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Irises

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3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  667 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Two sisters discover what's truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.

TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent veget...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,616)
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Kristen Chandler
This is a book that asked something of me. I think reading the book quickly is inevitable, because it's well written, but when I forced myself to slow down I felt that I was rewarded with challenging characters and maybe even a little soul searching about the cost of doing something that seems at least, reckless, and at most, impossible. Children are always told to follow their dreams. But as soon as they are old enough to do just that, society gives very mixed messages about the ethics of passi...more
Sue
S pokojným svedomím už teraz môžem Irises od Francisca X. Storka označiť za najemotívnejšiu knihu, ktorú tento rok prečítam. Po pravde si naozaj neviem predstaviť, čo by bolo emotívnejšie ako príbeh Kate a Mary.

Autor nám naservíroval príbeh plný snov a nájdenej slobody, ale aj beznádeje a ťažkých rozhodnutí. Keď už sa zdalo, že vznikne iskra nádeje na lepšie dni, Stork svojim postavám pridal ďalší životný údel. A tu sa to všetko začína. Po smrti otca zostávajú Kate a Mary samy, iba s matkou, kto...more
Hafsah Laziaf
Originally Posted on IceyBooks

Irises was a book I picked up because of the cover. A hazy image of two girls, possibly sisters, overlooking moving water. Now that I've flipped over the last page, I've realized the cover depicts a type of sorrow that lingers through the pages.

Irises is a tale of love and hope. Two normal girls, sisters two years apart, left alone with nothing but their broken hearts and a shaky future. Irises is a type of story that would bring a smile to your lips while tears...more
Kristina Jo
I rounded up from 3.5 stars. Also, I read an uncorrected proof copy that someone added to the book exchange shelf at work. One of the things I think I liked best about this book is that the characters are religious, but not in-your-face preachy about it; they don't walk around going "God will show me the way"; they don't run from the mall shrieking that make-up is a sin (though I avoid it myself, I don't think it's sinful; just impractical); and they don't strike me as snooty in their religiosit...more
Barbara
When their minister father dies unexpectedly, sisters Kate and Mary must figure out a way to take care of their mother who is in a persistent vegetative state as well as themselves. Kate has a scholarship to Stanford, and Mary is a talented painter, but their lives have been restricted by their controlling father and their concern for their mother. As with Stork's previous two titles, this one explores questions about family, faith, and joy, but the exploration seems a bit more heavy-handed than...more
Kim
This was a strange book. The characters did not seem real, and the writing was choppy. The idea of whether or not to remove a parent from life support is interesting, but I had just read it in Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf which had been done better. It is too bad because I liked Marcello in the Real World and love sister stories, but I didn't love this.
Jennifer Nielsen
A beautiful book by a master of words! The evolving relationship between these two different sisters as they each find their path unfolds in a thought-provoking and lovely way.
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: IRISES by Francisco X. Stork, Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, January 2012, 304p., ISBN: 978-0-545-15135-1

"Every night, before Kate went to sleep, she poured rubbing alcohol on her palms and massaged Mama's legs so they would not atrophy. When she first started doing this, she kept expecting Mama to open her eyes, to sit up, say thank you, hug her. But as time went on, the nightly hope gave way to a sense that the limbs she was touching were devoid of energy, that life would never...more
Justin
I was really intrigued by this book when I had came across it awhile back. From the description, it really sounded like it would be a great story. In some ways it was, but it just wasn't what I had pictured it being. I didn't really have high hopes, because I am so use to that backfiring on me.. But I did hope it would live up to my thoughts of the description of the book, since it's essentially a basic overview of what you will be reading. This isn't going to be a very long review, just want to...more
Mesa
Irises was really good. After the sudden death of their father, Kate and Mary’s life changes significantly. They need money to take care of their mother, and need to find a house for them to move into because they have to evacuate in short amount of time. They struggle to decide what they should do and what decision will benefit them.

Kate, 18, is intelligent and ambition girl with a dream of becoming a doctor. Mary, 16, is a sweet, caring and is extremely passionate about her painting. Mary was...more
Kat Alexander
With their father recently dead and their mother in a permanent vegetative state for the third year with no hope of waking up, just paying rent is a challenge for sisters Kate and Mary. Kate is graduating this year, and has dreams that extent out of El Paso--she's applied for Stanford, though everyone expects her to stay home and attend UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso for all you non-Texan folks) and marry her long-term boyfriend Simon and look after her sister and mother. Mary just wants t...more
Britta
This review is hard to write because it is not what I hoped it would be. Does that make it a bad book? Not necessarily, but when something is so built up in your mind, it is hard to stop comparing the actual book to the book that was made-up in your head.

The novel takes off with Kate and Mary, two sisters, who find themselves in an extremely difficult situation. Their father passes away and they are left alone with the burden of their mother who is in a vegetative state, not really living at all...more
Krystal
Dec 10, 2011 Krystal rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
This a book many teens will want to find under the Christmas tree or, since it comes out January 1st, as a last present to open. The two main characters in this book are sisters, Kate and Mary. Both are gifted in their own way. Kate is a super student and Mary is an impressive artist, especially with painting. Their father is a reverend whose strict views can sometimes hinder his daughters' dreams. Their mother, due to a horrible accident, was left in a vegetative state with her daughters to car...more
Paige
I am a bit of a fan girl for Francisco X. Stork's books. His first novel, Marcelo in the Real World is one of my all time favorite books, and I really enjoyed his second book, Summer of the Death Warriors . I found out about this book from Scholastic's Librarian Preview (http://www.scholastic.com/librarianpr...) and I was beyond excited to read it.

And it met my expectations -- and exceeded them.

