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The Fall of Butterflies

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,047 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Willa Parker, 646th and least-popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life. Did she choose this life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and Willa has no intention of fitting in. But when she meets peculiar, gl ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Megan I'd say no. It's one of those books that there is the tension between the two female characters, but it doesn't go anywhere. More of an infatuation th…moreI'd say no. It's one of those books that there is the tension between the two female characters, but it doesn't go anywhere. More of an infatuation than romance.(less)

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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,047 ratings  ·  206 reviews

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Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary

This was such a fun book about a girl going to an ivy league high school across the country from her actual home. Willa’s mother is famous for her brain and her father is just a regular guy. Of course she grew up with her dad and hasn’t seen her mother in years, but that doesn’t stop her mother from trying to dictate her academically. Willa agrees to attend Pembroke Prep, there she meets a girl who will change her life. Remy is the sort of girl everyone wants to be friends with. Remy chooses to
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“It’s a bathtub. A haunted bathtub.”

This was a YA contemporary story, about a girl at boarding school and illegal drugs.

Willa was an okay character, although she was maybe a bit of a follower. The way she kept going on about her haunted bathtub was quite annoying though.

The storyline in this was about Willa going to a new school, freaking out over her haunted bat
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss

The Fall of Butterflies is a standalone contemporary Young Adult book. This is my first book by this author.

The narrator is 16 year old Willa from Iowa. She is leaving home to go to Pembroke Boarding School on the East Coast.

The writing style is very odd. The narrator talks to the reader.

I didn't really connect with a lot of the characters in this book. Many of the kids that go to this school are rich and snobby. They basically don't even have to attend classes if they don't feel like it. I was
Vem Night
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I like the story but...
A light read and definitely good one but not good enough for me to give five stars. Giving it three because it doesn't suit me well. Some parts I felt it was dragging and to be honest I was hoping for a better ending. There wasn't much a climax and a resolution, not to mention my ship sailed. I got this feeling that there wasn't any closure at all.

What I like about the story is its loyalty to the story line and it's about and finding yourelf. The humor added is absolutely
Ann  Mat

Warning: This book contains omigawd-she-didn’t spectacle, and the other half is pretty familiar not to mention inconsistent.
Why is it always harder to write reviews about books you truly love?

Nevertheless, I have to try. Because, you guys, The Fall of Butterflies is magnificent. And I encourage everyone in the world to run--yes, run--to the nearest bookstore--and yes, brick and mortar bookstore--and purchase a copy of this masterpiece. It will make you cry, it will make you laugh over and over again, it will make you feel understood. It will make you feel. And isn't that why we all read? Why we all live?

Willa is the
Jun 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewcopy
I'm finding it so hard to rate this book. I found so many elements of myself within the main character that I'm literally sitting here tossing between giving this book either a 3 or 4. I enjoyed the POV, the characters, the refreshing plot, the way the author talked about friendship. I just, this book was beautiful in so many ways yet did also have some excruciating flaws. (expect a full review soon - I need to reflect on everything that just happened, holy crap). ...more
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is about a girl named Willa, she lives with her father in What Cheer, Iowa, since she was a little girl, because her mother, despite being an admirable intellectualist woman, that is known for her work in the economy, left Willa and her father for another man, and together they went to Europe to live there, without caring about her daughter. One day, Willa´s mother decided to send Willa to study at Pembroke Prep, an exclusive school, where a lot of rich and famous people sons and daugh ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
With the average Goodreads rating being so low, I thought this book was gonna be an easy book to fly through, rate 2 stars, and throw to the side. Uhh, I don't know why, but I kind of enjoyed this book. It felt fresh and the narrator's voice was one that I haven't yet encountered, which is definitely a feat considering how many voices I have read. I could definitely relate to her thoughts at this time in my life, and I'm 19 years old. That might be bad..

Nevertheless, Mile is turning my head i
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

There are lots of problems people have in the world. Many of them are different from certain groups or individuals. But the problem here in this book is: Rich People Problems.

The Fall of Butterflies isn't necessarily about rich people problems. It's still there, but it also focuses on Willa and her journey from being a girl from Iowa to attending an elite school and making friends with Remy.

