Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: What Comes After by Steve Watkins

What Comes AfterAuthor: Steve Watkins
Release Date: April 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre:Young-Adult Novel

The Story: After her veterinarian dad dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must leave her beloved Maine to live on a North Carolina farm with her hard-bitten aunt and a cousin she barely knows. Iris, a vegetarian and animal lover, immediately clashes with Aunt Sue, who mistreats the livestock, spends Iris’s small inheritance, and thinks nothing of striking Iris for the smallest offense. Things come to a head when Iris sets two young goats free to save them from slaughter, and an enraged Aunt Sue orders her brutish son, Book, to beat Iris senseless - a horrific act that lands Book and his mother in jail. Sent to live with an offbeat foster family and their "dooking" ferrets, Iris must find a way to take care of the animals back at the farm, even if it means confronting Aunt Sue. Powerful and deeply moving, this compelling novel affirms the redemptive power of animals and the resilience of the human spirit.
A gripping portrait of a teen’s struggles through grief and abuse - and the miraculous power of animals to heal us.

My Review: I read this book in less than 24 hours. I honestly could not put it down. I was a little leery of the synopsis as I thought this was going to be the kind of book that had my crying like a baby. It did not. Instead, it made me proud of Iris, the human spirit that is in all of us and the love of our animals. It made me so happy for the little things in my life, the lives of my children and the lives of the kids out there are fighters. I did a lot of searching in this book. I have never been able to comprehend how someone can hurt a child. Any child...this was the toughest part to get through. A child that can easily be broken does not stand a chance in this cold, cruel world. Any child with a spirit like Iris', is going to make it. They end up making their own luck in the only way they know how, to survive!

The writing of this book was incredible. I could never find a good stopping point in the book. I was left needing to know more, to read more after reaching the end of each chapter. I told my husband I was going to "finish this chapter" and go to bed....oooops! I finished the book. Thank goodness for book lights! 

Littleberry surprised me the most in this book. A very wonderful, pleasant surprise too. I wanted to hug him several times. The life Iris had could have taken her in a million directions. I was scared for the directions she could have taken. 

I honestly loved this book and recommend it to anyone that has ever been in a tough situation, is currently in a tough situation or knows someone in a tough situation. There is ALWAYS hope. You just have to find it to embrace it.

Final comment(IMO):Ferrets=Ewww & Goats=Awww


  1. Great review! I read this one pretty recently and felt the same way about Iris. She really did handle herself like a pro, especially since she had such a bad situation going on. Glad you liked it!

  2. Nice review :) I kinda feel like despite Iris' strongness, I might get a little emotional. But it sounds like a really good read :)

  3. OH Gosh! I have been seeing this book around and have been wanting to read it! Thanks for the review!



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