Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Release Date: June 30, 2016
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!

June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one—and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net. 

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom... But at what price?

When I received Paper Butterflies in the mail, I was excited for two reasons. The first? THIS GIRL GOT HER REVIEW OF SEED INTO THE BOOK! Look!!!
I was over the moon when I found out about it and was so excited when I finally saw it in physical form! Anyway, other than that, the second reason was because I really loved Seed (read my review). I'm still hoping there's a sequel, but I was definitely eager to read Paper Butterflies. So after months of putting it off, I finally buckled down and read Lisa Heathfield's second book.

This book wrecked me.

Paper Butterflies was both beautiful and absolutely devastating. By the end of the book my heart was probably in a million little pieces.

Kathleen puts another slice on my plate. I look up at her and she nods at me. Maybe this is the day she changes. Maybe she'll put her arms round me and say she really does love me and she's sorry. I smile back. A little bit of the grit in my heart feels like it's floating away.
           I eat my cake, the chocolate filling my mouth. Megan stares at me, but I don't care. Kathleen can love me too.
           I run my fingers along the crumbs on my plate, smudging dropped bits of chocolate cream.
           'More?' Kathleen asks.
           I laugh slightly. 'I need to leave space for a sandwich.'
           'But the cake isn't finished.' Just like that, the look is back.
–p. 18, paperback

This is a story of abuse, and the way our main character June is treated by her stepmother, stepsister and classmates is heartbreaking. Children can be so cruel, but holy crap, the way her horrific stepmother goes about abusing her? I had to put the book down for a break a quarter way through because it was honestly too much for me. It definitely highlights the importance of real-life issues being represented in young adult novels, or any book in general. The story, however, was so gripping that I picked it back up after collecting my thoughts and read it the whole way through.

I liked the alternating chapters of 'Before' and 'After' as it added to the mystery of how it all ends. The 'Before' story also jumps through year after year, which I thought was pretty cool, because we see how June grows, and how her friendship with Blister blooms into something. Oh, Blister. Blister and his family were the shining beacons of hope in this novel, honestly. The chapters about June and Blister and the rest of the Wick family were the little breaks of relief in this sad, dark story. I loved all the family members, and the relationship between June and Blister was just so adorable that it could make you momentarily forget about the horrible way that June is treated at home.

A dark, melancholic buzz speckled with spots of tormented sunshine that burgeons and turns on itself, slamming readers with an unpredictable twist, Lisa Heathfield's Paper Butterflies does not disappoint. I loved this book so much, and recommend it with all my heart. An important read for teens and adults alike, you don't want to miss this one.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful & devastating stories are typically the most remarkable. So definitely checking this one out.

    ...also congrats! :D


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