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Izzy + Tristan

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Izzy, a practical-minded teen who intends to become a doctor, isn't happy about her recent move from the Lower East Side across the river to Brooklyn. She feels distanced from her family, especially her increasingly incomprehensible twin brother, as well as her new neighborhood. And then she meets Tristan. Tristan is a chess prodigy who lives with his aunt and looks up to Izzy, a practical-minded teen who intends to become a doctor, isn't happy about her recent move from the Lower East Side across the river to Brooklyn. She feels distanced from her family, especially her increasingly incomprehensible twin brother, as well as her new neighborhood. And then she meets Tristan. Tristan is a chess prodigy who lives with his aunt and looks up to his cousin, Marcus. He and Izzy meet one moonlit night, and together they tumble into a story as old and unstoppable as love itself. In debut author Shannon Dunlap's capable hands, the romance that has enthralled for 800 years is spun new. Told from several points of view, this is a love story for the ages and a love story for this very moment. This fast-paced novel is at once a gripping tale of first love and a sprawling epic about the bonds that tie us together and pull us apart and the different cultures and tensions that fill the contemporary American landscape.


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Izzy, a practical-minded teen who intends to become a doctor, isn't happy about her recent move from the Lower East Side across the river to Brooklyn. She feels distanced from her family, especially her increasingly incomprehensible twin brother, as well as her new neighborhood. And then she meets Tristan. Tristan is a chess prodigy who lives with his aunt and looks up to Izzy, a practical-minded teen who intends to become a doctor, isn't happy about her recent move from the Lower East Side across the river to Brooklyn. She feels distanced from her family, especially her increasingly incomprehensible twin brother, as well as her new neighborhood. And then she meets Tristan. Tristan is a chess prodigy who lives with his aunt and looks up to his cousin, Marcus. He and Izzy meet one moonlit night, and together they tumble into a story as old and unstoppable as love itself. In debut author Shannon Dunlap's capable hands, the romance that has enthralled for 800 years is spun new. Told from several points of view, this is a love story for the ages and a love story for this very moment. This fast-paced novel is at once a gripping tale of first love and a sprawling epic about the bonds that tie us together and pull us apart and the different cultures and tensions that fill the contemporary American landscape.

30 review for Izzy + Tristan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chiara

    Finished in one sitting. I want to go cry in a corner now.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Family, friendship, rivalry, tragedy, fitting-in. Hi, my feels are hurting. Make it stop. I have to admit that it took a while for me to get in to this story. I was almost half way through and contemplating a DNF when BAM suddenly I couldn't put it down. I was invested. This is a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, so I pretty much knew the basics already going in, and if you know the traditional tale then you'll know how it ends. That said, it is a pretty unique take on the story, and I love 5 Words: Family, friendship, rivalry, tragedy, fitting-in. Hi, my feels are hurting. Make it stop. I have to admit that it took a while for me to get in to this story. I was almost half way through and contemplating a DNF when BAM suddenly I couldn't put it down. I was invested. This is a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, so I pretty much knew the basics already going in, and if you know the traditional tale then you'll know how it ends. That said, it is a pretty unique take on the story, and I loved the additional breadth added by the multiple narrators. I think my favourite character was Brianna, even though she was a side character. I loved her chapter, her perspectives.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Thank you @littlebrownyoungreaders for this free review copy! Izzy and Tristan is the most sought after ARC of our book club. • Izzy’s family moves into a neighborhood nothing like their old one. Tristan is trying to keep his head above water while playing chess for bets for his cousin. Tempers flare and clash, leading to the meeting of these two fated lovers. Are there cliché scenes? Yes. Do they work for the story? Yes. • Two teens who fight to stay together despite it all and then... ugh! Such a Thank you @littlebrownyoungreaders for this free review copy! Izzy and Tristan is the most sought after ARC of our book club. • Izzy’s family moves into a neighborhood nothing like their old one. Tristan is trying to keep his head above water while playing chess for bets for his cousin. Tempers flare and clash, leading to the meeting of these two fated lovers. Are there cliché scenes? Yes. Do they work for the story? Yes. • Two teens who fight to stay together despite it all and then... ugh! Such a great book! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    I have always adored the story of Tristan and Isolde and jumped for joy at the idea of a retelling.. but this, my loves, was not the retelling I was talking about. I had so, so, so many issues with this. I did not care for the story or the characters. I never connected to any part of it. It was nothing more than MEH.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ItsNasB

