovely review!

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    1. Thanks Nick! I can't wait to hear what you think :-)

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  6. Damn, I think I passed on this one but after reading the summary and your review, it sounds like something I would like.

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    1. Oh shame Nereyda! I hope you still get a chance to read it.

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  7. I've been dissapointed so much with books dealing with magic recently that i've thought about staying away from this one. I don't know how i feel about it yet, i'm glad you enjoyed it but i think i may stay away. Still debating!
    Lily

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    1. I completely understand Lily, I have read a few magic/witchy books since this one and they have been extremely disappointing; they seem to be hit or miss.

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    1. I hhopeyou get a chance to Tea :-) I'd love to hear what you think.

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