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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, October 15, 2011
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
Wow. Wow. Wow. Read What Comes After one rainy Saturday afternoon. Could not put it down. What an inspiring story! One that speaks to anyone who has had to overcome adversity and learn the importance of balancing suffering with joy, pain with humor, love and empathy - as the main character Iris intuitively seems to understand. I was so moved. I laughed and cried, and laughed and cheered. Iris is such an intrepid character, and her love for animals so beautiful to witness. All of the background details of the farm are fascinating. The whole story flowed so perfectly. Now, I can't wait for what comes after, What Comes After!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Comes After by Steve Watkins, October 5, 2011
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
Iris Wight's life is like a train wreck-- horrible, terribly depressing and so gripping the reader truly can't look away. Iris's strength is what makes this novel amazing and emotional. There were too many times when I wished I could pluck her out of the story and make her feel better. The ending and her growth is stasifying and realistic.

The law in Iris's life is that anything bad that can happen will happen. For most of the novel, Iris is rejoicing in the very small things in life because that's all she has. Literally, she doesn't have much besides the clothes off her back and a half empty stomach. Her plight is heartbreaking. One of my biggest worries was a male writer taking on the emotional state of a teenage girl but Mr. Watkins does this effortlessly and with a brutual honesty to match some of the best female writers. He knows what he's doing.

Both Sue and Book Allen are well thought out for being the "bad guys" and play their parts with equally parts glee and sorrow. They felt real and weren't all bad which is something that takes a lot of rounding out. The thing is, you could see both points of view and though they took it too far, they stayed true to their characters. I did feel that Iris's friend Beatrice fell flat compared to the other well-rounded characters. Her dialog seemed a bit forced and she fell into a non-realistic stereotype too often for my tastes.

Mr. Watkins writing is beautiful and very honest. Iris's voice comes easily and she's in such a dire situation that it's hard not to love her. I did find that at some points the story dragged a little and by the middle I wanted more action and to see the story progress. I guess I was hoping to get to the really bad parts quicker so that I could see the good parts. I would have also liked to see a bit more of her friend Littleberry so I could feel more of a connection to him. Iris needed more good people in her life!

What Comes After is truly a tale of growing in the worst possible conditions and learning to adapt in order to survive. Through everything Iris remains true to herself, no matter how hard or what the consciences. What Comes After is definitely worth the read but it's not for the faint of heart. Gripping, emotional and beautiful, it tells the story of a modern day heroine that learns to survive on her own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta read this book!, August 10, 2011
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This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
Steve has out done himself with the story of Iris, a 16 year old orphan who is sent to live with her maternal Aunt Sue from hell. How many foster kids are out there trying to survive and being knocked down at every turn by lawyers who OK outrageous purchases by Aunt Sues with Iris's inheritence in the name of providing a "quality of life". How many are bullied because of their accent, the clothes they wear, the food they eat? Steve tells the tale of Iris, who evenually, if reluctantly, learns to trust a few who in turn help her to escape her hell. How many kids never find that trusted friend and never escape? Steve tells the tale in a way I didn't want to put the book down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, September 25, 2013
This review is from: What Comes After (Kindle Edition)
Heartbreaking and hopeful...beautifully written. Highly recommended. This is was a treasure...read it in two sittings and loved it. Great writing, great story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down, March 18, 2013
This review is from: What Comes After (Kindle Edition)
I was drawn into the characters and the writing of this book. Animals are a great escape and great for healing
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, March 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
Great young adult book. Read it for grad school YA class and taught to my undergraduate students. They enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great and Touching Story!, January 27, 2013
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
A great book about letting the most unlikely helpers in the world -- a group of goats -- help a lost teenager overcome her problems. I grew up on a farm, we had some goats, and they were fun animals to have around. They were always glad to see you, and they would do a lot of goofy things. It was easy to picture the scenes from this story, with the goats taking on almost human characteristics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, October 18, 2011
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
This is a gorgeous book that makes something horrible and sad into something beautiful. Watkins' writing is incredible and engaging.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read, October 10, 2011
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MKB "a reader" (VA, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
I found this book hard to put down...it was that good. I liked Iris, I liked the animals, I loved to hate Aunt Sue (while, yes, having some empathy for her dismal life). Iris' dad: what did he die of? Her mom?: more details on her would've been nice. The pivotal beating? Didn't need to be graphic, but it was a little under-described, I'd say. However, all this aside, I loved WHAT COMES AFTER. Iris' voice is so realistic, I agree with an earlier reviewer who said it is hard to believe it's not written by a woman! I definitely recommend this and also agree with the reviewer who commented on the cover art--lovely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read What Comes After!, September 22, 2011
This review is from: What Comes After (Hardcover)
What Comes After is a powerful story of the strength of the human spirit. It illustrates the determination of that spirit to find the will to live through connection; if not with people then at least with goats! Honestly, it's not an easy story to read. Iris' path is difficult and there was at least one time when I thought to myself, I don't know if I can finish this story. But I'm so very glad I did. Iris is an endearing character and I was by her side the whole way through, watching her find her way and find the courage to open her heart to friendship and connection beyond the goats that befriend her. Steve Watkins does an amazing job of being honest about the hard realities of Iris' life and child abuse and neglect and also showing how people will search to find light even in dark places. What Comes After is a story of healing and strength of spirit that has stayed with me. I would highly recommend it.
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What Comes After
What Comes After by Steve Watkins (Hardcover - April 12, 2011)
$16.99 $12.67
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