Thursday, 16 June 2016

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 320
Publisher: Electric Monkey 
Released: 30th of June 2016

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?

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Child Abuse, Racism

What I Have to Say 

This book was grim! I like sad books, but this was depressing levels of sad. Obviously it is a pretty dark subject matter, so I was expecting it to be a pretty dark read, but what I wasn't expecting was the second half. The child abuse in the first half was interesting and a good view into what many children are suffering through, but the second half, I just didn't need. 

The main reason I didn't like the second half is that I kept thinking of people who are going through child abuse reading it. Children and young adults who are suffering like June does might pick up the book in order to feel less alone or seek advice of how to escape the situation. And what they will find reading this book is a very grim picture. 

I'm not saying that it's a bad story to tell. I think that any story whether it is a positive or a negative one deserves the right to be told, but I feel that, in YA especially, there is more responsibility to the readers who might be suffering and until there is a suitable number of positive books out there on a particular subject, I feel that writing negatively about such a subject might only cause pain. 

That's not to say that it's a bad story. It may have been a bit too dark for me, but there are many aspects that a reader could enjoy and the story-telling was perfectly done. The characters were well written and easy to engage with  and the feeling of sympathy for June was very quickly established. 

If you like dark books then this will be a very good read, I just worry about the message it sends to people like June. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Electric Monkey for providing me with this copy for review. 

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