    This had potential but it fell short for me. The love story did not pull me in, which is surprising since the very first line in the prologue did and set high expectations. The language used felt over the top and yet not enough to deliver a believable insta-love romance. There's a plotline that involved consent- lack thereof, actually- that was not sufficiently addressed or resolved. The way race was handled- avoided for majority of the book and tacked on quickly at the end- left much to be desir This had potential but it fell short for me. The love story did not pull me in, which is surprising since the very first line in the prologue did and set high expectations. The language used felt over the top and yet not enough to deliver a believable insta-love romance. There's a plotline that involved consent- lack thereof, actually- that was not sufficiently addressed or resolved. The way race was handled- avoided for majority of the book and tacked on quickly at the end- left much to be desired and the mention of Black Lives Matter and the events surrounding the movement felt like it was thrown in to tick a box. I thought the main storyline would end differently and it felt like half-stepping to have things wrap up in the way they did.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Izzy + Tristian is a romance following the lives of two kids living in Brooklyn that magically fall in love the first time they see each other. I loved this book because I could tell how genuine the characters were and was able to imagine how difficult their lives were becoming. With a heartbreaking ending, I wish it had been different, but I recognize that in any romance there has to be tragedy. I would highly recommend this book to my friends.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyn Tayla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Proof copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review, all thoughts are my own. Well, this was such an interesting and heart breaking read, truly! I was absolutely immersed in the story of Izzy and Tristan, I found them both to be such refreshing narrators; and Breanna as well! I daresay Tristan and Izzy won’t be leaving my mind any time soon! This was definitely a unique take on the story of Tristan and Isolde, with Tristan being a Creole chess whizzkid, one who often finds himself at Proof copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review, all thoughts are my own. Well, this was such an interesting and heart breaking read, truly! I was absolutely immersed in the story of Izzy and Tristan, I found them both to be such refreshing narrators; and Breanna as well! I daresay Tristan and Izzy won’t be leaving my mind any time soon! This was definitely a unique take on the story of Tristan and Isolde, with Tristan being a Creole chess whizzkid, one who often finds himself at the wrath of his cousin, Marcus, who claims he loves him and has his best interests at heart! Throughout this novel, Marcus was utterly awful to his cousin and honestly I still don’t know why? I mean, he seemed to constantly have a chip on his shoulder, but I feel like if he just sort of tried to see things as they were, as other people felt and perceived him, then things could’ve turned out better for everyone?! Izzy, I adored throughout. Such a brainac, with goals to be a doctor on her mind, her bond with her twin brother fracturing after the family moves away from everytging they’ve known, and Hull (said twin brother), unravelling from who he was, and just everything that she knew crumbling around her. Until Tristan. Okay, I admit, their romance was totally insta-lovey and for me that can really be hit or miss, but given the foreshadowing that the book started with, my heart knew it was going to be upset by the end of this story and following along with the theme of love, Romance, and I might even say Star Crossed Lovers, I was wholly addicted and could hardly put the book down!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate (beautifulbookland)

    This book is the exact reason why, most of the time, I read the ending of the book first. Why? Because I read the epilogue of this book beforehand and it still broke my heart. Can you imagine if I’d been unprepared? Because I don’t even want to think about it. Izzy + Tristan is a contemporary retelling, based on the story of Iseult and Tristan (of which I’d never heard of before now - I am an uncultured swine). The pair meet after Izzy and her family move into Tristan’s neighbourhood, and while th This book is the exact reason why, most of the time, I read the ending of the book first. Why? Because I read the epilogue of this book beforehand and it still broke my heart. Can you imagine if I’d been unprepared? Because I don’t even want to think about it. Izzy + Tristan is a contemporary retelling, based on the story of Iseult and Tristan (of which I’d never heard of before now - I am an uncultured swine). The pair meet after Izzy and her family move into Tristan’s neighbourhood, and while the relationship between them is more insta-lovey than I usually like, Shannon Dunlap kind of makes it work. Because while the two were quick to call it love, their initial meeting and their curiosity about each other were very sweet and believable. What follows is a romance that is passionate and sweet and forbidden; they sneak out to see each other after dark to avoid unwanted attention and devise innocent meetings spots. Shannon Dunlap’s writing is simply gorgeous; it is emotive and pretty without coming across as pretentious, and I can’t wait to see where she goes next. *Thank you to Orion Children’s Books for providing a free review copy*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angela Smith

