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After Iris (The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby, #1)
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After Iris (The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  928 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
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. E
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 11th 2013 by Dial Books (first published July 2nd 2013)
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Stephanie
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
Such a lovely, bittersweet, wonderful book! After Iris is about a big, quirky family trying hard to rebuild itself after a tragedy. Written in a lovely, warm style reminiscent of I Capture the Castle (but set in the modern day), it manages to be really funny and really heartbreaking, sometimes both at the same time.

It's been three years since 12-year-old Blue's twin sister, Iris, was killed in a terrible accident. Now, Blue feels like she's the only one who really remembers Iris. Life seems to h
...more
Michele Barnes
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: p-mccleod
I enjoyed the majority of this book although I was disappointed with the ending. It seemed to finish too quickly and neatly after all the turmoil the children had been through. The main character was very likeable and you felt her pain and loss.
Vikki VanSickle
Blue is a typical middle grade protagonist in many ways: smart, observant, suffering from her first crush, and very relatable. But she is also an aspiring filmmaker, and many of the scenes are written as screenplays of actual events. In another author’s hands this could be fatally gimmicky, but Natasha Farrant cleverly uses the screenplays as a way for Blue to disengage with more emotional subject matter and also to provide interesting subtext for the book. I could write a whole post on how effe ...more
Iben
Åh. Lige i hjertet <3
Diana
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely middle grade book of a family coming to terms with the death of a daughter and sister. Will continue reading books in this series.
Emma
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Another middle grade novel about grief after the death of a loved one. Sometimes I think authors can only write 12 year olds realistically if the character is dealing with some sort of trauma, but I guess most people think middle schoolers are annoying and probably don't want to read about the more normal drama of parents not giving their kids the latest iPhone, mean teachers who make kids actually do homework, a burgeoning awareness of the opposite sex, and the day when you had one hair out of ...more
Julie Williams
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bluebell’s twin sister Iris died three years ago and the family has never been the same. Flora, the oldest is rebelling, Bluebell has withdrawn behind a camera, Mom works and travels all the time, Dad also travels and is secretive, and the two Babes – Twig and Jasmine barely remember. This story explores the family dynamics and especially how Bluebell (Blue) learns to go on living after Iris. There is quite a bit of drama with the older sister Flora and her boyfriend Joss who also happens to be ...more
Frances
What a sweet, likeable book! I love children's books with big, eccentric families. The emotions and the sibling relationships and the dialogue are all spot-on. The parents walk the line of being too exasperating to be real, but I didn't mind it as much here. Some of the book is written in video script form, but Farrant handles the transitions so well that these segments add to the book instead of being a distraction. She even manages to make the ending - *mild spoiler alert*- come together neatl ...more
Robin Stevens
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Man, this was delightful. I love the Gadsby family, and I adore Blue's narration. This is a world I want to dive into - it's hilarious and just wonderful. (10+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Karyn Silverman
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2013-reads, arcs, mg
Upper middle grade. I adored this -- I cried, I laughed, and I was very pleasantly reminded of the Cassons, for whom I have an outsize love. I have no idea if this works for the target audience, but it definitely worked for me, in spades.
Kirsty
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ukya, uk-author
Really sweet little read.
Andrea Trenary
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Dollar Tree find. Quick easy read, didn't realize til I was well into it that it's the first in a series, I'm not sure whether I will continue it or not.
Libby May
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
...Joss totally had me fooled...

...I still like him though....

....very awful....

Anyway. I half liked half hated this book. It was ok. Acceptable. There were a lot big mess of topics that were touched and then just left at that. I didn't really find the ending all that satisfactory.

I can't decide if I want to read the next book or not. But anyway. I'm sort of glad I read this one.
lucky little cat
For Anglophile middle grade readers (& up). As other readers have noted, some similarities to Hilary McKay's glorious Casson family series in tone and topic. With two parents who have strayed off instead of just one, though.
Malene
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
After Iris er en skøn bog, der som I nok kan regne ud, handler om livet efter Iris' død.
Bluebell, eller Blue, lever efterhånden bag sit kamera - det eneste sted, hvor hun føler sig nogenlunde sikker. Hendes familie er ikke altid enig med hende i, hvornår det er passende at filme, men hun gør det ikke kun af interesse, hun gør det også for at se livet fra en anden vinkel, end hendes egen.
Hele hendes familie er ved at falde fra hinanden og med to forældre, der ikke har overskud til at leve et norm
...more
Rikke Simonsen
Denne bog er en af de herligste bøger, som jeg har læst længe. Den er så sjov, så hjerteknusende og dog også så livsbekræftende på den gode måde. Man følger Blue, som delvist optager sin hverdag på video og samtidig skriver dagbog om det der foregår. Så bogen er en blanding af noget visuelt beskrivende på den ene måde og noget mere begribeligt, når Blue så fortæller om sine dages forløb.

