Wednesday, March 22, 2017

REVIEW - PAPER BUTTERFLIES by Lisa Heathfield

Paper Butterflies
by Lisa Heathfield
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Release Date - January 12th 2017 (this edition)
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

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?

Paper Butterflies is an unforgettable read, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O'Neill.


My Review

Wow, I finished this book last night and I didn't think I could make it what with the words starting to blur with tears. I actually started reading this book in a reading lesson as part of the scholastic book fair. The cover is striking and beautiful which exactly reflects the book inside as well as out. I read the first few pages of the book and I knew I had to continue it...

{From the first page - what I read at the book fair - no spoilers.}
June's being forced to drink warm milk and water, her bladder full, needing the loo. She's not allowed to go. Her step-mum Kathleen, says it's time for school, she ties a ribbon in her hair and off she goes with her step-sister, Megan. She gets to the bus stop, she see a elephant in the clouds so she focuses on that, anything that isn't...well wet. She gets on the bus and sits. It's so painful, she can't help it, she couldn't hold it in...

June lives with father, after her mum died, Kathleen and Megan came into their lives as step-mum and step-sister, but the worst possibly family you could imagine. When I first read this I thought it was going to be like a Cinderella sort of storyline - only so much darker. Kathleen despises June, so she torments her everyday, feeds her huge portions of food to make her go fat, make her ugly and basically brings out the worst in June. Megan just follows like the good little daughter she is. June wants to cry, shout, talk about what's happening even to a stranger but she can't find the words...she was too scared and I don't blame her.

Not until she meets Blister with his taped up glasses and his paper figures that she actually finds some solace and safety in their relationship. Their friendship, their bond, their love for one another you were totally transfixed.That beyond everything that was happening, Blister and his family were the only ones that really treated her for her. They made June a stronger girl for it whilst not letting Kathleen and Megan strip her down till there is nothing left of her own persona for anyone to care about... Blister is her escape, she is the butterfly that is able to fly free.

This book gives you so many feels, good and bad. Miss Heathfield's writing is moving and addictive at the same time. The structure of the book is split in two times Before and After. For each After we get a glimpse at what life is like for her presently but not really knowing what has happened and I loved that. I felt that the After chapter was a light relief of the heavy and the emotional that came with each passing week and year that June has to endure this suffering. What you felt for this book was the most out of body experience because you couldn't compute what it was that's happening or feeling. It was horrific at time, it was hard to read, it was raw to imagine a child going through this abuse. But that's why I couldn't stop myself from being dragged in, you totally at the mercy of the author and how uncontrollable your emotions are. The passion you find yourself feeling towards the characters and not always good, speak volumes as to how magnificent this book really is.

This book is a roller-coaster of emotions and it will rip you apart from each page of the book. Paper Butterflies is a darkly heartbreaking and raw novel with such a gentle touch. Miss Heathfield's book is like a fold of each of Blister's paper creations, constructed passionately and yet beautiful to see (and read). Nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and the YA Book Prize 2017, Paper Butterflies is well deserved to have both of these nominations and you all need to read it.

Rating - 5

Thank you to Electric Monkey (Egmont) for a copy of this book provided on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

2 comments:

  1. Wwow, your review gave me chills, I love book that play with my emotions :)
    i will add it to my TBR list for sure

    Thanks
    Ruty @Reading…Dreaming

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't heard of this one before at all but I love an emotional read that can really move me, so this is exactly up my alley. Thanks for putting this on my radar, Emma--lovely review!!

    ReplyDelete

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