    An old story for a new generation. This book tells the tale of Tristan and Iseult but in 21st century Brooklyn. Sixteen year old "Izzy" and her family are new to the neighbourhood. She has a twin brother called Hull who is a bit of a strange one. Then there is Tristan or as his cousin Marcus likes to call him "T" Tristan is a chess prodigy and Marcus is a bit of a budding street thug who uses T to make money off his play chess. I really understand very little about the game of chess, but it still An old story for a new generation. This book tells the tale of Tristan and Iseult but in 21st century Brooklyn. Sixteen year old "Izzy" and her family are new to the neighbourhood. She has a twin brother called Hull who is a bit of a strange one. Then there is Tristan or as his cousin Marcus likes to call him "T" Tristan is a chess prodigy and Marcus is a bit of a budding street thug who uses T to make money off his play chess. I really understand very little about the game of chess, but it still made it an enjoyable book. The story is told from the perspective of Izzy, whose chapter titles are named the queen. Tristan's chapters are labelled as the king and Izzy's best friend Brianna is the rook. It is always interesting to see a different setting and interpretation of a classic story and to see if it works, which it does.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mignon

    Izzy & Tristan is a beautifully written, modern twist on an old tale. Vivid descriptions of Brooklyn create the perfect backdrop for this version of the story. I especially enjoyed the narrative structure told from the perspectives of each of the teenage main characters. The writer has so masterfully captured the drama of high school, at times you feel as if you're back there yourself, staring down another taco bowl lunch. This was a quick read, and once you pick it up, you won't want to put Izzy & Tristan is a beautifully written, modern twist on an old tale. Vivid descriptions of Brooklyn create the perfect backdrop for this version of the story. I especially enjoyed the narrative structure told from the perspectives of each of the teenage main characters. The writer has so masterfully captured the drama of high school, at times you feel as if you're back there yourself, staring down another taco bowl lunch. This was a quick read, and once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down, so make sure to set aside some time to enjoy it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katie Hurse

    3.5-4 stars I kind of took a break in the middle of reading this and I wish I hadn't because I think if I'd kept going, I might have loved it a little more/give it a straight 4 star review. The first 40% or so was really strong in my opinion; I really love Shannon Dunlap's writing style. Then the middle 40% was a little slower and that's when I started to get antsy and took a little hiatus from reading it. The last 20% I just finished reading and it was really impactful. The ending was pretty stu 3.5-4 stars I kind of took a break in the middle of reading this and I wish I hadn't because I think if I'd kept going, I might have loved it a little more/give it a straight 4 star review. The first 40% or so was really strong in my opinion; I really love Shannon Dunlap's writing style. Then the middle 40% was a little slower and that's when I started to get antsy and took a little hiatus from reading it. The last 20% I just finished reading and it was really impactful. The ending was pretty stunning. Excited to read more from this writer in the future.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wendopolis

    Way too over the top for me, regarding the emotions/romance. At least in the original story of Tristan and Isolde, they ingest a love potion that explains the sappiness. That doesn't happen in this retelling. The author did a good job building the characters; I just didn't care for the execution.

