Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield


34007508Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
Published: October 1st, 2017
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Abuse, Racism, Bullying, Romance, Family, Friendship


BLURB: 

June’s stepmother physically abuses her, but June can’t find the words to tell anyone. Her only hope is her friendship with Blister, a boy who helps her believe she can escape. Then a shocking tragedy occurs and June finds herself trapped, potentially forever.

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This is not a book you read to ‘‘escape’’. In fact, to tell you the truth, I often needed to escape from this book.

Thank goodness I read it after finishing a light and fluffy YA contemporary romance, otherwise I would not have survived.

And now, once again, I need to plunge my mind into a mindless story, or I will not be able to stop crying and I’m starting a new job tomorrow for the summer so I really need to keep it together this week at least.

What an awful story. Awful. Awful. Awful. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, because I wouldn’t wish you to experience what I’ve experienced reading this. So much sadness. So much anger. So much helplessness.

Helpless, that’s how June feels. She thinks she’s stuck – and maybe she is – and she thinks no one will understand or come to her aid. She tried opening up to some people, but no one believed her, so now she endures. Day after day.

Imagine that. People tell you to talk about your feelings and to tell the truth all the time, and the few times June actually opens up, to people that could make a change in her life, they don’t take her seriously. They think she’s lying, causing trouble on purpose, and actively hating her step-family for no good reason.

‘‘It’s your choice, June. It’s your life and you get to choose your path. Carry your past down the difficult route, or take your past from your shoulders, leave it here and walk down the other road.’’

I have to go back on something I said. I do actually recommend this book. It’s an extremely harrowing story, but there’s beauty in it, too. There’s love. There’s forgiveness. There’s hope as well, as unexpected as this may seem. I’m glad I picked it up after months of debating whether I’d be able to handle a story like this one. Turns out I am.

Realistic Fiction, especially the heart-shattering kind, is necessary, because while this may seem like fiction to us, it is reality for so many children and adults in the world. We must never forget that the rest of the world may not be as lucky as we are, and we must learn to sympathize and understand.

This book was not written to entertain you or break your heart on purpose. It was written to open your eyes, your mind, your soul.

And, to me, it did.

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