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Book Review

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 Bos…

After Iris

by Natasha Farrant

Overall Book 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.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.