Synopsis: Being a combination of conventional diary entries and transcripts of videos shot by the author on the camera she was given for her 13th birthday, and beginning at the end of summer.
Bluebell Gadsby is 13 but that’s the least of her problems. Both her parents seem more interested in their careers than the family, leaving Blue and her three siblings as well as their three pet rats (who may or may not be pregnant), in the care of Zoran the au pair. The enigmatic Joss moves in next door and Blue thinks she might be falling in love, until he takes out her older sister Flora instead (who, incidentally, is trying to make a statement by dying her hair bright pink but no one takes the blindest bit of notice). Blue thinks and feels very deeply about life but can’t really talk to anyone about it, because no one in the Gadsby family wants to address the real problem – that Blue’s twin sister, Iris, died a year ago, and they are all just trying to hide their grief in busyness…
So Blue turns to her diary and her unique way of seeing the world through her camcorder to express herself. A tender, funny, smart and ultimately heartwarming story.
200words (or less) review: After Iris is another example of why independent bookshops are brilliant. Katie from StorytellersInc included this in my Christmas box and I’m so glad she did.
There are so many things about this book to love, all the Gadsby family, Natasha Farrant’s writing and plenty of laugh out loud moments. The film transcripts work so well, together with Blue’s diary entries you’re pulled straight into the book and don’t want to leave that world behind.
Blue’s family is chaotically muddling through after her twin, Iris, died three years ago. Instead of things improving Blue’s life is crumbling. I adored the whole family but Bluebell was my favourite. Natasha Farrant’s characters are so convincing and real you’re expecting them to be sitting next to you telling you the story.
I’m a little apprehensive of series books, too often the first books are incomplete and only setting you up for what’s to come but not After Iris.
Can’t wait to read the next one.