Review: House of Ivy & Sorrow

Title: House of Ivy & Sorrow
Publication: April 15, 2014 by HarperTeen
Reviewed by: Taryn
Rating: 4 stars
Reason for Reviewing: Ebook provided 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.

Josephine (Jo) Hemlock lost her mother ten years ago to the mysterious curse that follows her family. The only surviving Hemlocks, Jo and her Nana, live in a magic-fortified house under the interstate bridge in Willow’s End, Iowa. There are rumors about a witch who lives in that house, but only Jo and her Nana know that the stories are true. One day a mysterious man shows up looking for Jo, and she fears that he is somehow connected to her mother’s killer. Soon Jo finds herself digging further and further into the truth and racing to find some answers before she and Nana fall victim to the curse themselves. Another mysterious boy appears who may have some of the clues that Jo needs, but can she trust him?

I don’t read a lot of books featuring witches as characters, but I’m glad I gave this one a chance. The descriptions of how their magical powers worked was really intriguing. It made sense that they distinguished between witches who were in control of their powers and those who were consumed by them. The small town setting and the details of the Hemlock home were vividly described, and the family histories were really interesting. Also, I loved the strong relationship between Jo and her Nana as well as Jo’s close friendships with Kat and Gwen. There are several awesome ladies in this story!

I think my only complaint would be that the tone felt a little light for the subject matter and it read more like a middle grade novel than YA. I think I was just expecting it to be darker and scarier (although it had its creepy moments). Also, I should mention that there are some kissing scenes, but they are pretty tame (in my opinion).

I would recommend this to fans of the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White who are looking for another light supernatural read with some humor, action, and romance sprinkled in.

Blog Tour: The Field


Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for THE FIELD by Tracy Richardson!
Eric Horton has been having disturbing nightmares of explosions and fire and someone screaming. The dreams keep him up at night, but during the day, as a goalkeeper on his high school’s varsity soccer team, he has been unbeatable, saving shot after shot with what feels like a supernatural awareness of where the ball is headed. He also shares an uncommonly strong connection with Renee, the attractive new French exchange student. The wild visions and synchronicities pale in comparison to the strange experiments Renee’s father is carrying out in the physics lab at the university, however. He has asked Eric to take part in the tests, which makes Eric question whether what he is seeing and hearing is reality or something far beyond it. When his friend Will develops a drinking problem and Renee starts flirting with other guys, Eric loses his confidence on the soccer field and in himself. If he is going to pull it all together, he will have to tap into a part of himself that he never knew existed.
Praise For THE FIELD
  • "Readers will appreciate the fast-paced, compelling drama. A good choice for people who hope there’s more to space than space". ~ Kirkus Reviews 
  • The Field is a compellingly honest slice of life with fully dimensional characters whose struggles and triumphs matter and touch you deeply. Richardson is a worthy heir to Madeleine L'Engle, whose 1962 fantasy fiction novel, A Wrinkle in Time, introduced serious scientific concepts in a book for young adults, and to boot placed a girl in the center of the story. While L'Engle unfolds concepts of space and time and thrusts her characters into an unknown fifth-dimension, Richardson's characters physically stay put yet intellectually travel beyond ordinary consciousness to delve into concepts of dark energy, collective [un]consciousness and universal energy fields. ~ 4 Stars ~ Rita Kohn, NUVO 
  • Newsweekly A combination of the real world of soccer and the mystical world of the Universal Energy Field. This is a very imaginative novel. ~ Bookviews by Alan Caruba
Tracy Richardson is the author of THE FIELD (Moonbeam Award winner) and INDIAN SUMMER. Her realistic fiction also delves into science fiction, just to keep things interesting. When she has free time, you will likely find her painting furniture, knitting scarves, gardening or whipping up gourmet meals for her vegetarian, no-carb, omnivore family. Ernie, her Jack Russell Terrier, will eat anything.
  • 1 winner will get a signed copy of THE FIELD 
  • 1 Winner will get a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
Must be 13 + To Enter.
Physical Items ship in US only.
Gift Card open Internationally.
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