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Metamorphosis #1

Butterfly Bones

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Bethany should be dead, just like the doctors predicted.

But along came the butterflies, altering the order of nature.

And now nature is hell bent on revenge.

Because when fate's path is disrupted, it's only a matter of time before balance must be restored.

At birth, Bethany Keatley was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder and sent home from the hospital to die. Despite losing her mother to cancer before she turned two, Bethany defeated her prognosis and now, at fifteen, with hindered growth making her appear ten years old, she is alive and well thanks to the hormone injections which her scientist father developed.

But if growing up isn’t hard enough already, being small makes her a target and a social outcast. The only way she's been able to escape her high school tormenters so far is by working hard, achieving good grades, and through her unusual friendship with star football player Jeremiah Wright. That is until a misunderstanding with new girl Zoey Margold. Beautiful and brazen, Zoey and her followers make it their focus to break Bethany.

Yet dealing with the bullies becomes the least of Bethany's worries. The mice on which her dad tests the butterfly hormone are showing side effects no one saw coming, and now her plan to leave the small minded town of Springs, Georgia and become a scientist has all but shattered. Her world becomes a prison and her existence a life sentence.

But nature has her own plans for Bethany.

Haunting and twisted. Like nothing you've ever read before.

248 pages, Paperback

First published November 28, 2018

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Rebecca L. Carpenter

4 books25 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 57 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,725 reviews1,277 followers
October 17, 2016
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Lakewater Press and NetGalley.)

“When one alters the order of nature, it’s only a matter of time before nature screams for revenge.”

This was a YA story featuring a girl with osteogenesis imperfecta.

Bethany was an okay character, and I felt really sorry for her with all the bullying she was going through, especially when the teachers did nothing about it.

The storyline in this was about Bethany having osteogenesis imperfecta, and about her scientist father coming up with a cure which involved injecting her with butterfly hormones. We also had Bethany being bullied by another girl at school, and a crush that she wanted to be more. This was an enjoyable story, but it did drag in places, and I thought that Bethany’s Dad’s ideas weren’t always well thought out.

The ending to this was okay, but I can’t help but think there will be repercussions for Bethany after what she did to her father’s house.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,157 reviews1,516 followers
October 29, 2016
Bethany Keatley was diagnosed with a rare bone disease after she was born that doctor's said would be a death sentence. Bethany's father however is a scientist and became determined to save his little girl and began a series of experiments to help her survive.

Now at fifteen Bethany has defied all the odds and survived but she is small for age which brings on the bullying at school. While tormented Bethany has still been determined that she would do well and become a scientist like her father one day but unfortunately now after all the years of his experimenting on Bethany things have taken a turn for the worse and it's not sure whether Bethany will be able to survive until her next birthday yet again.

Butterfly Bones was a book that I was on the fence with through most of the time I was reading this one. My biggest problem with this one stood with the bullying that Bethany goes through during the course of the book. I know that bullying is a real problem and many kids suffer from it but in this day and age school staff should be aware and some of the situations in here didn't seem realistic and a bit too over the top.

But on the other hand with this book there are some really interesting sci-fi stuff going on with Bethany's mad scientist of a father. The experiments and outcome really made for some engaging reading since this one seemed truly unique on that area of the plot and I rather enjoyed the creativity behind it all.