  13. 4 out of 5

    MyLittleLibrary

    Honestly just didn’t like it and it’s was super predictable. The writing was also not my favorite.🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀🤷🏼♀ Honestly just didn’t like it and it’s was super predictable. The writing was also not my favorite.🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liv Caks

    Very cute and fluffy overall. I loved the chess talk but the rating fell to 3/5 stars because I felt that ending was very much detached from the rest of the book - honestly that whole last quarter was a bit clunky and didn’t really sit well with how the book had been running.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Aileen

    One of the best books I have read in a long time. Very surprise ending. Won’t ruin it for you readers BUT you will definitely want Kleenexes handy. More concise review to follow...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ankara

    3,75 ⭐ It started out as a clichéd, insta-love, teen love story, but the ending was great. 3,75 ⭐️ It started out as a clichéd, insta-love, teen love story, but the ending was great.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Well that broke my heart into teeny tiny pieces.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aoife

    I really enjoyed this one. I'm only vaguely familiar with Tristan and Iseult, but the story was brilliant on its own, if somewhat heartbreaking.The main four characters were very well done. A fantastic read and one I'll definitely recommend to people when it publishes. I received a proof in exchange for an honest review. The cold air nips at us as we circle the reservoir. In the distance, the reservoir's fountain shoots into the air, the powerful gush of it shattering on the wind as it falls. It's I really enjoyed this one. I'm only vaguely familiar with Tristan and Iseult, but the story was brilliant on its own, if somewhat heartbreaking.The main four characters were very well done. A fantastic read and one I'll definitely recommend to people when it publishes. I received a proof in exchange for an honest review. The cold air nips at us as we circle the reservoir. In the distance, the reservoir's fountain shoots into the air, the powerful gush of it shattering on the wind as it falls. It's early enough that there are still dogged runners doing their laps around the water, and I get the abrupt urge to join them. I swallow my last bit of sandwich and take Izzy's elbow, pull her into a trot with me. She's reluctant at first, dragging me back to a walk, but I smile at her, coaxing without words. and she relents. We break into a slow jog. We go on like this for a minute maybe, our backpacks thumping against our hips, our breath coming harder. The fountain shifts shape as we round the curve of the reservoir. It is a feather, a mountain, an icy staircase, an arched doorway. Then Izzy speeds up, and then I speed up, and we run faster and faster, until we are passing people and out panting turns into laughter and everything but her face is a blur. We are leaving the world behind us. It is the two of us again, alone, and it is beautiful.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick Gardner

    As a retelling of the Tristan and Isolde story, there was a lot of opportunity to fall right into the cliche. However, the author was able to turn many beautiful and original phrases, and stir in plenty of social and political commentary to make this retelling unique. Though I am not one to read many young adult stories, I felt that this novel made itself available to the young adult audience while taking a closer, unjaded look at society around us. It is a relevant and important book as well as As a retelling of the Tristan and Isolde story, there was a lot of opportunity to fall right into the cliche. However, the author was able to turn many beautiful and original phrases, and stir in plenty of social and political commentary to make this retelling unique. Though I am not one to read many young adult stories, I felt that this novel made itself available to the young adult audience while taking a closer, unjaded look at society around us. It is a relevant and important book as well as an incredibly smooth read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Rempel (one.book.at.a.time)

    Firstly, I want to thank Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an ARC of Izzy + Tristan in exchange for my honest review! Izzy + Tristan is a YA contemporary that features a sweet romance between two high school characters and also deals with heavy, important issues such as racial tension, police brutality, and gang violence. It alternates between three first-perspectives - Izzy, Tristan, and Brianna. When it comes to books, especially YA contemporaries, characterization is very important to m Firstly, I want to thank Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me an ARC of Izzy + Tristan in exchange for my honest review! Izzy + Tristan is a YA contemporary that features a sweet romance between two high school characters and also deals with heavy, important issues such as racial tension, police brutality, and gang violence. It alternates between three first-perspectives - Izzy, Tristan, and Brianna. When it comes to books, especially YA contemporaries, characterization is very important to me. Shannon Dunlap was able to write these three characters in a way that gave them each a distinct voice and personality. As the reader, I could feel the emotions and tensions the characters themselves were feeling. I also did enjoy the author's writing style in this book! An element that really drew me to this book in the first place is chess. I don't have much experience with it personally, but I have found it really interesting to research some of the strategy and theory behind the game. Not only does chess play a significant part in Tristan's life, but the story is told as though the characters themselves were part of a larger "chess game". I definitely learned more about chess and chess culture, and it really helped shape the story. Perhaps what I wasn't expecting was how dark the book got at times. Not necessarily a bad thing as these issues are very relevant and important, but not what I was prepared to read from the synopsis. Firstly, Izzy's twin brother deals with some pretty serious mental health issues requiring hospitalization. This takes a toll on their whole family, but especially for Izzy as her parents are very focused on her brother, and she loses that closeness she once shared with her twin. Secondly, there is a lot of tension between Tristan and his cousin which stems from Marcus' involvement in drugs and gangs, which definitely got violent at times. Though I cannot speak about this topic from personal experience, I thought the book dealt with it in a way that people can start to understand the larger implications and how it affects people. Also addressed in this book and scenes are the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality. Overall, this was an enjoyable book. It didn't blow me away, but what it did was give a sweet story of two teens in love in the midst of a chaotic world and situation. Definitely go check it out if this at all sounds interesting to you! Thank you again to Hachette Book Group Canada for the ARC!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lilyfae

