InkBitten's Reviews > Irises

Irises by Francisco X. Stork
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F_50x66
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Feb 02, 12

bookshelves: sarah
Read in January, 2012

Judged by a Cover: Faded Beauty

The cover makes sense, but it isn't exactly something that'll catch your eye. The girls are pretty to close to how I imagined the main characters, but I wish I could see their faces. At least this way, the amount of unnatural photoshopping is kept to a minimum. The font and framing on the cover is embossed and looks lovely, though. Plus, if you tilt the book back and forth it looks shiny.

What's Up?

Kate and Mary live in an empty house. Their father was loving but oppressive, and his death left them reeling. Their mother is in a permanent vegetative state and lies in a small room as good as dead. Kate wants to escape by leaving home for Stanford, and Mary tries to escape through her art. Complicating everything, is Kate's boyfriend who promises stability in marriage, an unwilling gang member who falls in love with Mary, and Andy, who offers Kate a way out, even if it may be selfish.

Characters: No/Yes

Both the characters were extremely well written, which was important, considering the book is mainly character driven. Unfortunately, I only liked one of them. Mary, the younger sibling was a joy to read about because she was so sweet and naive. At the same time, though she had an inner strength and selflessness. I couldn't like Kate as much, though it was through no fault of the writer. I saw too much of Kate in myself: ambitious to a fault, driven, and withdrawn. She was well-written, but that didn't mean I was going to like her.

Romance: 5

One of the subplots of the book revolves around Kate's relationships falling apart, so we can already discount her as adding anything to the total. Mary's love, though, was sweet and tender, the kind of first love that everyone should have. It almost was a star-crossed lovers plot, with Marcos being an unwilling gang member, so the fact that it appealed to me is even stranger. I just wish there had been more of it.

Bonus Features: Ethics

I always enjoy books that try and discuss ethics questions, especially those that are lesser issues in society. Even with religion featuring so much in the novel, there was a lot of exploration about when life ended. Is it ethical to take someone off life-support if they are brain dead? What if you can't pay for their care? It definitely gave me something to think about for most of the novel

Art

I always wished I could paint/draw/create straight lines with a ruler. Now I've realized I'll just have to settle for reading about it.

Sisterhood

No matter what each character did, they still remained sisters, still remained family. It was exceptionally sweet to see how much they cared about each other, and how they tried to place the interests of the other before their own desires.

Final Flavor: A Little Too Spicy (but not in a bad way)

I really liked this book, don't get me wrong, but it pushed me a little bit outside of my comfort zone. When I go back and re-read it, I'll probably have a much higher opinion of it, because it was very well written. For any one who really likes this type of realistic fiction, you will have no trouble tearing through this book. If you don't like this genre, you might want to read this book as an introduction.
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