(11/19/23): Reedsy Discovery launched Next Stop, Boston last week on their site with a review and a preview page. My page got enough upvotes that it was featured in their Friday newsletter on the "Best Books That Launched This Week." Yeah! Next Stop, Boston was their pick for the Coming of Age genre. Thank you to Reedsy and readers for their support. The review was very good. Here's a snippet: "Next Stop, Boston was super enjoyable and well-written. It’s an addictive read that, despite being a relatively quiet novel, has a narrative flow that propels the story forward. The honesty and passion in the writing is what truly makes this story shine—no sugar coating to be found here. This is complimented with Dorbian’s meticulous research: referencing famous musicians, models, photographers and real hotels along the tour locations. Dorbian even includes a mini-tutorial on how to properly clean a guitar. It’s great!...The characters are well done. Each person stands out clearly on their own, their flaws, wants and redeeming qualities clear to the reader." To read the review in its entirety, click here. (FYI, you'll need to sign up for an account--it's free and very easy--and you'll learn about a lot of really good books).
Five-Star Amazon customer reviews for Sentenced to Shakespeare:
From Tom J: "Sentenced to Shakespeare is a young adult novel that even adults will enjoy reading. At little over 200 pages, it is a very quick read and most readers will not stop until they finish reading the book. The premise is relevant: what do we do with our youth when they commit a crime? Should we punish without rehabilitation? What happens to a young girl when she gets caught up in the cogs of our justice system. Leah, the book's main character is found guilty of assault. Rather than send her to prison, she has to take a Shakespeare class.
The novel speaks eloquently of loneliness and a person's innate desire to be accepted and loved for who they really are, regardless of what they will sometimes show to the world around them. Dorbian clearly loves Leah and it comes out in her prose. The author's style is such that it doesn't preach to its audience; the words ebb and flow with elegant ease. Leah is a wonderful character and her transformative journey is beautifully crafted.
This is a book that will resonate with young adult readers. I finished the book in one sitting and enjoyed it thoroughly."
From Rosa: "Our advanced technology dictates the way we communicate today, we have come far but at a great loss. The need to be accepted, loved and appreciated by peers has always been for some, if not many ... complex and heartbreaking and can have consequences through adulthood. Leah, the main character, is touching, painful at times. But she becomes one of the lucky ones. Her being sentenced to the Shakespeare program saves her. Her story is most poignant today and I think should be read by young people AND their parents and it would not be a bad idea to place this book on a reading list for middle school and up."
From Amazon customer: "This is a wonderfully entertaining young adult novel about the horrors of teen bullying and how the victim can overcome. It's an important read for kids to learn that there is life after bullying and there are people who care about the victims (even if they're clueless as to how to stop it). Educators would do well to read the book as well to learn that they can become more adept at detecting the signs and intervening). I was also fascinated to learn that there really are programs centered around Shakespeare, designed to help troubled teens become productive citizens to stay on the right side of the law!"
BREAKING (2/15/20): Just got another sweet review from the blogger Acme Teen Books. Here's an excerpt: "Having a program like the Shakespeare program helps to address issues in a positive manner and help kids who might simply learn more bad habits by being expelled or sent to juvie to learn positive coping skills. This story brings all of this to light and more. It is well-written with all of the ups and downs that teens go through in a single day. The plot is interesting and well-rounded with a good variety of characters both well behaved and not. I loved reading it and would suggest it to other teens and their moms for sure!" Thank you so much!! Here's a link to the full review if you would like to check it out.
(11/22/23:) Honeysuckle Magazine has just published an article in which I share five songs, among them classics by The Beatles, the Velvet Underground and The Doors, among others, for a "Weedsday Playlist." Also discussed in the piece is my new novel Next Stop, Boston and my background. It's a fun article. To check it out, please click here.
PRESS/MEDIA/COVERAGE for Next Stop, Boston
December 8, 2019: "45 Books From 2019 for Theatrelovers," Playbill
October 26-27, 2019: Book Review: Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut
October 3, 2019 - Radio Interview - Tell Me Your Story with Richard Dugan
September 30, 2019 - Radio Interview (starts at 33:54 in podcast link) - The Bill Newman Show - WHMP
September 8, 2019: Blurb in ThisFunktional
August 26, 2019: Radio Interview - The Tom Sumner Show -1470 WFNT Flint’s News Talk/WFOV 92.1 FM
August 17, 2019: Interview - Dave's Gone By
July - Class Notes Summer 2019 - NYU Alumni
Iris Dorbian (WSC) has published a new novel, Sentenced to Shakespeare (Sunbury Press/Milford House Press).
Advance praise for Sentenced to Shakespeare: "Iris Dorbian is the rarest talent as a writer--the writer with a heart of gold. Her sensitivity in creating the character of Leah, and in realistically infusing empathy into every corner of Leah's plight and growth as a person, makes this book a must-read for the pre-teen, teen and adult audience. Sentenced to Shakespeare is an inspirational, deep, illuminating and wonderfully enjoyable read that makes you think, page by page, of what you would do if in a similar trying circumstance as this complex and fascinating character. Leah's very unique journey of self-discovery rings true on every level; it's so heartening to see a story about a young girl finding her power and strength through creative exposure and expression. Yet her growth will universally resonate with anybody who is or has ever been an adolescent feeling in over his or her head--and that's everyone. The perfect summer read for teenagers and those who support them." --- Lisa Mulcahy, best-selling author of Building the Successful Theater Company and The Essentials of Theater
(11/23): Answered in Five did a Q&A with me about my latest project, Next Stop, Boston. It was a lot of fun. You can check it out here.
