IRIS AFTER THE INCIDENT by Mina V. Esguerra

Iris After The Incident

Summary from Goodreads:

Which moment has defined your life so far?

Whether she likes it or not, Iris’s life has been divided into two: Before the Incident, and After the Incident. Something very private was made very public, and since then life has been about recovering from being shamed, discovering her true friends, and struggling to find a new normal.

Two years into this new life and she finally connects with a guy again. He lives in the apartment down the hall, he’s hot, and he doesn’t look at her that way. He doesn’t know what happened. But he also won’t give her his name, not right away—which has to mean he’s got something to hide too.

Iris wants to start over. Should she do that with the only person who will understand, or is this the same idiotic decision that got her in trouble in the first place?

It’s been weeks since I finished reading Iris After The Incident but I’m still chewing over the events that transpired. More specifically, I’m still making up my mind how to rate it. Suffice it to say, this book is a lot darker than the other stories I’ve read  by this author — but it’s still relevant, nonetheless. Once I learned what Iris’s incident is, I had to say that yes, this really happens. In this day and age of “viral” videos and “trending” news, how does one cope with the(unwanted) fame and scandal?

I don’t know how to make of Iris. She’s an entirely different character from the ones I used to read. I couldn’t say I like her a lot but I also don’t hate her. The same goes with Gio. I can’t make up my mind about him (except that I see a real-life Gio in my mind’s eye and I can’t help but smile. Hihi.) I guess this is the beauty of this story. When the characters don’t exactly reach out to you for you to love them but you can still feel that they’re real. Flawed and normal … and human. At most, characters like these beg for understanding and respect in the same way that you, me, anybody for that matter, deserve such too.

Iris After The Incident is a brave story to write and I appreciate the author’s courage in going into this route. (I don’t know if Iris and Gio are both difficult characters to write, too, because I really have a difficult time liking them, haha.) And of course, I love it that Kimmy of Love Your Frenemies, the character that I loved to hate and hate to love, haha, has a cameo.

I loved how the story wrapped up. It was hopeful and affirming and sure packed a lot of takeaways, mainly on mutual respect and common courtesy and the courage to stand up for oneself and his/her choices.

Read Iris After The Incident with an open, non-judgmental mind. Or even without. It will still open your mind if you allow it to.

“Maybe you would be right or wrong. Maybe you would keep those assumptions to yourself and wish real people real happiness.”

My Rating: 4/5 stars.

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