    This is an excellent and inclusive story that crosses genres and target audiences to be a universal observation of love and the challenges it can face: A timeless love story steeped in the classic legend of Tristan & Iseult/Isolde, brought to the modern streets of Brooklyn, sort of what West Side Story did for Romeo & Juliet though this time without the song & dance. Bringing in aspects of high school politics, New York street culture, gentrification and Black Lives Matter juxtaposed w This is an excellent and inclusive story that crosses genres and target audiences to be a universal observation of love and the challenges it can face: A timeless love story steeped in the classic legend of Tristan & Iseult/Isolde, brought to the modern streets of Brooklyn, sort of what West Side Story did for Romeo & Juliet though this time without the song & dance. Bringing in aspects of high school politics, New York street culture, gentrification and Black Lives Matter juxtaposed with issues of class, hormonal errors and often with Machiavellian machinations akin to the chess games played throughout makes it gritty stuff. Shannon Dunlap was inspired by the original tale and a documentary about inner city chess teams and it is certainly a powerful read. The language is expressive and flowery in places aspiring to the intellectual nature of our two leads, though a third voice of a local girl outside but entangled in the affair punctuates the three first person narratives. To be honest though it is merely the perspective that changes rarely the language and syntax to reflect the rhythm, syntax and nuances of the character which is a slight weakness. If I were to open the book randomly I would need to orientate who is speaking using the referred names and context rather than the narration itself. However this doesn’t detract from what is a powerful and thoughtful story. The story is inclusive, two of the protagonists are of colour, Brianna is Latinx with Wiccan leanings and Tristan is mixed Black (Trinidadian and Cajun) which has its own issues in a predominantly Caribbean immigrant area and then Iseult is the former Upper East Side White girl brought by her hipster parents to Brooklyn as part of the recent gentrification wave. Issues of race, privilege and money are omnipresent throughout and important discussions as perceptions and perspectives are equally championed and challenged which is pretty much must read both sides of the Atlantic and not just by the young. It’s a brilliant book I ploughed through in a day, there are some minor twinges for me but no deal breakers. I look forward to what Shannon Dunlap produces next. #Nospoilers but if you are familiar with the legend or the James Franco & Sophia Myles film adaptation (yes!) you may be pretty sure of how this is headed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kaylee Gwyn (literarypengwyns)

