Release Date: April 15, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
My frustration with this book is too much to handle so I’m going to try and get straight to the point here.
House of Ivy and Sorrow’s first fault is in the writing. Being someone who hasn’t read Natalie Whipple before, I had no idea to expect, but I certainly had no idea how juvenile her tone is. As I fourteen year old, I feel pretty insulted that this is labelled Young Adult. THIS IS NOT YA. THIS IS MG. This being YA means this should also be suited for eighteen years olds; I seriously cannot imagine someone that age, reading this without barfing up the excessiveness of fluff that engulfed this book. Even I wanted to barf up a rainbow of stupidity that entered my brain as I consumed this. In addition, the author does not bother to make her witch lore intricate–it’s the typical same old structure as every other witch book out in the world, yet the writing just makes it seem even worse.
Secondly, I’d like to mention how misleading this title is. I was talking to a fellow book bloggy friend (Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction) and the conversation goes like this:
This made me realise something. This book wasn’t remotely sad, creepy, dark or any other word that comes to mind when you mention words like ivy or sorrow. I mean seriously, just have a think for a second, what do those words remind you of? If you didn’t answer with words such as: overly fluffy, fairies and ponies, sparkly magic, you are correct. Because House of Ivy and Sorrows had not the slightest dark element that was intensifying or made me sit at the edge of my seat. Instead, like I aforementioned, I wanted to puke because it was TOO FLUFFY AND CHILDISH.
And of course, we have a Mary freaking Sue main character. Meet Josephine: once ugly but now the prettiest bitch of the herd, smart, has loyal friends, hottest guy at school who dated an older girl was actually in love with her the whole time and is a witch with special powers. And later, another dude shows up and love triangle crap starts to hint it’s way through. BUT BUT BUT the romance (thankfully) was not a main aspect in this book. BUT BUT BUT there wasn’t much of a plot either. THEREFORE nothing happened in this book. MEANING that this book was pointless. ALSO MEANING that I am hugely disappointment and crying because I have once again read a mediocre crap novel.
Pretty much every person who has read a lot of books, gets sick of romance (since it’s in almost every bloody novel these days). So it’s always a relief to hear that there’s a strong friendship aspect! All except for this one. The friendship in this book also contributed to why I wanted to puke my intestines and all other internal organs out. I love the fluff, but I hate it when the author goes overboard. This group of girls are full on all over each other, being absolutely melodramatic and not very 17 year oldery at all. If I wasn’t told their ages, I would have easily passed these girls off as hormonal 10 year olds. No kidding.
And as a last quibble out of the serveral other ones that I can’t even get bothered to mention now, the way things were handled. If there was a complication in this book, it took a blink for the solution to come. Talk about an easy cop out and cementing my reasoning that this is actually meant to be a MG novel.
And Happy 1st day of April everyone! Alas, this review was not an April fool so if you’re going to read this, don’t think that I didn’t try so hard to convince you otherwise.
~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~
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