The House of Ivy and Sorrow has the same issues I had with the author’s Transparent.
The strength of this lies in the descriptions of what it takes to be what they are. Whipple’s take on witchy lore is not just ‘different name but same ole’ thing; there’s a whole new world here. It’s not good witch versus bad witch or light and dark. It’s all dark... but in degrees. She’s taken some commonly known things and tossed them out with the whole place of power, Consuming and Controlling.
If only the narrator (hell the entire cast) were equal to what was offered up. There’s a breezy and almost too easy/young feel to how the Main Character is presented (or presents things). Granted this is YA, but even for YA, her trio ‘read’ younger. Anyway, despite liking the witchy aspect, the witch herself? Uhm, nope.
Except perhaps it’s that young feel that had events in HOUSE progressing quickly because things went FROM girl-in-love TO girl-dealing-with-Curse in a blink. BUT! But, it’s also what made things feel… too simple. Need good girl? Need good family? Need hot boy? Need Curse? Need baddy? We have all those; they all fall into place in very short order one after another. I blame the cover (Oh pretty, beautiful gothic-looking scary book cover) which had me expecting something more. Sadly, I didn’t get that any of that because there’s a disconnect between what’s being described (fingers and nails and pounds of flesh even, curses and places and families of a certain type) AND the too easy-breezy voice that she’s got. And yeah I couldn’t quite make the connection.
Thank you, Edelweiss!