Publisher's Note:  

An unforgettable middle-grade debut that will steal your heart

Blue Gadsby’s twin sister, Iris, died three years ago and her family has never been the same. Her histrionic older sister, Flora, changes her hair color daily; her younger siblings, Jasmine and Twig, are completely obsessed with their pet rats; and both of her parents spend weeks away from home–and each other. Enter Zoran the Bosnian male au pair and Joss the troublemaking boy next door, and life for the Gadsby family takes a turn for the even more chaotic. Blue poignantly captures her family’s trials and tribulations from fragmented to fully dysfunctional to ultimately reunited, in a sequence of film transcripts and diary entries that will make you cry, laugh, and give thanks for the gift of families.

With the charm of The Penderwicks and the poignancy of When You Reach Me, Natasha Farrant's After Iris is a story that will stay with readers long after the last page.

After Iris

by Natasha Farrant

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Overall Review:  

I had this book marked as "to-read" on my Goodreads shelf for quite some time. When I saw it at a library about an hour away from where I live, I snatched it up. It was shelved in the teen section, but really, except for a few scenes where minors are mentioned to kiss, this book could also be a book for a ten year old that is on a higher reading level.


This was a very cute read. I enjoyed reading a book that was geared for a more immature audience. It sort of took me back to my childhood for the duration. It also reminded me of my childhood in other ways. The family this book focuses on, the Gadsby's, are loud, quirky, and falling apart. Oh, and did I mention that there are so many kids that I lost count? I come from a family of eight, but still, all the kids drifting around and causing trouble was endearing but a bit confusing, as at times it was easy to lose track of whom I was reading about. The one character I was easily able to remember and identify was Iris--or perhaps, the absence of Iris. You see, part of the reason the Gadsby family is falling apart is because of Iris. Although I don't want to give any spoilers, I can say that though Iris is greatly missed, her family knows they must learn to get along without her for now.


Much of this story focuses on Iris's twin sister, Blue, and how she lives her everyday life. Though Blue is just as rambunctious as her brothers and sisters, I had the feeling she felt a little lost at times, and that she wished she could give up her role of big sister and escape to her own little world. This saddened me a bit, as I can relate to this feeling and how frustrating it can be to be surrounded by so many people that you start to lose your sense of self. I think that may be the main point of this book; it tells a story that kids can relate to about finding yourself even when you are surrounded by other unique personalities that may easily drown yours out. If you read this book and enjoy it, you might also like books by Cathy Cassidy, as this book really reminded me of her style.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  8 religious exclamations; 1 mild obscenity; 1 anatomical term.


Violence/Gore:  A character is mentioned to have died in a car crash, no details.


Sex/Nudity:  Sex is referenced once; some touching/caressing between minors occurs; minors kiss; teen pregnancy mentioned.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, personal crises.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults drink.

Reviewed By Lydia
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