    3.5 Stars OMG YET ANOTHER BOOK WHERE THE FIRST HALF IS MEH AND THEN THE SECOND HALF REALLY RESONATES. Seriously, this is like the third book in a row...is something wrong with me? WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. This is a pretty great modern adaptation of the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Iseult and it remains pretty faithful to the original myth (INCLUDING THE LOVE SPELL!). Set in modern day Brooklyn, Izzy just moved into a newly gentrified neighborhood and is sticking out because of some trouble her twin 3.5 Stars OMG YET ANOTHER BOOK WHERE THE FIRST HALF IS MEH AND THEN THE SECOND HALF REALLY RESONATES. Seriously, this is like the third book in a row...is something wrong with me? WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. This is a pretty great modern adaptation of the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Iseult and it remains pretty faithful to the original myth (INCLUDING THE LOVE SPELL!). Set in modern day Brooklyn, Izzy just moved into a newly gentrified neighborhood and is sticking out because of some trouble her twin brother, Hull got into. He played a chess match against Tristan, who is a chess prodigy and moved into the neighborhood a few years ago to live with his aunt Patrice. Tristan’s cousin, Marcus, is like the king of their neighborhood and makes money off of bets on Tristan’s games that Marcus sets up. One day, Tristan and Izzy meet and fall almost instantly in love. Problem is, Marcus has also “claimed” Izzy as his territory and this leads to loyalty and family being tested from all sides. I had a few “issues” (and by issues, I mean some of it just didn’t sit settled with me, but also wasn’t a major plot issue): • the instalove...it’s believable but also kind of crazy. Some “magic” is loosely used to help the reader believe it. • the fact that Marcus does not take a hint to leave Izzy alone. • the fact that Izzy and Tristan kept their love affair secret for so long. I mean, I get that it’s crucial to the original story, but it’s a hard sell in modern times. It’s kind of explained in a snowball effect kind of way, but it still frustrated me. • race...its almost an afterthought? Tristan is black and so is most of his neighborhood and Izzy and her parents are white “activists” that come in and remodel a house and like clearly stick out. And then a major racial issue is the whole crux of the ending and it almost seems random. Overall, I enjoyed this book and think it’s a great retelling for a newer younger audience, and I would recommend! I really

  23. 4 out of 5

    reenie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. One of my best friends, Isabella, was reading this book, which interested me reading Izzy + Tristan. Unfortunately, I wish I hadn't read the novel. Problems with this book: 1. There was no chemistry between Izzy and Tristan. Tristan fell in love within 4 pages without exchanging a word with Izzy. I don't care what they say about true love; Tristan fell in lust not love with Izzy, and their relationship was trying to be a deep, life-changing relationship. 2. The plot started drifting off then compl One of my best friends, Isabella, was reading this book, which interested me reading Izzy + Tristan. Unfortunately, I wish I hadn't read the novel. Problems with this book: 1. There was no chemistry between Izzy and Tristan. Tristan fell in love within 4 pages without exchanging a word with Izzy. I don't care what they say about true love; Tristan fell in lust not love with Izzy, and their relationship was trying to be a deep, life-changing relationship. 2. The plot started drifting off then completely drove off the track. The book became dull and random without gaining anything, ESPECIALLY THE ENDING. What was the point of killing off Tristan if there was no lesson behind it? 3. There was no lesson at any time in the book. What was I supposed to learn from Izzy and Tristan? Don't mess with your cousin's fake girlfriend? 4. It tried to offer political commentary on inter-racial relationships, but the lack of emotion or end result AND Izzy had no story. 5. The chess metaphor lasted for half the book, but then the metaphor vanished conveniently after a certain point. This book was a waste of time, and I wish I hadn't read it and wasted my time. Happy Saturday! Hope your day is going well. And if it isn't, I hope that tomorrow or sometime in the near future, it gets better. Because I promise that it will. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but soon. Do things that make you happy, and above else, amor omnia vincent. with love forever, Reenie 💋

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hasina (PagesEnchanted)