(11/1/23): NYU Alumni Magazine just included this in their Class Updates: Iris Dorbian (WSUC) will have her third novel, Next Stop, Boston, published later this year. It is a contemporary coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of a pre-COVID North American rock and roll tour. Publisher: Black Pawn Press. (Summer 2023)
PRESS/MEDIA COVERAGE for Sentenced to Shakespeare
(11/26/23:) From December '23 issue of Bergen Magazine, Page 18, Buzz
YOUR NEXT PAGE-TURNER
A Bergen-based business journalist is now a published novelist three times over. Iris Dorbian of Teaneck, known for her bylines in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and the Reuters news service, recently published her fourth book (and third novel), titled Next Stop, Boston.
“This is a story that merges my lifelong passion for rock ’n’ roll—particularly the tales of excesses and dissolute behavior as immortalized in countless rock-star biographies and memoirs—with my keen interest in Hollywood gossip, fan fiction and soap operas,” she says of the coming-of-age tome.
It has garnered top reviews from readers and fellow writers, but don’t take their word for it—the paperback version is now available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.
BREAKING (2/3/20): Just got a lovely and perceptive review of my book "Sentenced to Shakespeare" from the blogger Mythical Books: Here's an excerpt: "I liked how the author caught Leah’s internal monologue. It quite endowed the story with her innocence, seriousness, and sincerity with herself...It is a book that parents could give to their children. But I think it will be better for parents to read the book too and afterward to discuss with their children all the aspects which were identified very well by Iris Dorbian. Sentenced to Shakespeare is a serious book, but a pleasant read nonetheless. Enjoy!" Check out the full review.
BREAKING (11/15/19): Thank you so much to Lee Giguere for his intelligent and thoughtful review of "Sentenced to Shakespeare." The review appeared in the October 26-27, 2019 (weekend edition) of The Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.
October 2023: Here's an advance testimonial endorsement/praise of Next Stop, Boston:
“This is a very entertaining novel, with effortless writing, naturalistic dialogue, and a good dose of humor. On the surface, it’s a tale set in the glittering, frantic world of a touring musical act. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll find a story about flawed, damaged characters searching for the light that will lead them out of the darkness that has been created for, or by, themselves. And while the characters can be thought of as types—the washed-up rocker; the model who dies tragically young; the teenage ingenue; the pothead musician with a heart of gold—they end up transcending those assumptions.”--Said Wendy Lee, author of The Art of Confidence, Across a Green Ocean and Happy Family (Booklist Top Ten First Novels of 2008).
Reviews/Praise for "Great Producers: Visionaries of American Theater"
Theatermania.com - Highlights: "This competent and easy to read tome..." and "Reading the lengthy quotes by Fran Weissler is like having her right in front of you. This first-hand approach makes it very easy to assess the theatrical values and practices of each producer, noting where they diverge and where they come together."
Amazon.com reader: "If you love theater, or are interested in producing, this book is a must-read. Each chapter deals with a different producer's life and career, and Dorbian captures not only the essence of each person, but also why they are so good at what they do. It includes lots of sage advice to anyone considering mounting a show, no matter how big or small the production."
Midwest Book Review: "A good performing troupe is only as good as its weakest link, and a weak producer will sour it more than anything. "Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater" is a guide to effectively producing live theater. With advice from many of the best producers in American theater today, it acts as both a set of tips for aspiring producers and a look backstage for fans. "Great Producers" is a highly recommended book with a dual appeal."
(11/23): Just got several five-star customer reviews for Next Stop, Boston! Here are snippets of each:
"This is an excellent story. There’s no two ways about it, really. The plot itself is an excellent work of character building and weaving around both plot and current events. This isn’t just a book about a girl struggling in the wake of her sister’s death, it’s about the world reeling from the Covid 19 outbreak. This isn’t just a focus on interpersonal relationships, but a thoughtpiece on how we as people need to support and care for one another."
"Next Stop, Boston is a beautifully written story that will captivate readers, drawing them into the lives of the characters. The narrative is engaging, and the characters are well developed, making it a compelling read. Geri's strength in the story, despite being dyslexic, and her ability to endure Dez's mood swings, are truly admirable. The book is narrated from each character’s perspective, making it easy for readers to follow and understand the story. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a captivating and well-crafted story."
"Iris Dorbian's book is well-written and engaging, with realistic characters that feel like people you know, or can even be similar to yourself. Dorbian does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of a rock and roll tour, and the characters are all complex and relatable. Geri is a particularly well-developed character, and it is easy to root for her as she navigates her new life and tries to figure out who she is and how to get out of a bad situation."
"Geri's story is heart-wrenching, especially with everything that happens with Val. I felt for the character as if she was a little sister who I wanted to help and guide myself. By the end of the story, I felt happy for her because she ends up finding her own path. Geri's story is a worthwhile read."
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