In the end I decided to give this one 3.5 stars. Good writing, interesting ideas behind the sci-fi side of the plot but the bullying seemed to go on a bit too much in my opinion. I already felt sorry for the main character and her disease while being a walking experiment her whole life that I didn't need the extreme amount of teenage drama.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,077 reviews490 followers
June 13, 2021
This story had some interesting sections. And then it didn't. Firstly, I get very upset when an author paints a pathetic heroine who is constantly being bullied, terrorized and treated unfairly. Cry me a river, already! And then to say: well, the new "Zero Tolerance Anti-Bullying" programs in schools are useless, so don't bother reporting abuse - I was just downright enraged. Way to go: don't give the youth of today any encouragement at all to even ATTEMPT to seek justice and stop the vicious cycle of bullying. It was a terrible plot device to have all the terrible teachers, principals, city officials, parents - just about everyone this heroine comes into contact with - refuse to help her and in fact enables her evil persecutors. We get it already: she is woefully downtrodden and we should be weeping at her poor little feet. Martyrdom served on a platter, and then reheated as leftovers. Ugh!
The characterization was often one-dimensional and stereo-typical. The plot was all over the place. The writing was uneven. And quantity does not mean quality: some of those long, twisted passages could have been left out of the story completely. In short, this book needed serious editing. But wait, there is a sequel,Butterfly Blood, and even the promise of a third book!

I give this a 2.5 out of 5, because the author can string a sentence together, the plot line was initially was intriguing and the first few pages showed promise. Not to my taste.
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
209 reviews126 followers
February 2, 2017
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Lakewater Press, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Opinion: This story is truly like the crème de la crème of the audible Aw’s and small smiles that we only give to books. It’s an adorable coming-of-age/young adult story, but tiptoes into the realm of fantasy and science fiction as it progresses. This story was the epitome of bitter-sweet. It tickles your heart with giggles and the hopes for a positive outcome, while also feeling sorrowful and useless as Bethany’s story unfolds.

Though Bethany Keatley is a fifteen year-old high school student, she is constantly being mistaken for a little girl because of a rare bone disease that she has had since birth. With a frail, tiny and childish frame that guarantees Bethany daily ridicule from her peers and a slim chance in catching the eye of any boys in her class, Bethany does all that she can to stay invisible. To make matters worse, having an eccentric and highly distracted scientist for a father doesn’t seem to help Bethany’s situation…especially when her father is giving her daily shots of hormone in the hopes that her disease may one day be cured. Though Bethany is on the outskirts with most of her peers, the only constant support she has found in her life is through Jeremiah Wright. Jeremiah, who is popular and gorgeous, has an unlikely friendship with Bethany and does all that he can to protect her. But as Bethany’s father comes closer and closer to finding a cure for her bone disease, she finds that the universe has much bigger plans for her.

It is fairly hard to give this story a description without giving away what happens at the end, because honestly the ending is pretty unbelievable and imaginative. Butterfly Bones is a unique coming-of-age/young-adult tale that touches on physical abnormalities, bullying and the hardships of loneliness and isolation. I found Bethany to be a likeable character. She is extremely intelligent and witty, but finds it hard to converse with her peers and make friends. Due to Bethany’s mother dying from cancer when she was very young and her father being a scientist who barely has time for Bethany, our main character finds herself to be on her own in a world where she is fairly misunderstood. My heart went out for her as she dealt with constant acts of bullying every day, this characters puts up with A LOT and does so in a strong way. She always keeps her head up and keeps moving forward, vowing to never let them see her cry. Though Bethany acts mature in these cases, I was constantly finding the things she said to be SUPER immature. Look, I remember being fifteen and laughing at stupid things…but come on. This girl and Jeremiah are literally singing the “diarrhea song”. REALLY? Are we 5? I would have thought that Bethany would have shown a little more maturity, for the sole fact that she is constantly being mistaken for a child and because she has had to take care of herself for so many years.

Though this is labeled as a YA story, it ventures into the science-fiction and fantasy genre halfway through the story. As Bethany’s father starts coming closer to a cure for Bethany, they find an interesting breakthrough that involves butterflies and metamorphosis. I know that some of you don’t like fantasy or a book turning out to be too fantastical, so thankfully the author has executed this change in genre quite well. The author has given the reader a somewhat BELIEVABLE turn of events for Bethany, and one that tries to be backed by science rather than magic.