To me, this was a good book. It wasn't a book that took me by surprise. The best way I can d
See this review and more on my blog, Lilybloombooks

The Fall of Butterflies was a new-to-me book that I had not seen much of before requesting it for review on audio. I’ve been in a contemporary mood, and this was the perfect book to satisfy my new habit of mood reading.

I loved the writing. It’s told in the second person, with Willa narrating to you as the reader. It was a fun and unique was to be pulled into the story, especially given the state of mind that Willa was in at the beginning of the
About 3.5 stars (just because I had to put this book down and start over at a later date).

Full disclosure - I'm definitely not the target demographic for this book. However, I do have teenage nieces who may or may not be interested in this book.....

When I first started reading The Fall of Butterflies, I was a little bored. Same old story, teenage girl with an absentee parental unit plotting her own demise. I'll admit it, I put the book down for a bit and went on with my business. I picked up the
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This was a pretty good book about a small-town gal whose absentee mother wangles her into a prestigious boarding school where she plans to commit suicide.

So this isn't exactly the cheeriest start to a book and I never really got to grips with why Willa wanted to off herself. Still, the author manages to lift the mood considerably by not really talking about Willa's intended suicide for the rest of the book and instead regaling us with the escapades and pranks that Willa and her new boar
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WAY better than anatomy of a misfit.
I guess I could relate to Willa, and that's what made this book so interesting to me. Nothing special here. I guess it's one of those books where if u can relate you'll enjoy it. If I can't then u won't.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Yet another book that started out with such potential but failed to deliver.

Full review can be found here:

This is yet another debut novel that was a huge disappointment. I picked it up because I wanted to try to read outside of my normal genre and it bothers me that these books are not living up to my low expectations.

This is the story of Willa and Remy, two girls who become amazing friends while at an ivy league high school. Willa has a mother that is fa
Dec 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Huge thank you to HarperCollins for sending me an ARC for review!

I was NOT expecting to love this book as much as I did. I started reading it because I was in the mood for something contemporary and I remembered really enjoying Portes' previous YA title. I got SUCKED into this book and read almost 200 pages in one sitting. I was expecting a typical small town girl goes to expensive prep school and gets sucked into a new, exciting world, story butttttt this took an unexpected dark turn. And I lov
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Willa leaves What Cheer, Iowa at the insistence of mother and goes to boarding school. She has already figured out she’ll never return, because Willa is planning to commit suicide. On her first day at school, she meets Remy, the toughest girl she has ever seen. Everyone wants to be Remy’s friend because she’s Remy Taft, relative of the president. Remy finds Willa refreshing and decides that she can be her best friend.

In the beginning I was excited. Willa tells the story directly to you, the rea
Lauren (runningonwords)
I told myself - no, FORCED myself- to finish this book for the main purpose to see if there was a plot. Good news: there is. It just doesn't come through until 2/3rds way through the novel.

Positives to this piece: it's told from the perspective of a Mid-Western girl in a snooty East Coast environment. Probably the most interesting aspects. But that's about it.

Downsides (the short list): Plot. Too many dangling, unnecessary strings (ghost and flimsy love interest, teacher-student affair [number
Ms. Yingling
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Kept reading this one because I wanted to know if Willa survives. She mentions wanting to commit suicide at the beginning of the book, and it is also mentioned a couple of other times, almost in a joking, light hearted way. Not a topic that I find funny.

This is definitely young adult, with a roommate having an affair with a teacher, and a liberal use of f-bombs. Will definitely pass.
"Ladies and gentleman, welcome to freakyland. Population: this."

Willa Parker is not accustomed to the highfalutin world of the rich and famous but when she meets Remy Taft, she finds herself drawn into its centre. A world of drugs, sex and illegalities are not what Willa wanted when she went away to school but she is determined not to let it destroy her. But she can see it destroying her new friends and must decide whether to stop them imploding or to save herself from the fallout.

