Sunday, May 4, 2014

House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

**Thank you HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! 

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.

I don't know how to even begin this review. *sigh*

I enjoyed it. There is a good storyline with the witches and the magic. (Even though the payment for magic made me squirm a few times.) The back story of the Hemlock witches and the witches in general I found to be very interesting. But I wasn't just head over heels for it. I felt that it all had so much more potential. Almost like the book was scratching the surface of an epic story but it just needed to keep digging a little harder. I don't even know if that makes sense to anyone but it's the best way I can explain it. 

There were a lot of really good scenes in this book. Ones that would really have me engrossed and thinking "here we go, this is what I like". I would get excited and be on the verge of feeling like something angst-y or climatic might happen on for it to get about midways and then just stay there. *sigh* But then the characters would act as if something climatic had happened and I'm over her thinking "that was so anticlimactic". I just wanted to FEEL more!!

A lot of the relationship in this book really made me like it though. I loved Jo and Nana's relationship. I also loved the friendship portrayed of Jo, Gwen, and Kat. The sacrifices they all make during this story were insanely awesome and I don't know if I can honestly say if I could ever be that great of a friend. One relationship I didn't care for was Jo and Winn's. I just wasn't a fan. I didn't find it believable at all, and I'm a REALLY tough sell when it comes to romance story lines. One thing I can say though is that their relationship in no way overshadowed the main story in this book so it didn't take away too much for me.

My favorite part of House of Ivy and Sorrow was the magic. It was very detailed and vivid. We were told all the dirty details and even the gruesome sacrifices. I loved that this magic wasn't something like in other books where they were all just going around with a magic wand but had to sacrifice things to use their magic. I didn't care to see them using "flashy magic" and they didn't.

I also want to mention Levi. I really would have loved for him to be a bigger part of the book. I feel like we were meant to feel like he was super important but it wasn't displayed. He was here and there but instead of feeling like he was an important role I was just told he was which saddens me because his character has so much potential.  

Overall it was a quick read; I enjoyed it for the most part I just felt that it could have delivered SO much more. If you have read it and loved it please leave your review links or thoughts for others.

♥♥♥ 1/2


  1. I'm glad that even you weren't blown away by it, you still enjoyed it!
    The way magic was handled here, along with the relationship between Jo, Gwen and Kat were also my fave parts of the book!
    Great review, Crystal!

  2. I was a bit let down by this one truth be told. I had some grand expectations because of that summary, cover and title. I wanted a bit more depth and for it to be even darker. I did enjoy aspects though and found it entertaining. I wished Levi was a bigger part too. Great review!

  3. I've never been that interested in reading this one. There's just something about it that doesn't stand out to me. Books that don't reach their full potential are so disappointing. :( I also don't like books that make me wanting to feel more. They tend to get boring.

    I like the idea of the friendship and the magic in this book, but it's still not calling my attention.

    Great review, Crystal. :)


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