There are some books that you can just drop into your bag and pick up whenever you can steal a minute’s peace. And then there are some that need military planning to ensure your survival as you read it. Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield (Electric Monkey, Egmont) sits squarely in the latter category. But don’t let that put you off, for this book NEEDS to be read. It is stonkingly good. You owe it to yourself to read this book. Just follow these pointers to help you through.
Be prepared! There are a few things you will need before opening Paper Butterflies. I would start by checking your freezer. Yep. You will need a book sized space in your freezer in order to lock this book away Joey-style when things get tough. And they get tough! Tissues are also highly recommended. And if you’re like me and feel the need to underline really awesome bits of writing, or stick little tabs in your books when you come across a perfect phrase, then stock up on stationary. The writing here is delicious!
Location, location. Think about where you can safely read this book. This is not a book for public transport. Unless you like being the one people stare at as you shout at your book and become a shell of your former self before their eyes. Equally, this is not a book to be read when children are within earshot. The writing is so good and the structure so immersive, you will get sucked in and you will be rooting for these characters. I was so emotionally involved that I shouted at them, I swore out loud quite a bit and I did that thing where you read a page and can’t quite comprehend the gravity of what has just happened so you just stare at a wall for a while until you can continue. This book will destroy you. But in a really, really good way.
It’s all about the timing. This isn’t really the kind of book that you can read a few pages at a time in snatched freedom. It deserves your full focus and attention. It demands it. It will hold you ransom and make you stay up all night and possibly require you to call in sick the next morning. You will not want to put it down.
Organise your back-up. You will probably need to talk about this book when you have finished it. The heartbreak and the plot twist and the general awesomeness need to be shared and discussed. I fully expect some kind of Paper Butterflies support group to be up and running on social media soon. It is heartbreaking. Repeatedly. But it also manages to be full of hope and love and celebration and creativity. It is smart and it will move you and make you think and look at the world in a new way. And there is nothing more you can ask a book to do for you. Bravo, Lisa Heathfield.
June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. She’s trapped like a butterfly in a net. But then she meets Blister, a boy in the woods. And in him, June recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom …but at what price?
You can check out Lisa Heathfield’s previous book, Seed, here.
Source- purchased copy. You can get your copy from Indy-loving, tax-paying Hive.co.uk here.