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Paper Butterflies Hardcover – 1 Oct 2017
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Praise for Lisa Heathfield’s Seed:
'We are obsessed with Seed. It's unlike anything we've ever read before'
YA Love Magazine
‘Lisa Heathfield's debut is stunning and has left me aching for more. Do yourself a favour and do NOT pass this one up' Confessions of a Readaholic
‘Dark themes are explored with a gentle touch, leading to a heart-pounding conclusion. Insanely good – one of the best books I’ve read this year’ Kate Ormand, blogger and YA author
‘Addictive, compelling and thought-provoking. Lisa Heathfield is one to watch’ So Many Books, So Little Time
‘Simply stunning . . . Heathfield’s prose weaves a truly magical and convincing world’ Maia & a Little Moore
‘Hauntingly beautiful . . . a precious gem of a book’ Tales of Yesterday
‘If you want a gripping and heart-stopping read that will pull at your heart strings then this is the book for you’ Lovereading.co.uk
‘I adored this book. The story gets going right from the off and never lets up’ Book Magpie
‘Pearl’s story had me totally gripped and I couldn’t put the book down’ OMG That Book
‘I haven’t read a book in a long time that has blown me away. Seed completely changed that’ Queen of Contemporary
‘Seed was, hands down, one of the best books I have ever read. Utterly captivating and dangerously addictive’ The Dark Dictator
‘Compelling and exciting . . . I would give it 5 stars’ Guardian Children’s Books
‘Wow, wow, wow! This book was utterly incredible. A truly remarkable novel’ Sophie Reads YA--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
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.
Top customer reviews
We read about the abuse she suffered through June’s tales of her life and as an adult, her struggle to cope and move on from the abuse she has suffered. What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was told through the eyes of June. The eyes of the abused, not the adult June’s perspective, but from the perspective of June whilst such terrible things were happening to her.
There were light moments throughout when we experienced June’s relationship with Bliss. It made me want to have more moments of June’s happiness. I wanted everything to turn out well for her but then the story took an unexpected twist towards the end. I certainly didn’t see it coming and found it engrossed me even more than before.
This book is special. I know that it will stay with me for a long time.
Lisa Heathfield has a beautiful writing style which makes the story flow and the reading compulsive. I have just ordered her next book and cant wait to receive it. I am a grown adult, not a young adult, but it makes no odds, I really enjoyed it, and actually I managed to finish the whole book which doesnt happen very often with me these days
From the very first page we are introduced to June, at this point five after her mother has recently drowned, surrounded by her new family - stepmother Kathleen and stepsister Megan. Her dad is still around but works, so Kathleen is the main caregiver, and she follows the stereotypical fairytale step-mum: maliciously, uncomprehendingly cruel. Every time June thinks something is going to change, she's let down. 'Oh, look! She's made me a lovely birthday tea with a nice cake!' But all this is an elaborate way for Kathleen to further her torture of June. Unfortunately it's not exactly a fairytale ending with a prince to ride off into the sunset with, but she does find some escape.
She meets Blister, a boy from a house of seven, and finds her salvation. As much as possible, she spends her time with him and with his welcoming family who are the antithesis of her own. Although she tells Blister a little of what goes on at home, June cannot tell him the full story. And no one else knows. She berates herself later for not telling, but how can a child blame themselves when they are that scared? June is convinced that no one would ever believe her. But, as the years go by, she lets Kathleen know she is not beaten, fighting back by not reacting or small acts of retribution. But it doesn't stop.
One form of abuse that I'd never really considered before is the way Kathleen forces June to eat. To eat and eat beyond satiation... 'She wants me to be fat.' So, June's life at school is even harder, when children tease her and call her names. She feels embarrassed eating in front of Blister's family:
'I know what they must think. I want to tell them. I want them to know that me being a bit overweight isn't my fault. That I don't want to eat everything Kathleen puts in front of me but fear makes me do what she says.'
And that's what keeps her quiet: fear. But what child could speak up for themselves in that situation, however hard June berates herself in retrospect.
This is a painful read. It feels odd to give it four stars, meaning 'I liked it,' because I didn't exactly enjoy reading it. But Heathfield has created an entirely compelling read, with a horrific unexpected climax. The ending, a note from Blister (giving away no spoilers), is beautiful. Throughout, you are really inside June's head, and you feel her embarrassment, her shame and her righteous anger. That's the mark of a good author.
But I would definitely warn people away from this book if they have experienced any form of abuse themselves. I can't speak from experience, but I imagine it might be too hard to read.
Apart from abuse, it is also about the power of friendship, and that's the redeeming quality here. Blister and June's friendship starts as childishly innocent, and gradually morphs into a deeper relationship of love. It's wonderful to watch them blossom despite the world around being so dark.
I devoured this book in a day. (Well, an afternoon and a morning). It's a very fast read. I would recommend it, but with that caveat: not for anyone with personal experience, or for people who are particularly sensitive. This book hurts.
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this. I really want to go out and get Heathfield's debut novel now, but maybe I'll have to wait until I've got through a few more in my TBR pile...
Excellent. Four stars.
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Most recent customer reviews
This is sort of a Cinderella retelling: June's mom died and her father re-marries...Read more
All words that can be used to describe this powerful novel from the lovely Lisa Heathfield.Read more