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. This story is based off of Tristan and Iseult (or Isolde) and the plot incorporated those elements well. It added a modern twist that would attract younger readers. The characters were what brought a lot to this story. The main characters were Izzy or Iseult, Tristan, Brianna, Marcus, and Hull. The story begins when Izzy and Hull, twins, move to a new neighbourhood, which jus Actual rating: 3.5 stars Thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. This story is based off of Tristan and Iseult (or Isolde) and the plot incorporated those elements well. It added a modern twist that would attract younger readers. The characters were what brought a lot to this story. The main characters were Izzy or Iseult, Tristan, Brianna, Marcus, and Hull. The story begins when Izzy and Hull, twins, move to a new neighbourhood, which just happens to be Tristan's. Tristan is a chess prodigy and Marcus's cousin who helps him by playing chess for money. Marcus is the neighbourhood kingpin and popular kid. Brianna is a younger sister of one of Marcus's friends and immediately becomes Izzy's friend. They were all varied and had different, well written dynamics between them. The plot addressed political and social issues mostly smoothly. These include racism, police brutality, and social status. Although some topics weren't fully addressed and this was a bit disappointing. The middle section of the book was a bit boring but the beginning is intersting and the ending is moving. Izzy + Tristan was a cute romance that incorporated elements of the original. The characters were great and the ending was emotional. I'd have liked the social and justice issues to be addressed more fully, though. My full review will be posted on my blog, PagesEnchanted Reads.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cristiana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just liked it. I didn’t love it. And I really wanted to love it. There were elements of this book that kept me reading, such as the dynamic of Tristan and the fact that he was so different than what I expected this modern day version of a classic character would be. With that said though, there were some elements that made me cringe and some characters that just didn’t fit in the story. For instance, Brianna doesn’t bring anything to the actual story. Her involvement could have been so much mo I just liked it. I didn’t love it. And I really wanted to love it. There were elements of this book that kept me reading, such as the dynamic of Tristan and the fact that he was so different than what I expected this modern day version of a classic character would be. With that said though, there were some elements that made me cringe and some characters that just didn’t fit in the story. For instance, Brianna doesn’t bring anything to the actual story. Her involvement could have been so much more minimal and that would have given the story of Izzy and Tristan’s love a chance to flow at a better rate and more room to grow. Another thing is the instantaneous love that is so unrealistic that even I, someone who loves the idea of love at first sight, was rolling my eyes. The mushy texts that Izzy and Tristan send to each other literally made me say “ew,” out loud on the bus. And the final thing was how fast this book was. The story flowed too quickly to make sense and to give readers a chance to connect with the characters and their stories. Over the course of 1 chapter, 3 different, important plot twists happen. It’s too much at once. Tristan and Izzy would have been a better book if there were 150 more pages and less Brianna and Hull. Even though Hull’s involvement was minimal, even less would have been better.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julia Bucci

    Izzy + Tristan centers around a romance between Izzy who has recently moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Tristan who lives in Brooklyn with his Aunt. Izzy has a twin brother who did not embrace the move and this makes Izzy dive even deeper into the social circles of their new neighborhood. Through their relationship Izzy learns about chess, micro aggressions, and hidden spaces of the city. Tristan fearfully keeps secrets from his cousin. Their romance takes over every aspect of their lives. In Izzy + Tristan centers around a romance between Izzy who has recently moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Tristan who lives in Brooklyn with his Aunt. Izzy has a twin brother who did not embrace the move and this makes Izzy dive even deeper into the social circles of their new neighborhood. Through their relationship Izzy learns about chess, micro aggressions, and hidden spaces of the city. Tristan fearfully keeps secrets from his cousin. Their romance takes over every aspect of their lives. In the end Tristan is faced with a seemingly simple decision. I enjoyed this book for the young romance and narrating from each character. As I always say I love when stories are told from multiple perspectives. Each characters voice was very clear and well developed. I knew what was coming in the end but not how it would happen. This book is not about race in the way THUG was about race but it is a romance between a white girl and a black boy and their different racial lives and perspectives play a role in the story. It’s about real life and right now real life in NYC is not the same for these characters. I have to admit I didn’t know the story of Tristan and Iseult before reading this book so I’d like to look into that!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Hansard

