Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Title: Paper Butterflies
Date Published: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Pages: 320
Format: Ecopy
Source: Netgalley


Stand By Me meets We Were Liars - a heartbreaking and stunning breakout novel for teenagers from the award-nominated author of Seed.
June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one - and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. She's trapped like a butterfly in a net. 
But then she meets Blister, a boy in the woods. And in him, June recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from 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 Lisa Williamson's The Art of Being Normal, Jandy Nelson, Sarah Crossan and Louise O'Neill.
Lisa Heathfield launched her writing career with Seed, her stunning YA debut about a cult. Before becoming a mum to her three sons, she was a secondary school English teacher and loved inspiring teenagers to read. Paper Butterflies is her beautiful and heart-breaking second novel. Lisa lives in Brighton.

I was extremely intrigued when I read the synopsis of this book. Let me start by saying that the content of this book may not be for everyone. It focuses on abuse of a child and I know that that may be hard for some readers. And to be honest it was extremely hard for me. But the writing is excellent, and I continued reading hoping that June would prevail.

June's mother dies in a tragic accident and her father, Bradley, marries Kathleen who has a daughter (Megan) who is June's age (10 at the beginning of the story). June is half black and while her father tells her she is beautiful, Kathleen and her daughter tell her how ugly she is all the time. The level of abuse that June suffers at the hands of her step-mother is horrific and was hard to read. And the involvement of her step-sister was also hard to read. And while she makes some attempts to tell people what is happening to her, it falls on deaf ears to everyone, including her father. That is until she meets Blister.

Blister is her one true friend, and to see how their relationship blossoms throughout this novel was one of the few things that kept me reading. It was the light in a book that is littered with dark. Blister is the one person June can turn to, and even his family accepts her. But she knows she has to keep him hidden or her family will ruin the one positive thing she has in her life.

There were enough twists and turns in this novel to keep me turning the pages, my only complaint is that it seemed a little rushed at the end and not quite as detailed/fleshed out as I would have liked. But, other than that it was a great read with a hard topic. 

Before becoming a mum to her three sons, Lisa Heathfield was a secondary school English teacher and loved inspiring teenagers to read.

Lisa Heathfield launched her writing career with SEED in 2015. Published by Egmont it is a stunning YA debut about a life in cult. PAPER BUTTERFLIES is her beautiful and heart-breaking second novel. 

Lisa lives in Brighton with her family.

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