Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall...

Publish date- January 2016.
Publisher- Text Publishing.
RRP- $19.99 (AUD)


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
When her greedy parents send Iris to spend time in Spain with her aunt, they have plans. They send Iris expecting she will get in her aunt's favour and come back with an inheritance insured. But Iris will be facing much more than a single, meek aunt on her trip. She will face bizzare, surreal- alive?- paintings, wild things that creep through the house and the huge, magical harden, and an aunt who has much more to her than Iris could believe.

Thank you to Text Publishing for this review copy!
Image source: Text Publishing.




What I thought:
Leanne Hall is one of my favourite authors. Her work is unique in a way that is unique, and it captivates me. It holds me fast and never does has it failed to fire up my imagination and make me wonder about the world I live in. Her debut in YA, This is Shyness, is one of my most loved books, and the sequel took the world of Shyness into a whole new direction. I still hope that one day I'll be able to go back to that world, but when I heard of Iris and the Tiger, a MG novel that looked and sounded gorgeously, perfectly fantastical, I felt alright with the idea of waiting.

Iris caught me off guard. I've tried to verbally express my feelings on it a couple of times now and have failed considerably, because I feel a lot about it, and it is special, and confusing, wonderous and odd.

I liked it a lot.

Bosque de Nubes, the house Iris goes to stay at for a week, was a wildly strange place, full to brimming with character and paintings by Iris's famous uncle, all of them fascinating and described in perfect detail, not that I couldn't have heard about more of them, they were so interesting.
As I read, I really did feel as if I was in another world, so I was startled, every time, when texting and selfies and other very modern day things were mentioned. That, really, was the aspect I struggled with- adapting a story so fantastical to the modern world. I didn't do a very good job at it, ignoring the truth as best I could only to be rudely bought back to the present again and again. Iris was also a little difficult to work with, on occassion, because her nature was... a little whiney, at times, although I still rather liked her throughout. As a character she really does struggle with asserting herself, especially against her awful parents, and she is also dealing and the changing of friendships at school back home, which meant, when it happened, it was so good to see her, this young, slightly insecure girl, grow past bonds that dictated the way she feel and live. And I mean, having the added fantasy of paintings coming to life and magic and cars that are alive and flowers playing tennis, and a couple of new friends along the sidelines, it all helps to make this a throughly enjoyable, perfectly strange book.

Rating: Ooh, very good.
I really enjoyed this. Leanne Hall writes strangeness in the real world so well and her characters are all unique and distinct. I did struggle with the fact this was so clearly set in a world I know, although I suppose I should feel more love for it because of that factor, and Iris wasn't always the easiest protagonist to work with, but overall it was a success. I will wait patiently for Leanne Hall's next novel.

12 comments:

  1. Loved This is Shyness! Oh those were the days when I was able to afford to shipping cost of importing books from Australia. Lol. This sounds like a signature Leanne Hall. :)

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    1. Wasn't it lovely and bizarre and wonderful? I liked it a lot, too. But you can actually get a lot of AUS books (including Leanne Hall's) from the book depository for regular prices, now. I think it's a relatively new thing, but nice for international people who struggle to get books only published here! x

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  2. I haven't heard of this one before! The strangeness sounds interesting, but I'm not sure if I will really love this one since the magical realism sometimes doesn't sit well with me. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one ultimately!

    And also, why did I just see that you were posting!!? Welcome back! :D

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    1. I think maybe it was only released in Australia- or has been, so far? I'm not sure if rights internationally have been bought yet. Aah, yes. I usually wouldn't be a fan, I don't think- or I would be very specific in terms of what magical realism I like- but I really like Leanne Hall's style and it suits my reading wants, apart from that modern factor. It was enjoyable and kinda fascinating!

      Maybe a few people have been having troubles- I don't know if my posts are showing up... *frowns* Thank you! xx

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  3. I'm probably going to pick this up for some delightful strangeness at some point. Leanne Hall is on my must-read of local authors to check out.

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    1. Ooh, I hope you do, Glaiza! It's really rather delightful and I think you'd probably enjoy it. It's very unique and captivating, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it at some point! xx

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  4. Oh, this sounds very cool. The cover gives me the feeling of the Grand Budapest Hotel and that is just wonderful. I'm all for dark MG/YA, but the occasional fantastical book like this is fabulous too :D

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    1. Ooh, I see those vibes now you mention it! I'm not sure that it's actually like that film, interior-ly, but it's still a delight and definitely on the fantastical, wonderous side, which is just what I want when I come to MG reads. *sighs happily* xx

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  5. I read and loved This Is Shyness, so when I heard about this one I put it on my to-read list straight away. It sounds like such a great MG read and I can't wait to read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it, great review!

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    1. Oh, great! I hope you really enjoy it, Rochelle! It was defintely a special, unique read, and if you already like Leanne's work then I think you'll be happy with it. xx

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  6. I haven't read any books by this author! And I probably should read her debut, since you loved it so much.

    It sounds like the aspect you struggled with the most was the fantasy mixed in with the modern world. I can understand that, because it's usually urban fantasy or paranormal books that are set in the now, so to have a pure fantasy set in the present day would take quite a bit of getting used to.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it overall, though, lovely! I hope you get that third book one day, as well <3

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    1. You SHOULD. Really. Really should. Chiara do it.

      Definitely, although I wouldn't actually call this fantasy? Having just spent *seconds* reading up, it's urban fantasy (I think), but the gelling of a contemporary world with fantastical elements was just... not smooth, as such.

      YES. I am rooting for it.xx

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