House of Ivy & Sorrow

House of Ivy & Sorrow

by Natalie Whipple


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062120182
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 880,882
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Natalie Whipple loves testing new concoctions in the kitchen, and sometimes pretends she's actually mixing potions instead. Her food has yet to curse anyone, which she supposes is a good thing. Along with cooking, Natalie loves anime, kdrama, drawing, and exercising (so she can eat more food). She lives in Utah with her three kids and husband.

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House of Ivy & Sorrow 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Natalie's Transparent last year, so when I saw her release was about witchcraft and curses I had to pick it up! I'm glad I did because I thought this was a fun read. Pacing: I thought this was pretty well-paced. I was engaged and curious about the witchcraft, lore, and history that Whipple has created. I do feel the climax was a bit... anticlimactic and wish we had gotten a little bit more. Storyline: I enjoyed the premise of this one. It was pretty linear and even though it didn't have a ton of twists and turns, there were a few thrown in I didn't see coming. I enjoyed the characters, even when they were acting a bit unrealistic, and while this wasn't an overly unique storyline, I did still like how Whipple incorporated witchcraft, the Curse, and the different bloodlines of witches. I did feel some of the characters' reactions to Jo's being a witch were a little understated. They were pretty accepting and it didn't even phase them as to some of the things they had to do to ensure their loyalty. There were a few points I felt overwhelmed by all of the information we were receiving particularly when it came to the histories. Characters: I have to admit, while I liked the characters, I did feel they came across as a bit juvenile. I enjoyed Jo overall. I thought she was sweet and I loved the lengths she would go to protect the ones she loved from the Curse. She is completely head over heels for Winn, who has recently broken up with his girlfriend. Their relationship starts off a bit humorous as they can never seem to quite get it together. Jo is constantly interrupted by her grandmother or having to run off to ensure her safety because of the Curse. They do finally get it together, but Winn knows more than he lets on about Jo's world- but to what extent, Jo does not know. Winn was a pretty good love interest. I did think he was a bit possessive of Jo, for only having dated for a short amount of time, but I think he genuinely cares about her and wants to protect her from harm. That made him more endearing to me. Jo's best friends Kat and Gwen were also important characters, due to the unfolding events in Jo's life. They are good friends to her and more than prove their worth to Jo and her family. Levi is one of those characters that I didn't know what to do with. You think about him one way, but then realize there's more there than what's at face value. He was definitely mysterious. While I feel like his character played an important role, I do think some of his feelings towards Jo felt a bit unnatural and forced to me. There's not a whole lot to say about the characters, but I feel that is because of my lack of attachment to them. This is more of a plot-driven story, so I did feel the relationships between characters could have been more developed. Final Thoughts: There's not a lot I can say without spoiling this book. At face value, it's a cute read. If you're looking for a darker spin on witchcraft you won't get that here. The plot, while predictable, didn't really offer very much depth, but again- I still enjoyed it for what it was. While I wasn't wowed by this one, I still felt it was an engaging read and I'm glad I picked it up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SaraHerbalParenting More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun read! Natalie Whipple did a fantastic job with keeping me entertained! I loved the 'sisterhood' theme to it and the idea that  only women are magical.
chelseyoettinger More than 1 year ago
I honestly don't even have words to describe just how much I loved this book. Quite honestly, it is in the running for my favorite read of 2014, it was just that good. The combination of magic, witches, family, mysterious secrets, hilarious characters, and a fascinating plot kept me on the edge of my seat for a day and a half, about how long it took me to finish! I seriously could not turn the pages fast enough. What I loved was that it's about witches and magic, but it's not crazy dark like a lot of YA out now. I do enjoy darker things, but this book was a breath of fresh, magical air, and I never wanted it to end. I also enjoyed the strong family aspect, something I think YA needs more of. Jo is so close to her grandmother, and I loved their connection that could outlast any evil magic in the world. I'm already planning on rereading this book very, very soon... I miss the world and the characters SO MUCH!! If you love a taste of magic, strong family bonds, and a romance to root for, then House of Ivy and Sorrow is the book for you. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Booksalamode More than 1 year ago
Wahoo!!!! I finished this lovely book. House Of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple was a " magical read." Not going to lie it did take me a little bit to get into this book but after I was in I was hooked.   Fast-paced, and full of dark magic!!! There is a small love triangle and even know Levi *spoiler* wasn't her pick I will pick him. He was an all around character and I wish he would have his own short story. Family and Friends are a big part in Josephine Hemlock life so when a magical curse is placed on a loved  one she try's to get to the bottom of it. With the help of friend , a few new family members  and "enemies" can she bring down this curse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
girlandhernook More than 1 year ago
Oh how I enjoyed this book. It had witches! Character development! Friendships! Romance! Teens being teens! Josephine Hemlock comes from a family of female witches that has been spoiled by the Curse, something that is out to destroy the Hemlock bloodline. I say female witches because men never last in the family. Through use of brilliant flashbacks, Whipple shows us Josephine’s parents together and happy and shows us how it didn’t work. Which doesn’t only satisfy the reader, but also Josephine who begins to understand her parents better. The book takes place during a time Josephine is in love with the cute boy of school, who of course has secrets of his own. Thankfully they aren’t the typical secrets and are an excellent twist in the novel. Not only does Josephine deal with the adorable boy, she also has to deal with her mother’s killer who is out to get not only her, but also her grandmother, one of the last people she has in her life that mean the world to her. When her grandmother falls horribly ill, Josephine learns who she can count on in her time of need. Her two friends are there for her and ultimately become her family when she needs them the most and it was a beautiful thing to see. Often in YA novels girls are catty and hate each other and this wasn’t like it at all. While Josephine has some moments with her friends (and understandably who doesn’t? I’m 25 and still have moments with my friends. Mostly HOW DO YOU NOT SEE THIS IS PISSING ME OFF AND I AM BARELY KEEPING IT TOGETHER. But I digress). Her relationship with Kat and Gwen were so authentic and I really enjoyed reading that. What I also enjoyed in this novel is how Josephine grew. While she always embraced herself and her family heritage, when things changed, and not always for the better, she worked through it. Not once did I want to shake her and/or slap her. Okay that’s a lie, there was that one time, but to be fair, there is almost always that ONE time in a novel. I cannot recommend this book enough. I love and adore it and continue to flail at Whipple’s writing.