Bogen handler både om det at være familie, at være datter/søster, men også om venskab og om tab. Den kredser r
...more
Hannah Cobb
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bluebell sees the world through the lens of a camera. Instead of keeping a journal, she records a screenplay of her eccentric family's daily life. Bluebell's family is charming and funny--her young siblings Jasmine and Twig are obsessed with their pet rats, while her older sister Flora dyes her hair and acts out in an obvious plea for attention. But beneath the surface of all the amusing big-family anecdotes, like the dirty dishes everyone refuses to touch and the rat multiplication taking place ...more
John Blevins
I had given this book to my 12 year old granddaughter. Then she said she thought I would like it. SO how could I not accept this invitation???
It was a pleasant read, and I wasn't bored. We had some conversation about it after I had read it. Joy.
Betsy
One Sentence Review: Never goes where you expect it to and fun from start to finish, the parents in this books are THE WORST!!!!
Ellen
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A emotional, funny, nice read. I don't really like the film diary chapters, I prefer when a real person is narrating, but it's overall a nice read. Totally five-star. ;)
Amy Courtney
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Middle grade novel about a family that loses a child, told from the perspective of Blue, a pre-teen who expresses herself through film. Blue's twin, Iris, dies three years before the beginning of the novel, but the family is still learning to cope with her loss. The book isn't depressing- for the most part, it is funny, as everyone seems to cope with drama filled chaotic bids for attention and self expression.

In general, it wasn't a bad read. I do think that it isn't a very likely tale- it just
...more
Leah Sivak
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After Iris is a book about a family whose seemingly broken because the children's parents haven't been home for months because of work. In the story the main character is Blue, or Bluebell. Blue is one of the middle children of her family. She used to have a twin sister, Iris. Blue’s siblings are Flora, Twig, and Jasmine, also referred to as Jas. Flora is an older teenager and Twig and Jas are younger twins about 8-10 years old. Zoran is the “caretaker” because the parents aren’t ever home much ...more
Lucy
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I can't decide whether to give this three or four stars. I really like big, happy family books - and even though the family isn't happy through a lot of this one, they end up there in the end, and I liked that. It was hopeful and full of love and light, and the characters were fun and real and memorable. I especially liked Zoran. I am so excited to find out that there are sequels! I plan to read them.
Isabelle
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood-faves
The Gadsbys are fascinatingly dysfunctional, kind of a Leaving the Bellweathers kind of quirky. Blue is definitely easy to relate to; Twig and Jas are so cute; Flora was a pretty believable teenager. Zoran is a terrific big brother, and Jake seems like a great friend for Blue. The tone was complex but not heavy, poignant but age-appropriate.
Safia
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tbh this book made me cry on multiple occasions. It is so well written yet so meaningful
Charlotte
This book is told in diary format which is written by the main character Blue who likes to film key events in her life so she also had the transcripts from her recordings.
Blue is trying to get on with her life after the death of her twin sister Iris, who died 3 years earlier. Blue struggles as the family don't really talk about Iris, and Blue feels like part of her is missing.
Blue is a quite lonely at school and doesn't really have any friends. Until she meets Joss an older boy who lives near
...more
Allison
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful portrayal of a family dealing with loss, facing grief, and finally coming together to overcome it and actively choosing happiness. Our protagonist, Blue, is delightful if a bit pitiable at times. Anyone will be able to find elements of the Gadby family to which they can relate. Overall, a comprehensive look at family and friend dynamics and the bonds that keep us together.
Shayla
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, what a great story. I loved it. Just plain loved every second. So I feel like the fact that this book was perfect and real and everything the author probably wanted it to be deserves 5 stars because I can't think of a reason to give it any less.

Okay, so I cried a whole bunch reading this. No one died (during the story) or had terminal cancer or anything, it's just one of those books that has such real feelings. I didn't feel like the story was emotionally manipulative and it was just won
...more
paula
May 04, 2013 rated it liked it

SPOILERS............................................................






As well described by other reviewers, this is the story of Bluebell and her family in the aftermath of the loss of Blue's twin sister three years ago. Blue is a budding filmmaker who documents her family as they essentially raise themselves, under the "watchful" eye of a male au pair who I felt to be just another body in the home, essentially useless, and not at all a person of real guidance and care of the children. Blue's pare
...more
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: randomly-reading
It has been three years since Iris Gadsby's death and no one in the Gadsby family has really been able to come to grips with it. Living in an old house in London, dad is away most of the time, teaching medieval courses at a distant university; mum has taken a job with a beauty products company and must fly all over the world; older sister Flora, 16, is totally involved with her boyfriend and continuously changing the color of her hair; younger siblings Jasmine and Twig, AKA the Babes, are obsess ...more
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Natasha Farrant grew up in the heart of London's French community, and currently combines writing with her career as a Literary Scout. She is the author of two successful novels for adults, Diving Into Light and Some Other Eden, both published by Transworld. She lives in West London with her husband, two daughters and a large tortoiseshell cat.
More about Natasha Farrant

Other books in the series

The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby (4 books)
  • Flora in Love (The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby, #2)
  • All About Pumpkin (The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby, #3)
  • Time for Jas  (The Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby, #4)

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