Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Iris by Scott Stabile

Iris
Author: Scott Stabile
Publication: McCarren Park Publishing (July 31, 2013)

Description: Sixteen-year-old Iris Capaldi led an entirely ordinary life before the accident. There were no make-out sessions with her best friend, Benji. No homicidal skinheads. No unexplainable flying creatures. And no ridiculously cute, teenaged aliens. Since the accident, however, the bizarre has become the ordinary. It’s an unusual day if she’s not kissing Jamen, her extraterrestrial classmate, arguing with her impulsive, dead mother, or almost dying herself.  Suspenseful, insightful and fun, Iris effortlessly blends love, loss and the paranormal in an unpredictable teen romance that will enthrall fans of The Hunger Games and Twilight, as well as anyone drawn to the endless possibilities of first love . . . no matter how extraordinary the circumstances.

My Thoughts: IRIS was an action-packed story which combines ordinary teenage life, tragedy, and aliens in an interesting mix. Iris Capaldi - called Mia by her friends - is an ordinary teenager. When the story begins, she is eagerly anticipating getting her driver's license since it is her sixteenth birthday. Her best friend is her next door neighbor Benji. They hang out together all the time. She loves her quirky, hippie mother and they get along just great.

But shortly after getting her license and when Mia is driving, she and her mother get into a car accident and her mother is killed. Mia has to go live with her older brother Daniel and his girlfriend whom she does not like. She is awash in grief and depression and considers killing herself but is saved by a strange creature - enter the aliens.

When she starts her new high school, she meets Jamen who is a transplant from Idaho. The two become fast friends and Mia develops quite a crush on him. Mia also develops an interest in aliens and is determined to investigate. She convinces Benji to go with her to downtown Detroit to visit a group she found on the web. She doesn't find them but she and Benji do run afoul of a human predator and are saved by still another creature.

During Thanksgiving Break with her spacey aunt in New York City, Mia and Jamen are hanging out in Central Park when they are attacked again. In order to save Mia, Jamen has to admit that he is an alien and transform into an alien creature to defend her. He also confesses that he has been sent to Earth to protect her from another of his fellow aliens who had been in love with her father.

I liked Mia's voice and her resiliency. Though she had all sorts of difficult situations to overcome, she managed to come through. I loved how realistic Mia was. I loved her relationships with her mother, Benji and her older brother Daniel. About 85% into the story, I told a friend that I thought her relationship with Jamen was doomed though. I was right but the reason it was doomed wasn't at all what I thought it would be.

Fans of science fiction and romance will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
I never understood suicide before last night. I never understood the possibility of so hopeless and alone that death seems like a better party than life. But the instant I faced my death for real, as I was falling to the cement, I knew how wrong I had been just minutes before. Life is the better party.
The author sent me this eARC for review. You can buy your copy here.

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