ARC kindly provided by Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
‘Iris and the Tiger’ is one of those small, hidden, national treasures you stumble upon quite randomly and end up falling in love with. This is my third work read by the wonderful, fellow Aussie and author, Leanne Hall. I knew to expect something quite new, refreshing and definitely magical, fantastical and somewhat bizarre. And I was NOT disappointed!
‘Iris and the Tiger’ is probably my favourite novel out of the three the author has already published. It was bright and gave me a very, VERY colourful reading experience. But I’ll talk about that later. I’d strongly recommend this novel for kids of nine years to fourteen, though some teens and tweens may not find it AS enjoyable since this novels main target audience is children.
I loved the author’s writing. There has always been something…that indescribably beautiful, engaging and intriguing thing…that just wouldn’t let me go! The writing is so smooth and flowing it’s probably smoother than a baby’s BUM! And so, so, so professional! It just SCREAMED maturity, talent and skill!
The blurb really doesn’t do the novel justice. It only gives you the barest of hints as to what the novel is ACTUALLY about. So let me tell you: ‘Iris and the Tiger’ is about twelve-year-old, half Aussie, half Chinese, Iris who has been sent by her scheming and ambitious parents on a ten-day trip to Spain. Found in Spain is her wealthy, land-owning and slightly crazy great-aunt who Iris’s parents are certain is on her death-bed and this means that Iris needs to convince her great aunt Ursula that she is the one who should inherit the money and sprawling estate. But during her ten-day stay, Iris notices something different, special and almost magical is happening on those estate grounds. And when Iris discovers a mysterious painting called “Iris and the Tiger” she is intent on figuring out its origins and why the painting has no tiger, and realises that maybe, there’s more to life than just her parents and an inheritance.
Yet another thing I loved were the characters. They are SO amusing and special and unique and very Spanish-ly extravagant! I loved their actions and personalities and thoughts! They touched my soul at times and at other made me furious. They scared me and MADE ME CARE! I have never met characters like these before, and that’s a fact!
The setting was absolutely beautiful! Spain must be such a lovely country and this novel really made me want to go and see it, to discover its hidden, untouched places. I loved that the language the author used really helped to carry this across and paint this in my minds eyes.
The plot was well laid out and there was nothing especially unique about its structure. I enjoyed the third person narrative it was written in from Iris’s perspective as it allowed for me as a reader to kind of take in ALL and everything.
There wasn’t much in the way of a great big conflict, but that was okay because…
THE ENDING MADE IT ALL BETTER! I loved how satisfying it felt and the way it wrapped everything up so cleanly! It brought a kind of deep calm and happiness to me when I finished the novel. I am ENAMOURED with this novel!
Congratulations to Leanne Hall on publishing a spectacular children’s standalone.
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!