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