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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  879 ratings  ·  221 reviews
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 vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their li
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  879 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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jv poore
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some people are raised to believe that all matters are black and white. This is good, that is bad. This is acceptable, that is not. Someone is either alive, or he is dead. From the outside looking in, this may appear to be oppressive. On the other hand, these people already have all of the answers, they know what they can do, and what they cannot---it is that simple. Until it isn’t.

Kate and Mary are sisters, raised by a very strict Protestant Reverend and his dutiful wife. In their mother, they
Kristen Chandler
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Hafsah Faizal
Nov 21, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Irises, is about two sisters. Mary who is gentle and artistic and Kate who is strong and ambitious.
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-and-youth
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
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
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
Dec 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Anne Kat
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
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 ( 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
Richie Partington
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
Sam Musher
"Our mother has been in a vegetative state for years, our father just died, what should we do now?" For a book whose plot is, essentially, a series of logistical issues proceeding from this premise, this is surprisingly page-turny. It was fairly clear to me early on what the best resolution of the logistics should be, but watching the sisters get there was compelling. I especially loved (and was surprised by) the explorations of spirituality, and the character of Rev. Soto. It's definitely older ...more
Susan  Dunn
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
When I first stumbled upon this one I fell in love with the cover. I was really captivated by the synopsis of this one, but to be honest I could not get past the writing style of this one…it seemed incredibly choppy with lots of incredibly short (3-5 word) sentences strung together. I just could not even get past the style to get far enough into this one to judge the plot.
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Audio book free download from: . 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.

May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
More than two years ago Kate and Mary's mother was left in a permanent vegetative state after a car wreck that was their father's fault. So in addition to trying to get through high school they have to help provide for their mother's daily care.

Then their tyrannical father dies suddenly. He was the preacher of a small congregation who kept them on a tight leash (plucking their eyebrows was sinful in his book). Suddenly Kate is 18 and has to take charge of the aftermath. Their maternal aunt comes
Monica Tolva
Kate's father, who is the minister of their Church of God in El Paso, Texas, asks her to come outside with him for a talk. That's never a good thing, right?

Inside is her younger sister, Mary, who loves to paint, and their mother who lies in a vegetative mental state due to injuries caused in a severe car accident. Kate is anxious to get away from whatever her father has to say to her, just as anxious as she is to find out if she has gotten the scholarship she's hoping will let her fulfill her d
Amy Holiday
I wanted to like this, as I read Marcelo in the Real World not too long ago, and I liked that a lot. But this one missed. The characters were fairly stock--prim and proper church girl and her nerdy, responsible, boring sister--and after the second chapter, almost literally nothing happened until the last third of the book. Not to say that it wasn't well developed, just not my cup of tea really. The writing was extremely careful, and the audiobook reading was also careful. It seemed to drag a bit ...more
Jane Rhea
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, dis-lit
This is the second book by Stork that I've read. I loved, loved, loved Marcelo in the Real World and enjoyed Irises thoroughly too. However, I wish the audiobook narrator were Latinx. Carrington McDuffie is a good reader, but they seem better suited to literature about much older, or much younger characters. Irises is about teenage Latinas coming to terms with their parent's deaths in El Paso. Not only does McDuffie read the novel like it's a picture book, but it feels white-washed. So I guess m ...more
Emily S.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
The writing is choppy and slow. I'm not sure if it's geared toward teens that have challenges reading, but maybe that's why everything seems so stilted. I also wasn't a fan of the constant shifting between POVs, even within a single page. There's no way I'm going to be able to make it to the end of this book.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hated Kate during the first half of the book. Mary was naive and soft, but strong. So I liked her better than Kate. I sympathized with them, felt the weight of their problems that's why I loved this book!!!
Linda Lorentz
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional read and at times hard to put down.
Don't judge the content by the cover because........the book isn't about what the cover might lead you to think it's about.
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Mock Printz 2021: Irises by Francisco X. Stork 7 53 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 worked as an attorney for thirty-three years before retiring in 2015. He is married and has two grown children and four beautiful grandkids. He loves to discover new books and authors. His favorite boo ...more

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