Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow, Natalie Whipple

June 2, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★½

Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow, Natalie WhippleHouse of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple
Published by HarperTEEN on April 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository

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 really had fun with this one! I’m not sure if it was because it reminded me so much of the TV show Charmed and I had fond nostalgia throughout my reading experience, or if it was just the right mix of action, wit and mystery – either way I was hooked and read the entire thing over a couple of days.

The story centres around Josephine Hemlock a 17 year old girl who is also a witch.  She lives with her grandmother in a small town hiding from the curse that has killed her mother and so many other witches in a particularly gruesome and horrible manner.  After a strange man arrives at Josephine’s doorstep looking for her mother one day, Josephine soon gets swept up in the mystery surrounding her mothers murder and with the help of her 2 bff’s she’s determined to get to the bottom of things and protect herself and her nan from the curse forever.

I’m going to start by saying that there is nothing really unique or new about this story.  Everything has been done before and perhaps at times it was a little cliché of the genre.  While this will no doubt annoy some, I found it warm and comforting and the familiarity allowed me to just enjoy the characters and the dialogue. The characters were all fun and there was a lot of witty conversations between them all.  I enjoyed Josephine she was a spunky sweet heroine and while Winn was a bit flat as a love interest they still had a good spark between them.  The extra layer included between Josephine and her father was also a great side story that helped round out the central plot and mystery.

The heart of this story was the relationship between the main characters they really showed a strength of loyalty and commitment to family.  You really got the message that they stick by one another and not just those related by blood but in this story the saying that friends are the family you choose for yourself definitely rings true.

I think this book makes a great summer read especially as its as stand alone so there is no commitment here with sequels and years of waiting for the remainder of the story.  Providing you don’t expect intricate story lines and plot twists I think you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

three-half-stars – Fun paranormal romance about witches and friendship

Email | Goodreads | | Twitter | Instagram Philippa lives in Brisbane, Australia with her partner and two daughters. She is an avid reader and reviewer of Young Adult literature as well as being a student midwife, closet geek, procrastibaker and coffee addict.

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