Review: ‘Paper Butterflies’ by Lisa Heathfield


Title: Paper Butterflies

Author: Lisa Heathfield

Purchase: Available now in the UK, and the US.

Overall rating: 4/5

Great for: Biting your nails down

Themes: Domestic abuse, first loves, unjustice


Review: Lisa Heathfield’s ‘Paper Butterflies’ is one of those books you love to hate. I devoured this book within two days on my commute to and from work, and I lost count of the amount of people I had to text to tell them how physically repulsed I was by a character.

‘Paper Butterflies’ follows June, a girl of mixed race who lives with her father, stepmother and stepsister. This is a classic tale of the evil stepmother, but there was nothing outdated about the concept and the sensitive subjects of mental and physical child abuse were portrayed chillingly well.

The story is told through June’s eyes, and I instantly felt connected to her, I felt her pain, I felt her frustration and I felt her relief. Unlike some books in a similar vain ‘Paper Butterflies’ doesn’t just recount June’s tales from her young life, you’re also allowed glimpses of her full-grown self and how she’s struggling to cope with what’s happened.

‘Paper Butterflies’ is shockingly raw and will make you keep turning the pages to race to happy parts, which mostly include June’s relationship with Blister. This book is heartbreaking, but in a really, really good way, and you won’t be able to guess where the ending is heading either.


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