Wednesday 31 August 2016

August Book of the Month - Paper Butterflies

If I'm honest there haven't been many books that I've been really excited to read this year but Paper Butterflies caught my eye quite a while ago and I was waiting impatiently for Lisa Heathfield to release it and I wasn't disappointed hence why I have chosen it as my August book of the month.

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?
This is a story that is honest and raw. It covers the subjects of racism and child abuse so be warned it isn't the easiest of reads.

June is a mixed race little girl that unfortunately lost her mother at a young age. Her father has found love with another one who has a daughter of her own and from the outside looking in they look like they are a happy family. Kathleen comes across as a doting step-mum concerned but what people don't see is something quite tragic.

The novel goes back and forth between past and present, showing the harrowing events that June had to endure as she grew up and in the here and now how she is trying to find a way to forgive those who wronged her.

I imagine plucking the butterflies out of my belly and putting them in a box by my bed - I'd like to watch their colours, to see their wings beating against the glass.
June's life is made somewhat bareable when she meets Blister, what begins as a wonderfully heartwarming friendship blossoms into something so much more but not even Blister knew the full extent of what this poor girl had to endure.

Spending all of her free time with her new friend and his family, it was nice to see June growing into a fine young woman despite dealing with hardships both at home and at school, a true test of character and endurance.

What was hard was seeing her internal struggle, fighting with herself whether to tell people, teachers already thought she was a liar and her dad seemed blinded by love.

When he looks at me, I know I can't say it. He's got a happiness in his eyes that was burnt out when mum died.
There is quite a big twist to this story, one that I didn't see coming and it made me question just what I felt for the characters, chilling almost.

I guess what Paper Butterflies tries to show us is that we should always have hope, life might not be black and white but joy can be found amongst sadness. A lot of this story was beautifully poetic and even with the cruelty that was described, it was written in a sensitive manner.

He folds and twists and sticks the paper, as though it's a precious jewel. I just like watching something beautiful appear out of something so ordinary.

This isn't what I'd call a page turner but it is a novel that is utterly compelling, heartbreaking and thought provoking. Brilliantly emotional, Lisa Heathfield has written a book that will stay with you long after you finish the final page.


  1. I think the comment that I made from my phone disappeared! I'm very intrigued to read this after hearing about a big twist! I like the way you've added quotes to the review as teasers :)


  2. I have so many books on my wish list, just never find time to read them but this sounds good xx

  3. Sounds interesting but might be a little deep for me

  4. This sounds really good! I think I may have to check it out.

  5. It sounds like a good read. I love deep novels. :) x #ReadWithMe

  6. I really like the sound of this book, it reminds me of a novel I read ages ago; Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth. #readwithme

  7. This sounds beautiful in a dark way and really intriguing, adding to my TBR list xx #readwithme


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