Thursday, April 10, 2014

ARC Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

House of Ivy & Sorrow
Author: Natalie Whipple
Publication: HarperTeen (April 15, 2014)

Description: Transparent author Natalie Whipple is back with another refreshing blend of realistic romance and light-hearted humor with a one-of-a-kind paranormal touch. Fans of Charmed, Kiersten White's Paranormalcy trilogy, and Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys won't want to miss this spellbinding contemporary tale of magic, first love, and high-stakes danger.

Jo Hemlock is not your typical witch. Outside the walls of her grandmother's ivy-covered house, she's kept her magical life completely separate from her life in high school. But when the Curse that killed her mother resurfaces, it threatens to destroy not only her life but her grandmother's too—and keeping her secret may no longer be an option.

My Thoughts: HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW was an excellent story about magic, love, and friendship. Jo Hemlock is the only surviving Hemlock witch besides her grandmother. She lost her mother to a Curse that has been killing witches for generations.

When her grandmother is Cursed, Jo has to do all she can to find a way to break the Curse. Assisting her are her best friends, non-witches, Beth and Kat. She is also aided by a mysterious boy named Levi that she really can't trust and by her boyfriend Winn who is also keeping secrets from her.

I loved the combination of everyday teenage life with the well-developed system of witchcraft that Ms. Whipple developed. In this theory, all magic is potentially black magic and the only difference is in the witch. Will she control the magic or be consumed by it? And only women have magic. It is passed down from mother to daughter. Witches don't marry. And all magic has costs.

When Jo's father finds her grandmother and her, Jo begins to learn about her mother's relationship with him. Of course, he was sent by the evil magician who wants to kill all the Hemlocks and drink their magic.

This story was engaging and the characters were well-drawn. Fans of magic, friendship, and romance will really enjoy this title.

Favorite Quote:
Normal people tend to think magic comes from inside a person. That's partially true. Witches can store magic in their bodies, but without a source to replenish that power they lose it. Magic&mdash:real, pure magic—is in places. It seeps into the ground, grows in the plants, lives in the objects that inhabit its realm.
I got this book for review from HarperTeen via Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I really thought this was a fun book. And I liked how the witches had to PAY if they used magic. Like you said, the magic system was very well developed. But, I didn't get a dark feeling from this one. I thought it was great!

  2. I love witch-centered stories, but tend to be pretty picky about it, after all the witch-related story lines that let me down.


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