The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Pérez

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Pérez

Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Sent from author for blog tour
Buy: Amazon ❘ The Book Depository
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After a marijuana-addled brawl with a rival gang, 16-year-old Azael wakes up to find himself surrounded by a familiar set of concrete walls and a locked door. Juvie again, he thinks. But he can't really remember what happened or how he got picked up. He knows his MS13 boys faced off with some punks from Crazy Crew. There were bats, bricks, chains. A knife. But he can't remember anything between that moment and when he woke behind bars. 

Azael knows prison, and something isn't right about this lockup. No phone call. No lawyer. No news about his brother or his homies. The only thing they make him do is watch some white girl in some cell. Watch her and try to remember.

Lexi Allen would love to forget the brawl, would love for it to disappear back into the Xanax fog it came from. And her mother and her lawyer hope she chooses not to remember too much about the brawl—at least when it's time to testify.

Lexi knows there's more at stake in her trial than her life alone, though. She's connected to him, and he needs the truth. The knife cut, but somehow it also connected.

I loved Pérez's first novel, What Can't Wait but this one? SO INTENSE. Like, I couldn't stop flipping pages, frantically trying to find out what happened that one night. It was emotional, mysterious and all tied up with a mind-blowing conclusion.

Both characters were likeable, and I found that even though Azael was the main character telling the story through his point of view, Lexi's perspective was clearly mentioned through her writing. It was interesting to see how her story ties into his, even though he can't remember what happened that one night. The story included hand written notes and such, so it was a different blend :).

Azael was pretty great, although I was unsure if a 15 year old would do all the things he's done, but nonetheless, his personality is SPOT ON. Like, honestly from a girl's POV at least, it's pretty accurate. Lots (and I mean LOTS) of swearing coming from him.
Lexi is the more mysterious character and I enjoyed how we as readers find out things about that night and developments to the story the same time as Azael does. The emotions in this book are incredible and is quite the emotional roller coaster.

There's a switch in time/setting, with alternating "Then" and "Now" chapters, which looks at the present mystery and Azael's past. I found this extremely effective, and it really built up the suspense and tension in the story. Like I said– the ending is MIND BLOWING. I so did not see that coming.

Overall, The Knife and the Butterfly is a fast-paced and heart-thumping novel which looks at racial discrimination and street gangs in Houston. This was apparently based on a true crime, so it's interesting to see how that ties with fiction, especially the similarities in both cases. Ashley Hope Pérez has written an astounding second novel, and I SO can't wait for more.

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**Thank you so much to Ashley Hope Pérez for making me apart of the blog tour and sending me the eGalley for review!**

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