This is a short YA romance story that… no, wait, don’t run away! I mean, I don’t normally read YA romance either, but hear me out. This is by Adam Bertocci, the author of such favorites as The Hundred Other Rileys and Samantha, 25, on October 31. So let’s give him a chance and see where he takes this.
Iris, our protagonist, is a high school student with a strong contrarian streak. She just doesn’t like to follow the crowd. So when everyone at school insists she needs to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day, she refuses. (Pro tip from a veteran contrarian: to be really contrary, wear orange.)
However, when she’s forced to dress up as a leprechaun to hawk cookies for her father’s coffee shop, her stubborn independence is tested when she encounters the cute boy from school whom she’s had her eye on.
I really liked Iris. She reminds me of me, when I was that age. And maybe still. If you read this blog regularly, you know I tend to march to a different drummer.
I think a lot of kids are this way, and they feel kind of like misfits in school. And really, they shouldn’t. As much as anything, I think that’s what the real point of this book is. It’s okay to be different. But it’s also important not to let your commitment to being different override your own happiness.
This isn’t as complex a book as Samantha or Riley, but it’s not meant to be. It’s a fun YA short story, told with Bertocci’s typical wit and clever phrasing. It’s a good introduction to his style, and a nice read for St. Patrick’s Day.
Oh and one last thing: I loved Iris and her friend’s school assignment on debating the American Revolution. Naturally, Iris is taking the side of the British. I just want to note that if Iris actually existed, I’d encourage her to read A True History of the American Revolution by Sydney George Fisher to build her case for rebelling against the rebels.