I received this book for free from ARC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
Published by HarperTeen on April 15th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
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.
Ms. Whipple I will never forgive you for what you have done to me with House of Ivy & Sorrow! NEVER! I mean sweet goodness gracious you couldn’t have warned me first?! Couldn’t have eased me into it?! No. You just had to throw me head first into the deep end of the pool and “hope” that I could swim! Luckily I swim very well.
Before I thoroughly pour my soul into this review I think that I should tell you all that House of Ivy & Sorrow is my FIRST young adult witch story. You heard me! This is my very first YA witch story and I think it’s safe to assume that I am forever ruined from YA witch stories thank’s to this book!
Seriously, I have no clue how any other book within that genre/spectrum will stack up but House of Ivy & Sorrow is one hard act to follow!
I actually started House of Ivy & Sorrow by accident. My kid was taking a nap so I figured I could squeeze in a little reading. If you use the kindle app to read your ARC’s you know how they don’t import the covers (which is so fudging stupid!) so I clicked on this thinking it was something else. Read three sentenced and was HOOKED! I read for the entire hour the little one was asleep and then when she finally went to bed that night I stayed up till 1:20am just to finish. I couldn’t put it down! I loved the plot, the characters, the WORLD! It was crazy to think that all the action and suspense happening within this book took place in IOWA! IOWA!? Whipple made an engaging and mesmerizing world out of IOWA!
Who knew that was even possible? And if that isn’t enough please sit down and relax while I convince you that you do indeed need to pre-order your copy.
Quick question. How often have you read a YA paranormal book in which the heroine is shut away with her deep dark secret because developing friends or relationships could “endanger” them? All of them? Um hm. And how often have you read a YA paranormal book in which the heroine is a spineless twit that freezes up when her “powers/abilities” are needed most, causing some random swoon worthy guy to swoop in and save the day? 98% of them you say? Um hmm. Well it lifts my heart to say NOT IN THIS BOOK! Not only is Jo (Josephine) a smart, level headed, strong, resourceful and cool witch she is perfectly capable of breaking out a can of whoop ass all on her own. From our very first introduction to Jo (page one) I knew I was going to love her. She was your typical 17 year old girl who thought about typical 17 year old girl stuff but she also was a powerful with that was smart enough to know when to push and when to bend. But Whipple didn’t focus just on Jo. Every character was a huge asset to the story and genuinely helped the reader connect! Jo’s best friends Gwen & Kat were the kind of friends you see on 90’s tv shows. They we’re the Kenan & Kel. The Helga & Phoebe. The Tommy & Chuckie! And even when Jo started dating Win (whom I approve of) they were still amazing friends and NOTHING changed about this trio.
Not going to lie, the plot was amazing! While there were some parts I was able to guess, it was still a very original concept and gripping story. I wanted to know what would happen next. I NEEDED to know who the villain was. I craved the knowledge of who was worthy of trust vs who needed to die a slow painful death. It had the appropriate amount of twist and turns without boring me and most importantly it was something totally new within the YA genre.
Bad guys (:<
I “could” have put the bad guys with the characters but they truly deserve their own spotlight! I can’t say much but let me tell you….
And the cherry on top of this delicious sundae? The pièce de résistance? THERE IS NO LOVE TRIANGLE. That’s right peeps. A YA book without a love triangle. Let the choir say AHMEN and pre-order!