As usual, this post will contain some light spoilers, so read at your own risk.
Wow, these two chapters had a lot going on in a good way. I am liking the introduction of newer characters and the relationships building with some of the familiar ones. And that’s including, of course, her relationship to Roman, the dog she’s helping rehabilitate.
Speaking of Roman – at the beginning of the chapter, Iris does something incredibly stupid. Talbot, another young woman doing dog rehabilitation, lays down with her tiny dog over her. Iris decides to imitate Talbot – a big mistake with her fearful dog Roman, who is still recovering from abuse and dog fighting. Luckily, nothing bad happened – Roman wanted to play, but it terrified Iris. It’s good to show that Iris’ relationship with Roman is going to take time. They both have to get over their respective fears.
The summer school situation sounds promising. Iris probably won’t become friends with any of the classmates, but I’m thinking that her teacher will end up being a positive influence. I particularly loved the part when the summer school teacher ripped down a quote that Mrs. Schneider (the English teacher at odds with Iris) had put up on the wall. The fairy tales discussed in the course could help Iris see through her own problems; I imagine the stories could parallel her own life. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes as a result of her English course.
The chapter opens up at her dog rehabilitation session. The young people are able to talk among themselves in getting to know each other. I liked learning how the other young people got into trouble. It gave Iris a chance to open up. The fact that Talbot was a drunk driver will no doubt play a role in the friendship that develops between Iris and her. We learn in this chapter that Iris’ mom died after a drunk driver hit her. If I was Iris, I probably wouldn’t want to become close to Talbot just because of this. But, Talbot is persistent. On the one hand, I’m happy that Iris is making friends and opening up. On the other, a part of me doesn’t trust Talbot! Does anyone else feel this way?
Iris decides to go to dinner at Iris’ house. This is setting up an interesting conflict that I didn’t see coming. Talbot’s parents are inquisitive and demanding in their questions. When the question of Iris’ parents come up, Iris does something that drove me crazy…
She LIED! She didn’t tell them the truth – that her mom is actually dead – and instead told them that her mom was a librarian! This means, of course, that she is now lying to Talbot. How will this affect their budding friendship? It can’t be good…
To make her social life even more complicated, it seems as if Oak is interested in Iris. He’s probably the only young adult character who I feel like is genuinely caring for Iris right now, and I have my fingers crossed that a relationship (friendship or otherwise) will bloom!
The author of Strays, Jennifer Caloyeras, has kindly offered to give away one copy of the book. I will be setting up a Rafflecopter soon (I PROMISE) and posting it here. I’m so excited and hope you are too!
That’s it for now. Next week will be Chapter 8!
Please comment below or reach out to me on Twitter to let me know if you are reading along or if you have any thoughts on this post! I would love more interaction with my readers!
Strays: A Novel can be purchased directly through Ashland Creek Press.
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