The relationship between Jeremiah and Bethany is confusing and sad, yet endearing and hopeful. Here we have a popular football star who befriends the school outcast at a young age, and acts as a protector to her while they go through high school. I found the dynamic between these characters to be very interesting, especially in regards to Bethany and her bone disease. Due to Bethany psychically looking like a child, I kept wondering how the author was going to bring these two characters together romantically…if at all. The author successfully makes this relationship feel innocent and natural, while also keeping the idea in the readers head that someone like Jeremiah would never think about Bethany in that way. The turmoil between these two is heartbreaking, and part of me was just wishing it would end all together so that Bethany could have SOME kind of peace in her life.

I truly have a soft spot in my soul for this story, purely for the character of Bethany and all the things this young girl had to go through. I loved the ending immensely, it leaves the reader feeling satisfied while also giving them a moment to reflect on what her character could have done next and what could happen with the rest of her life. While reading I loved that I would be smiling at one moment, and then feeling hurt and angry the next. The author has given a wonderful and unique twist on a story about living with physical abnormalities, and I highly recommend giving this a try. I am really looking forward to see what this author comes up with in book two, because I honestly have NO idea where she is going to take this next.

For more reviews, head over to my blog: Jenacidebybibliophile.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Tissy.
217 reviews
August 19, 2017
I couldn't get into this book at all. It was quite a slow read and dragged so much that I had to call it quits.
The premise of this book initially drew me in but ultimately it was also what pulled me away. It just became so contrived (but also predictable with the hot guy and mean girls) that I couldn't connect with the character.
Profile Image for Sam Miller.
74 reviews44 followers
April 20, 2017
I almost didn't give this book a chance, but I'm glad I did. Some parts had me laughing, others, crying. Though a very unconventional plot, it was a good and interesting read.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,738 reviews222 followers
October 18, 2016
After seeing the good reviews of this boom I thought it was going to be a great read, but it turned out to be more like an acid trip...
We have Bethany, our main character, who suffers from a bone condition which makes her bones and her immune system be defficient. As a teen she looks like a child. Enter her father, a mad scientists who is experimenting with butterfly hormones on her to help her/save her.
Then there is an array of typical high school characters:
- the hot boy who protects her (their relationship seems kinda weird, tbh)
- the beautiful and mean girls who make Bethany's life a living hell with all tbe constant bullying which we read about for like an 80% of the book

The plot consists on all these thrown together plus the fact the experimental cure the father has been using being untested and having bizarre side effects which helped convert this book into some kind of LSD trip. Weird, pointless and repetitive between:
- poor main character
- main character constantly bullied
- conveniently dead mother to add drama
- absent father obssesed with his experiments to add more drama
- more bullying and abuse. Even physical. No ones does nothing, except for hot guy
- some kind of abussive/bullied relation ship between Bethany and the hot guy.
- more bullying. And even more
- weird build-up and ending.

I kept on reading because somewhat the book hooked me, but towards the end I began to feel like this lecture wasn't going to be memorable.
Profile Image for Jody ~ I'm Into Books.
510 reviews59 followers
August 21, 2018
Awesome Book

Bethany goes through so much because of her scientist father's warped mind. She has to leave her home town, and the boy who has fallen in love with her, and she's fallen in love with him from the day she meant him. Now on to book two!
Profile Image for Alicia Huxtable.
1,684 reviews56 followers
August 6, 2018

This is unlike anything I've read before. It grabbed me from the start and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely for those wanting something new
Profile Image for Jason Dias.
Author 28 books42 followers
July 13, 2017
Butterfly Bones

Carpenter plugs her book on a fairly regular basis. I like to support local writers so, intrigued by the colorful nature of the prose in her excerpts, I picked up a copy.
Glad I did.
Prose like this should be classified as a controlled substance. I read the first 125 pages in a day. I’m a slow reader; it’s been a long time since something kept me this engaged.
The story is mostly about the tribulations of a 15 year old girl. Hardly the sort of thing that would usually maintain my interest. But the voice is very strong in this writing. Stephen King and Lee Child get away with telling some pretty weird stories because their voices and thus their characterizations are strong.
Carpenter’s prose, for this novel, is maybe a shade off purple – let’s say lilac. And it totally fits for the inner dialogue of a teenage girl who has to rely on her smarts to get by: satisfyingly snarky and always imaginative.