Kate and Mary are two sisters living in El Paso. Since their mother was in an accident, they have g...more
Jinky
I'm a sucker for sister stories because my sister and I are tight so I am intrigued about portrayals of sisters. This one was tender. I was attracted to the struggle these two sisters Kate and Mary found themselves to face at a fairly young age. Raised strict by a preacher father who soon dies at the beginning of the book. Left with a vegetative mother to take care. Kate and Mary had to be adults rather quickly (though Kate at 18yo was technically an adult). Making hard decisions for the welfare...more
Alex Bennett
Please check out Electrifying Reviews for more reviews like this, plus giveaways, interviews, and more!

In all honesty, I didn't have any clue what Irises was about before I started reading it. What I found, however, was a touching contemporary novel that I ended up enjoying a lot. Not the best--definitely not--but it's hard for me to not really enjoy any contemporary book I read.

Irises deals with some heavy topics. Death, money, family, and love. As a whole, I liked how it dealt with these topi...more
Holly
Originally published at Book Harbinger.

Reverend Romero’s daughters Kate and Mary couldn’t be more different. Ambitious, self-centered Kate is determined to become a doctor, while sweet, giving Kate is an aspiring artist. Where their fates align is in the mutual limitations of their strict upbringing. Because of their father’s beliefs, they don’t drive, use slang, own cell phones, or dress fashionably. But when he dies suddenly, Mary and Kate’s life becomes even more complicated. First, how will...more
Susan P
Two sisters, who along with their father have been caring at home for their mother who is in a vegetative state after a car accident, must chart a new course after their father dies and they are left alone.

I LOVED Marcelo (and listened to it too), so I was really excited to "read" this one. I was sooooo disappointed however... I'm not sure if it was the narrator, or just the style of writing - which is completely different from Marcelo. The two sisters have been raised by their very conservative...more
Shari
Francisco X. Stork is my literary hero. He is such a fine writer and each of his three YA novels takes on such different topics and themes. His newest book isn't as "magical" as the first two. It is quieter without the flamboyant, unique characters. However, the question of the quality of life and the decision to end life is something I have been discussing with both of my daughters. I certainly haven't seen another book take on this essential conversation. And it is a great book.
AH
Audio book free download from: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ . Book available from 6/21/12 - 6/27/12.

OK, I tried. The audio book just didn't do it for me. This is a did not finish audio book.

Amanda
Franciso X. Stork's "Marcelo in the Real World" was much better than "Irises." That's all I really have to say about this book.
Amy
This is a young adult story about two sisters navigating their way through family loss and end-of-life decisions. The book delves into issues of faith, the ethics of personal ambition and the search to understand love and the obligations it brings. What do we owe ourselves? What do we owe others? The story has an almost old-fashioned feel to it--maybe because it's told in third person and the girls have been so protected from the world they often sound like they belong to another time. It's love...more
Chris
There's a really good story in this book but unlike Stork's Marcelo in the Real World, the writing left me very unsatisfied. This is one of the most realistic depictions of the problems a family might face that I've ever read. Kate and Mary are the daughters of an El Paso minister. Their mother is in a persistent vegetative state after a car accident several years ago and is being cared for in their home because the father didn't want to end nutritional support. The girls have led the very shelt...more
Amy Dreger
Mary and Kate are two sisters whose mother is in a "persistent vegetative state" following an accident two years ago. She lives at home with them and their strict papa. Papa passes away suddenly one afternoon, leaving the 16 and 18-year old girls alone with major life decisions ahead of them. Kate must decide between following her dream or helping her artistic sister, Mary, reach hers. And . . . what to do about mama who always had clear dreams for both of her daughters? Free from their father's...more
Alicia
I thought I was going to just skim this book but instead found myself drawn in by the two girls, Kate and Mary. They've been through some tough times and it only gets harder. Their mother is in a persistent vegetative state after a car accident while their father, a pastor, dies suddenly from a heart condition, leaving the girls to question everything and everyone's intentions around them while they struggle to cope.

Kate has a dream (which she shared with her mother, pre-accident) of going to S...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terri
I actually give "Irises" a 3.5. I have loved Francisco X. Stork's work in the past; however, this was my least favorite of his novels.

"Irises" is really the story of the love between two sisters, despite what the inside of the book jacket says. The book begins with a scene from their past, an easy time of love and light. In the next chapter, we step into the present and listen in on a conversation between Kate (age 18) and her father, a minister. He tells her,"You are the oldest in the family. I...more
Tamara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ari
I love Francisco Stork's books. Long time readers of this blog know that, I adored Marcelo in the Real World and was quite fond of The Last Summer of the Death Warriors. Unfortunately I found Irises to be my last favorite Stork book thus far. Granted, this was bound to happen but the summary was so good that my hopes were quite high. All this being said, it was difficult for me to put my finger on why I did not like this book. It just didn't work for me. Part of the issue was that Stork raises j...more
Jill
I have read everything Stork has written, and this is the first book of his that didn’t have me gasping with love and admiration for his writing and his characters.

The story is about two sisters: Kate who is 18, and Mary who is 16. They are daughters of a preacher who has always been very strict with them. At the onset of the book, the dad dies of heart failure, and Kate and Mary have to cope on their own. Their mother is still home, but has been in a vegetative state on a feeding tube ever sin...more
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Mock Printz 2015: Irises by Francisco X. Stork 7 52 Jun 28, 2012 05:10PM  
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Francisco X. Stork was born in Mexico. He moved to El Paso Texas with his adoptive father and mother when he was nine. He attended Spring Hill College, Harvard University and Columbia Law School. He works as an attorney with a state agency in Massachusetts that finances affordable housing. He is married and has two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter.
He loves to play tennis, go for walk...more
More about Francisco X. Stork...
Marcelo in the Real World The Last Summer of the Death Warriors Behind the Eyes The Way of the Jaguar Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

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