Jackie's Reviews > Butterfly

Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett
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Oct 27, 2010

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bookshelves: coming-of-age, friendship, identity, ya-fiction, self-esteem
Read from October 24 to 27, 2010

Plum Coyle is a girl about to turn fourteen, who is unsure of herself, her family, her friends, or her life. She adores her older brothers, Justin and Cydar, yet her friends are moody and standoffish. She keeps a briefcase full of treasures beneath her bed to strengthen her resolve and calm her fears. Each object...a coin, glass lamb, ABBA badge, necklace, bracelet, watch, and yoyo, holds meaning and a deep dark secret. Plum is not quite sure her friends really like her, and when Maureen Wilks, a thirty-something, glamorous, ethereal neighbor, befriends her, she is entranced. Maureen encourages and praises her. All this seems dream-like until Plum realizes Maureen has an ulterior motive...Plum trades her secret of the suitcase for Maureen's secret of a scandalous affair, one in which Plum has connection.

Butterfly is a story with questions, supposes, and what-ifs. Plum justifies her petty crime, yet cannot forgive another's sin. She takes on the cruelty that her friends have shown her and transfers it onto someone she views as disposable in her life, not fully realizing all of its consequences. This novel will have one twisting with disgust, anger, and grasping at reasons for it all...a great discussion book.

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