There is a weird urban fantasy/sci-fi element here too, and the just slightly discordant voice matches that story well. It’s really in the last third or so of the book that it gets weird. If that sounds like a long wait, I found the voice so captivating that it actually read really fast for me.
So now I get to sit around and wait for the sequel. Congratulations, Rebecca Carpenter.
Profile Image for James Weaver.
Author 11 books78 followers
November 28, 2016
Butterfly Bones is the newest young adult offering from author Rebecca Carpenter. As a man in his mid-late forties, I’m not exactly the target audience. I am, however, a fan of good writing and storytelling, and Butterfly Bones delivers both.

The story revolves around the sharp-minded, but physically underdeveloped teenager Bethany Keatley whose osteogenesis imperfecta bone disease has made her so tiny and frail that she’s mistaken for a grade school student at her own high school. She’s labeled a freak, but spirits through the negativity with the knowledge that she’ll soon be out of her small town of Springs, Georgia and onto bigger and better things. Add in a scientist father who is so involved in his questionable research to find a cure for his daughter’s disease that he forgets she even exists at times, the hunky (yes, I used the word hunky) football star Jeremiah who is Bethany’s only friend and protector, and a deliciously evil clique of high school bitches led by the buxomly bullying Zoey and you have a well-developed cast of characters to spin this yarn of metamorphosis.

Carpenter does a marvelous job of weaving in the backstory of a dead mother and Bethany’s against the odds survival through a bequeathed diary. She pens a compelling narrative of Bethany’s father’s experiments to save his daughter and with each page turned, there’s an underlying rumbling that something wondrous or horrific is going to happen, but you have to turn the pages to find out which it will be. Throw in Bethany’s unrequited love of Jeremiah who has his own unresolved demons, and the escalating menace that is Zoey and her A-Club and you have a tale worth reading. Carpenter’s writing is crisp, the character development deep and the story’s pacing excellent.

In the end, Carpenter ultimately drives home the story's tagline with the painful precision of a hip-bone injection of b. selene3 hormone - “When one alters the order of nature, it’s only a matter of time before nature screams for revenge”. Add Butterfly Bones to your coming reading list.

Note: I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy of Butterfly Bones in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Domoni.
93 reviews4 followers
December 2, 2016
Bethany was born with a rare bone condition. She wasn’t supposed to live past 6 months, but her scientist father will stop at nothing to save her. Especially since his wife, Bethany’s mother, died of cancer when Bethany was only 2. So he created a treatment and Bethany has been getting injections that strengthen her bones and keep her alive. At the age of 15 she easily passes for an elementary student due to her size and the fact that puberty hasn’t come her way yet. Which makes Bethany a prime target for bullies in high school. The only bright spot is her best friend Jeremiah, who just happens to be the hottest boy in school. Since all the girls want the hot football player, especially the new girl Zoey, this makes an even bigger target on Bethany’s back when jealous girls want her out of the way. Bethany’s final teenage torment is she is also in love with Jeremiah, but it seems he only sees her as a friend.

Bethany spends most of her free time in her father’s lab at home. This is the only way she seems to have his attention. When they observe the mice he has been treating with the same new treatment he is giving Bethany behaving strangely, that’s when things get really weird. The injections use caterpillar DNA, now suddenly the mice have made cocoons. Is this what is in store for Bethany now too? If she is going to survive the metamorphosis, what will she become?

