Izzy + Tristan

Izzy + Tristan

By Author / Illustrator

Shannon Dunlap



Age range(s)



Hachette Children's Group




Paperback / softback




This isn't a story about anything new. It's about the oldest thing in the world. It's about love.

Sixteen-year-old Izzy, a bright aspiring 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 neighbourhood.

And then she meets Tristan.

Tristan is a chess prodigy who lives with his aunt and looks up to his cousin, Marcus, who has watched out for him over the years. When he and Izzy meet one fateful night, together they tumble into a story as old and unstoppable as love itself.

From an exciting new voice in YA, this is a gripping tale of first love.



'This is not a novel. It's a romance.' The first words echoing the last in Shannon Dunlap's book. There is an immediate attraction between Izzy and Tristan but, before they can act upon it, Tristan's cousin Marcus stakes a claim on Izzy. Remaining silent, they become ensnared in lies and deceit. This gross error of judgement leads to a worsening situation as they plough on (not without reservation) with the ramifications of inevitable discovery increasing exponentially. These are your star crossed lovers; and you want everything to work out for them, really you do, but it very rarely does for star crossed lovers, does it? Once the first lie, the first deception, was played, Izzy and Tristan were set on a path. It was frustrating to be a part of it, to not be able to divert the inescapable, but that would have been an altogether different novel; romance. There was lots to like in this book: the three narrators being given key chess pieces as titles to their narratives (the Queen, the Knight and the Rook); the juxtaposition of situations near the end; the retelling of a classic star crossed lover story; the characters. However, I wanted to like it more, I wanted more from the characters and development of issues that were a part of the story but not really explored. This, though, is about Izzy and Tristan, it's not about knife crime, gangs, wealth, privilege or race; if you want that, you'll be disappointed. If you want romance with tragedy, you'll be happy, very happy! 320 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Catherine Purcell, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


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