I have ha
John Clark
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Take a smart, but wounded girl, have her mother become rich and famous, then abandon her while still controlling part of her life. Don't let her fit in with anyone at school except for the misfits with whom she bonds. Then have her absent mother force her to attend a super fancy prep school without any concern for how the girl feels. Add a roommate who seems alive and daring, but when the veneer wears off, is just as fragile (maybe more so). Mix well and you have Willa Parker. Read this story an ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
For me, this book was not bad. I actually really loved Willa's voice, and was throughly entertained throughout the story. It was more of where the story went. I was fully enthralled by Willa, but when she started running with Remy, I felt like she was abandoning her own standards, and running with the crowd. It was also typical "rich people problems". Not from Willa, but the friends she made her boarding school. There were a few really lovely moment shared between Remy and Willa, and I was all a ...more
(view spoiler)

3.5 stars for a good story about Willa and Remy and their respective interactions and life choices. CW makes it senior fiction for me but I really enjoyed Willa's voice and think the plot, action and storyline flowed nicely. Some not so great characters but overall, not a bad read.

Re-read 2021.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an ok read, I enjoyed it but didn't really connect with the characters or the story. I actually kept waiting for Remy and Miles to turn out to be fairies but when I was half way through I realised it wasn't going to happen and they were just regular people. I did like the message at the end and was glad Willa could make some decisions for herself. ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
this wasn’t on the edge of your seat kinda book. it was insightful & meaningful. i liked the way it was written- like a spill all from the protagonist. a great coming of age story. an easy, enjoyable read.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
The Fall of Butterflies: gorgeous cover with a story that doesn't really mention real butterflies.

So we have Willa from What Cheer, Iowa who has an awesome single dad and a strict famous economist mom that judges her life from a distance. She gets sent to Pembroke, an all girls boarding school, where she thinks she won't fit in until she meets the colorful, popular Remy. Remy introduces her to a fast and fun way of life, and Willa thinks everything is going just fine...until she learns that Rem
The Bibliophagist
After I read Portes’s first novel, I wasn’t impressed. Honestly, The Fall of Butterflies wasn’t that much better, but it was still an improvement.

A four sentence summary:
Willa leaves What Cheer, Iowa to attend the prestigious Pembroke Prep. Willa befriends the mysterious, quirky, school rebel Remy Taft. Willa and Remy get into trouble and do lots of drugs together. The end.

Characters: I disliked every character in this book. I actually don’t even think we were supposed to feel sympathetic towar
2 stars.

There were a lot of things I disliked about this book. Not gonna lie. It was a riveting enough novel to get me to read it, and it was interesting... but... well...

I found the writing style of this book to be kind of... I don't know. I mean, it was told as if Willa (the main character) was telling the reader the story. But it wasn't that that bothered me, at least not specifically that... It was mostly the character of Willa Parker, because as she wrote she seemed extremely judgmental, co
Audrey Wilkerson
Willa Parker (whose name you don’t know until Chapter 5) has decided to leave her cafeteria table of gentle misfits and go to boarding school. Though she hasn’t spoken to her mother in a long while, she knew her mom could pull the appropriate strings and get her in the ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep. An all-girls school on the east coast, it’s a long train ride away from her loving and encouraging father in What Cheer, Iowa. She doesn’t plan on staying there very long, and in that end, is encoura ...more
Joshua Lee
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
In the book The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes, the author’s writing style is fun and informal. The book is written in first person, while occasionally breaking the fourth wall. The narrator is the main character, named Willa Parker, and because Willa is a teenager, the book is written the way a teenager might think or speak. Portes writes in a way that may be somewhat confusing to follow at times, but it adds to the realness of the mind of a teenager. She constantly adds witty, sarcastic ...more
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First5: The Fall of Butterflies 4 23 Apr 25, 2016 02:26PM  

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Andrea Portes is a bestselling American novelist.

Her novels include HICK, BURY THIS, ANATOMY OF A MISFIT, and THE FALL OF BUTTERFLIES. Portes is also the author of the upcoming LIBERTY book series and the upcoming HENRY & EVA book series. She also published the SUPER RAD graphic novel series for Dark Matter Comics.

Portes was raised in rural Nebraska, outside of Lincoln. She attended Bryn Mawr Col

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