I loved this book. It had some creepy yet fascinating moments and it brought up many emotions. The author did an amazing job crafting the world around Bethany. The characters had depth and motivation, you could understand who they were and their reasons for their behaviors. I found myself angered over the constant bullying Bethany had to endure and horrified that the adults in the school turned a blind eye or shifted blame to the petite girl. As the story progressed I started to have anxiety waiting to find out what was going to happen. The ending blew me away. I will gladly read more in this series.
Profile Image for Rachel.
94 reviews6 followers
July 14, 2017
4.5 stars.

I seriously enjoyed this book. I couldn't stop reading it, I wanted to read it constantly. I couldn't tear myself away from this book.

This book is so believable even though essentially what is happening is impossible... or is it? It's honestly so well researched and prepared that you could easily believe that what is happening is not just the stuff of a Sci-Fi novel (which this essentially is amongst other genres making this a very unusual book and a very special book too.)

This book deals with a few different subjects, grief, love, family dysfunction and bullying.

Bethany has a rare bone disease which has stunted her growth making her appearance more like that of a ten year old than a 15 year old.
I felt for this girl so much, Bethany is bullied mercilessly and she only has one person to protect her, her only friend and sure enough, she loves him. They have such a sweet friendship and I really enjoyed watching it develop albeit not in the way most young adult novels do.
Her mother died of cancer when Bethany was a toddler and ever since, her brilliant minded scientific father has been trying to find a cure for the cancer that killed his wife and the bone disease that would kill his daughter. Although they have a rocky relationship, once they really open up to each other it's the perfect daughter/daddy relationship and a joy to read in the book.

I can't express how much I loved this book and how fantastic it was. As much as I like stand alone books (and this one is a very strong candidate for that) I need to know what happens next. I want another book desperately.

Ultimately, this book will break your heart, but you won't regret a second of it.

I received a copy of this book VIA NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for E.G. Moore.
Author 6 books34 followers
December 14, 2016
Not what I expected... It was so much better!

I'm not a huge fan of contemporary novels, and even less so of urban fantasy unless it draws me in like BUTTERFLY BONES did. The protagonist's view of the world was so real and so vivid, and had a dark edge of humor that kept me up reading until my eyes drooped. This novel addresses so many issues in a modern teen's world: bullying, the big crush, single and imperfect parents, the death of a parent, and more.

The part I loved most was the science fiction elements of it, and how well the author built upon the last scene, chapter, incident. By the middle of the book, I was hooked and gasping at each new development. Well written with great language and voice. A must read for anyone that loves young adult novels! I just found out there is a sequel, and I will be ordering it.
Profile Image for K.A..
Author 1 book2 followers
September 24, 2016
“Just finished BUTTERFLY BONES. So fresh. So enchanting. So poignant. So imaginative. Such and incredible story of true grit, determination, and bravery. I'm sad the story is over and I'm not disappointed over the courageous ending either. BRAVO! BRAVO!!!!”

This was the message I sent Rebecca Carpenter the day I finished my ARC of Butterfly Bones. Let me also add that the subject of bullying is handled in such a realistic and heartbreaking way that you want to jump in and kick some butt yourself. Bethany is physically fragile, stubbornly determined, extremely courageous, and at times, totally careless and her own worst enemy. The subtle creepiness that constantly bubbled just below the surface hung out like the spider in its parlor in a dark corner of my mind during the entire story. Its message? You mess with Mother Nature – she will restore the balance one way or another.

Definitely a worthy read for any young adult fan.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews582 followers
October 17, 2016
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

I didn't love the main character in this, but she was okay. I did feel quite sorry for her, as the bullying she was going through was awful, and she didn't have an easy time at all.

This was an okay read, but I did find the first 25% or so to be a bit repetitive. It was also quite slow in areas, and it dragged a few times because of it, but it wasn't too bad.