    3/5 "The cold air nips at us as we circle the reservoir. In the distance, the reservoir's fountain shoots into the air, the powerful gush of it shattering on the wind as it falls. It's early enough that there are still dogged runners doing their laps around the water, and I get the abrupt urge to join them. I swallow my last bit of sandwich and take Izzy's elbow, pull her into a trot with me. She's reluctant at first, dragging me back to a walk, but I smile at her, coaxing without words. and she 3/5 "The cold air nips at us as we circle the reservoir. In the distance, the reservoir's fountain shoots into the air, the powerful gush of it shattering on the wind as it falls. It's early enough that there are still dogged runners doing their laps around the water, and I get the abrupt urge to join them. I swallow my last bit of sandwich and take Izzy's elbow, pull her into a trot with me. She's reluctant at first, dragging me back to a walk, but I smile at her, coaxing without words. and she relents. We break into a slow jog. We go on like this for a minute maybe, our backpacks thumping against our hips, our breath coming harder. The fountain shifts shape as we round the curve of the reservoir. It is a feather, a mountain, an icy staircase, an arched doorway. Then Izzy speeds up, and then I speed up, and we run faster and faster, until we are passing people and our panting turns into laughter and everything but her face is a blur. We are leaving the world behind us. It is the two of us again, alone, and it is beautiful."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Billie

    Another reviewer mentioned the consent/deception issue—an issue which was never addressed with the person deceived, which is very, very problematic— and the race issue and I completely agree with their concerns. I also think the characterizations were shallow (especially Hull, who could have been an interesting psychopath, but was, instead, just a psychopath) and the plot adhered too slavishly to the legend of Tristram and Iseult, necessitating some plot acrobatics on the part of the author. And Another reviewer mentioned the consent/deception issue—an issue which was never addressed with the person deceived, which is very, very problematic— and the race issue and I completely agree with their concerns. I also think the characterizations were shallow (especially Hull, who could have been an interesting psychopath, but was, instead, just a psychopath) and the plot adhered too slavishly to the legend of Tristram and Iseult, necessitating some plot acrobatics on the part of the author. And, gods, can we just address how very, very West Side Story it all felt, especially the stereotypical portrayals of most of the non-white characters? On the plus side, Dunlap's prose was gorgeous, with some absolutely stunning turns of phrase and her use of chess as a metaphor was well done. Unfortunately, these elements were not enough to make up for all of the book's shortcomings. A contemporary re-telling of the story of Tristram and Iseult could be awesome. This was not.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alice in Wonderland

    I got this as an ARC copy at YALC back in July, and thought it would be interesting as it’s a retelling of the classic Tristan and Isolde story. I did enjoy this book, I loved the depth of all the characters and how they were all compared to chess characters, and I love a bit of romantic deception. However this who book felt rushed. The love story was at an okay pace but the last few chapters of the aftermath just felt empty and as the book reached its climax. The ending itself is powerful but t I got this as an ARC copy at YALC back in July, and thought it would be interesting as it’s a retelling of the classic Tristan and Isolde story. I did enjoy this book, I loved the depth of all the characters and how they were all compared to chess characters, and I love a bit of romantic deception. However this who book felt rushed. The love story was at an okay pace but the last few chapters of the aftermath just felt empty and as the book reached its climax. The ending itself is powerful but that also felt rushed and I thought the author could have gone into the events leading up to the march and the events after a lot lot more. It’s such a shame because this book had such potential and I loved how dorky both Izzy and Tristan are. Anyway overall an okay book, but felt like the whole last third was rushed

  30. 5 out of 5

    Deanna Dunlap

    Finished this wonderfully written book last night. I honestly could have finished it in one sitting, but started it too late Friday.😊 Beautiful YA story about first love with a suspenseful undertone that draws you in. Recommended for ages 14 and up. John Green fan? This will be right up your alley, but with a bit darker feel. I could have read this quickly even if it was 500 pages... the ending is worth every minute I spent reading it and more. I love the creativity with the chapter names/point Finished this wonderfully written book last night. I honestly could have finished it in one sitting, but started it too late Friday.😊 Beautiful YA story about first love with a suspenseful undertone that draws you in. Recommended for ages 14 and up. John Green fan? This will be right up your alley, but with a bit darker feel. I could have read this quickly even if it was 500 pages... the ending is worth every minute I spent reading it and more. I love the creativity with the chapter names/point of view. The contemporary issues are spot on, as is the "teen speak". Not overdone, but makes the characters feel even more real. There are some incredibly eloquent sentences that are not only thought provoking, but haunting as well. Amazing how a few sentences (when they are written with such poignance) can stay with you and really pull at the heartstrings. Highly recommend!!

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