Francisco X. Stork
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Teenagers Kate and Mary are left on their own when their strict father suddenly passes away, leaving them to take care of their mother who has been declared brain dead for two years. Suddenly they must deal with adult issues, like filing insurance claims, applying for food stamps, and arranging a burial for their father. Meanwhile, three men vie for their attentions - Kate's long-time boyfriend, Simon, Mary's classmate and gang member, Marcos, and Andy.,, who has romantic feelings for Kate that border on inappropriate.
I was drawn into this book right away because of the strict rules Kate and Mary's father had. After he passes away, I was drawn further into the plot - hoping Kate and Mary would be able to make the right decisions not only about their father and the rest of the family, but their futures as well. Irises is a real coming of age story with two strong but different female leads.
I did love the metaphor of the Irises Mary was attempting to paint. I thought that was a beautiful aspect of the novel and one of the main reasons I ended up enjoying it.
Three stars - the metaphor was beautiful, but the plot was not as detailed as it could have been. The ending was good, but felt rushed. If you like contemporary stand-alones, this might be something to consider reading.