Overall, An okay read.
Profile Image for Diana Pinguicha.
Author 6 books180 followers
July 11, 2016
Again, disclaimer: I'm part of Lakewater Press as their illustrator. I got this book because I asked, and BOY OH BOY IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. It's freaky, creepy, and doesn't pull any punches. Bethany is a great protagonist, and reads like a teenager. Also, the end. OH MY GOD THE END!
Profile Image for Wendi Silvano.
Author 125 books53 followers
October 2, 2016
I just finished my ARC of BUTTERFLY BONES. This is a MUST READ! It captures you from the first chapter and won't let go. The intriguing concept, rich characters, and wonderful writing pull you in, and if you start reading late at night you might very well still be reading at dawn!
Profile Image for Megan.
315 reviews15 followers
October 19, 2016
Review also posted at: http://underthebookcover.blogspot.com...


Thank you to Lakewater Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

I have no idea where to even begin with this review. This book was nothing like what I expected, and has skyrocketed up the list as one of my favorite reads of 2016. After reading the description several times, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen throughout the book. I'm happy to say that despite my repeated readings of the synopsis, my initial thoughts were wrong. I absolutely loved the way this story went and was not expecting anything that happened throughout the book. Haunting and beautiful, Butterfly Bones will leave you wanting more long after the story ends.

Bethany should be dead like the doctors predicted not long after she was born. With a rare bone disease, she wasn't given a very long life expectancy and was sent home to die with her parents. While Bethany was fighting her disease, her mother was succumbing to lymphoma, and at two years old she eventually defeated her initial prognosis while her mother passed away. At fifteen, the disease has caused Bethany to appear as if she is ten years old, but she's alive and well thanks to her scientist father. He dedicated his life to coming up with a cure for the bone disease and finally managed to develop a hormone injection that keeps the disease at bay. But his work has caused him to be absent from Bethany's life. At home, she has no parental guidance and at school, she's become the target of the wrath of a new student after a simple misunderstanding. To top it all off, she's in love with her best friend who doesn't seem to feel the same way. Thankfully, Bethany plans to leave the small town of Springs, Georgia as soon as she graduates early so that she can become a scientist. But nature has come for revenge, and Bethany is her target.

Let's start from the beginning, I suppose! I think that this book started off fairly slow, and gradually built up more towards the end. Now, this may be because I misunderstood what the synopsis said, but it's possible that it felt slow because I was waiting for some seriously gigantic event to happen all throughout the book. While there was a pretty big event that happened towards the end, it certainly wasn't what I thought it was going to be and it took the story in an entirely different direction. The book really picks up around chapter 20 and takes your emotions through so many loops and turns that you feel like you're stuck on a roller coaster and once it ends, you're sitting there gasping for air wondering what just happened. Throughout most of it, you follow Bethany as she deals with the extreme amount of bullying that she has to go through at school, her crush on her best friend and how he takes her emotions on a roller coaster ride, and how she lives with an all but absent father who is buried in his work. But once you turn the page to that 20th chapter, all aboard the feels train!

Something that I really appreciated was how the author addressed the issue of bullying. What Bethany goes through while she's in school is heartbreaking, and how the teachers address it is atrocious. Not only do none of the teachers believe that Zoey is bullying Bethany, but they constantly punish her and try to make her out to be the bad guy. On top of that, her father is too wrapped up in his work to really notice what's happening to her, so she really is all alone in this situation. It got to the point where Bethany felt like she could never return to school because of how bad it had gotten. It was really rough to read about her having to experience such torment because of a small misunderstanding, but a skewed form of justice is eventually brought upon Zoey later in the book. The message that bullying is real is very prevalent throughout this book and it's a topic that I think needs to be addressed more frequently, especially in YA books. High five, Rebecca Carpenter!

The character development and writing were without a doubt the best parts of the book. Once I was able to sit down and really get into the book, I found myself flying through it and unable to put it down. As I said before, it starts off pretty slow and builds up as you read more, but I think it works for this book. With the slow burn, you get to see all of the ups and downs of the relationship between Bethany and her father and how it develops as he dives deeper into his research and farther away from Bethany, which is really important for the plot. While it is sad, you get to see how the bullying progresses and the toll that it takes on Bethany and her mental state. I've never been a fan of slow build up books, but Butterfly Bones really thrives on it and it adds to the crazy ending that seems to come up way too fast.

