I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Published by HarperTeen on April 15th, 2014
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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.
The House of Ivy and Sorrow is the first book I have read by Natalie Whipple and I thought it was a very interesting take on witches.
Jo has grown up with everyone talking about her grandmother and how she is a witch, but only Jo knows it the truth because they are witches. They are the Hemlock line and are very powerful witches. There are no light and dark witches as all magic is dark, but it’s how you use your magic. If you let the darkness consume you then you will use your magic for darker means.
For some reason someone has targeted the Hemlocks and Jo’s mother was cursed when Jo was little and she died. Now that same person has come back and it wants not only Jo but her Nana too. It wants everything the Hemlocks have and the more that Nana and Jo dig into things to try and figure out who it is the more surprising things they find out. Somebody has been practicing some really ugly dark consuming magic and it will take everything Jo has to keep her family and her friends safe.
Jo was an interesting character but sometimes a little naive for someone who has grown up around magic. When her cousin suggest they go through a door that will send them to Georgia she was surprised about it, but it’s not like some doesn’t know about doorways. Besides being a witch she is pretty much your average teenager and has some of that teenage angst going on. Things get pretty intense for her but she really steps up and becomes the witch that her Nana always knew she could be and I found her to be a likable character.
I enjoyed the side characters as her friends Kat and Gwen were pretty cool friends through everything. Winn who is Jo’s boyfriend was that hot guy every girl drools over. Levi was pretty cool even though you were not really sure at times if he was good or bad and I really felt sorry for him in the end.
I really liked the concept of the witches in The House of Ivy and Sorrow because they aren’t those cutsy witches but they are a bit darker. Everything they do in magic comes with a price and sometimes it’s not an easy price to pay. I still cringe thinking about Kat pulling out her own fingernail for binding spell and Jo having to cut a piece of her own flesh off..eww. I do think I would have liked the over all story to be a bit darker, but that being said I still enjoyed the story.
I think if you are into witches that you might enjoy this book and I would recommend it to those who like paranormal YA novels.