October 1, 2017

Because Broken Things Can Still Take Flight: Macky Reads Paper Butterflies

Paper Butterflies book cover
Before anything else, a trigger warning. I loved this book so much, but there is quite a lot of graphic physical abuse and bullying in it, so I believe a fair warning is definitely in order. I have known enough people who have gone through trauma to understand that, at the very least, some painful memories can return unbidden at the slightest hint or clue. And really, it’s this kind of damage the human soul sustains that makes it so important for people to get help. 

June, our main character, did not get her chance when she was going through the worst of it. The book chronicles her struggle with the events that transpire in her life, with the most horrible thing about it being that all these things can and do happen in real life - abuse and torment at home at the hands of her stepmom and sister, and extreme bullying at school. Though she finds refuge in the form of a boy she meets and his wonderful family, she cannot even bring herself to tell him exactly how bad things are. 

Things spiral completely out of control and the book takes June’s story to new lows.  But the core of this story is the hope of how, when love is given a chance, it will fight against all odds to overcome. June’s story has brought me to a place of hope amidst the bleakness of the worst life can offer a person. It may not be an easy read because of how terrible the abuse is, but I have seen stories like June’s play out in real life enough to know that more important than being aware these horrible things can happen, is the fact that if people band together, and don’t give up, there is a fighting chance to overcome whatever has broken us and fly once again.

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books | Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Source: ARC picked up at BEA 2017 (Thanks!)


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