Character-wise, Bethany is a clear choice for my favorite. I found myself so attached to her that there were times I was laughing when she let her sass fly, and crying when she was so overwhelmed by all of the bullying she was experiencing. I loved her so much and it was such a treat to read about a girl who aspired to be a scientist! Her development was definitely the best out of any of the characters, with her father being a very close second. Bethany goes from small but mighty to a beautiful, strong, independent butterfly, so to speak. As for her father, he starts off as completely absent in every way that matters, despite being at home 24/7. The relationship between the two is incredibly strained and non-existent, but the more he researches the butterfly hormone for Bethany, the closer the two become. By the end, he held a close second place as my favorite character. But again, with the slow pacing of the book, it feels like you're reading about a real relationship repairing itself from the ground up, and coming to a beautiful conclusion at the end.

With a well-rounded cast of characters, beautiful and thought provoking writing, and an ending that you'll never see coming, Butterfly Bones is the perfect read to pick up if you're looking to turn the contemporary genre on its head. Be sure to pick it up when it releases on 28 November 2016!
Profile Image for Tracy Wolfe.
Author 2 books10 followers
February 20, 2017
I started reading a different book last night. I'm about 30 pages in and not sure yet if I'm going to bother finishing it.

So on my lazy Sunday, I started reading Butterfly Bones by Rebecca Carpenter instead.

I won a free copy of this ebook thanks to a Twitter giveaway from the publisher, Lakewater Press.

It's quite different from what I typically read, primarily being categorized as young-adult contemporary, but with a bit of science fiction thrown in. It starts out feeling like a coming of age type story about a teenage girl who overcame a rare bone disorder and is now being bullied in high school. It's very heart wrenching to read about the protagonist's trials, but being a sci-fi/fantasy geek, I really got into it the weirder it got. The story transforms into science fiction when you learn that her scientist dad has been injecting her with some serum from butterflies that will lead to her being encased in a chrysalis. So it starts ordinary but turns bizarre. It was so intriguing that I couldn't stop reading. I finished the entire book in one afternoon.

Time to add book 2, Butterfly Blood, to my to-read list!
Profile Image for Lyn.
14 reviews
November 29, 2016

Rebecca Carpenter has written an outstanding YA mystery/SF/romance novel that has everything you could wish for: A fast-paced story line, a plot that deepens the further into it you go, a protagonist who is vulnerable yet feisty, courageous, and selfless. A love interest you'll want to cheer, and antagonists who are so despicable you wish you could get them alone in an alley with a nail-studded lump of 4 x 2 and beat the crap out of them.

There's no swearing (not real swear words) and no sex scenes. Butterfly Bones is an amazing story of despair, love, and courage that draws you in from the opening scene and doesn’t let you go until you reach the last word. You will want to hug Bethany and protect her, kick Jeremiah in the pants for his blindness, and slap a couple of other characters who, failing miserably at their job, show themselves to be nothing but cowards.

If you can read through this book without shedding a tear, without occasionally laughing or suddenly feeling your heart breaking, you aren't human.

Can't wait for book two :-)
Profile Image for Melinda Howard.
408 reviews59 followers
December 31, 2017
*This book was received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Wow....what a read! This book really took me by surprise. From the synopsis I knew the book was going to be very science based but the level of details presented in the book was extraordinary. Also, Bethany acted as an amazing narrator as she both presented the scientific point of view but her feelings about the experimentation done on her and the life she lead were also poignantly expressed. I particularly liked reading about how Bethany viewed her interactions with he peers including her best friend Jeremiah. This book really stimulated me to reflect more deeply on the consequences of scientific experimentation and clinical trials on those who are involved. I also really liked the mixture of real scientific concepts that were quite plausible with the sci-fi elements throughout the book. Finally, the ending was quite shocking making it memorable. I have mixed feelings about the ending as it was bittersweet but I do think it ended the book well.
Profile Image for Sam (RiverMooseReads).
200 reviews10 followers
April 19, 2023
This is a YA coming-of-age story about Bethany - a girl with osteogenesis imperfecta. The novel is one-part coming-of-age - dealing with Bethany's life, her crush, her experience being bullied at school, and her coping with her disability. There is a sci-fi element in Bethany's dad - and his search to find a cure for his daughter, using the DNA of butterflies. The sci-fi elements with her father and his search for the cure was some of the most enjoyable for me - though parts of the story dragged on. I has been a while since I read this book - I remember thinking that the inclusion of disability representation was awesome, but that the inclusion of a sci-fi style search for a cure can undermine the impact of that representation, as disability and the concept of cure requires more nuance than this book really went into from what I remember. This book seems to be a hit-or-miss among reviewers, and I would take the heavy concepts of illness in a child and bullying to heart when deciding to read it. I did however enjoy it and gave it 4 stars.
98 reviews
November 21, 2018
This could almost be a typical high school book. You've got the nerd, jock, beautiful mean girl and her clique. Bethany was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, which her scientist father is attempting to cure from his home science lab with butterfly DNA. While trying to navigate her crappy high school life, the treatments she gets from her father start to have strange side effects...

The first half of this book drags on and is somewhat repetetive. Bethany is a somewhat likeable character but her interactions seem over the top (like, what bully DOES that the first time she meets a Bethany... is her scientist father really this socially clueless??). This book is bizarre, but with an ending like that, I'll certainly be reading the sequel next.

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan on reading this series, these are in no way standalone books based on the ending to #1. Read them in order.
Profile Image for Spring.
86 reviews2 followers
November 3, 2020
I would give this book a solid 2.5-2.75 out of 5 stars. It was a really unique premise but the delivery left much to be desired. The story was really interesting but the language was often childish. I am not sure who the target audience is for this novel because while the protagonist is 15/16, the themes dealt within the text felt like they would be intended for an older audience. Human experimentation doesn't really seem to lend itself to younger YA. The bullying from Zoey is intense and it felt completely over the top considering the catalyst for the situation. I asked several of my friends if bullying ever got this bad for them, in case my high school experience was a positive outlier, and none of them experienced anything remotely close to what the protagonist did. Overall I did enjoy this novel and will be checking out the second part of the trilogy to see what happens next.
Profile Image for Ann Sepino.
Author 14 books5 followers
April 17, 2019
As a Biology graduate, this novel appealed to my inner mad scientist. I applaud Rebecca Carpenter for taking the time to construct a wonderful narrative. It was able to combine the viewpoint of both a high-achieving student and a troubled teen. The concept was unique, as was the way butterflies were used to reflect the emotions of the protagonist.

The relationship between the main character and her family was perhaps the most interesting part of the book, because I have never read about a bond like theirs before. I wish there could have been more facets to the personalities of the other characters though, as they seemed to be one-dimensional during most of the story. Then again, the second book might be able to address that.
375 reviews3 followers
May 23, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While not my typical read, I found that the story held my interest from start to finish. I was totally surprised with the ending of the book. I thought that Bethany and her father would become famous for his butterfly experiments. To find out what happens next, I am going to have to buy the next book.
Profile Image for Lilith Rouen.
28 reviews2 followers
July 30, 2018
What a beautiful book! The characters were well fleshed out and seemed so real. I really resonated with the main character, since I genetic connective tissue disorder. I speed through the pages, even though I didn't want the story to end, so I am very excited for the next one!
September 8, 2018
Great read!

I purchased this book because I know Rebecca Carpenter the author and want to support her. I'm writing this review because this is a good book. I'm impressed and can't wait to read the second book.
Great job Rebecca!
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