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Paper Butterflies

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,510 Ratings  ·  416 Reviews
June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom . . .
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 12th 2017 by Electric Monkey (first published June 30th 2016)
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Xiggy I think that anyone above the age of twelve could read this book, but as it is about abuse, there is a need for a trigger warning. I don't think it…moreI think that anyone above the age of twelve could read this book, but as it is about abuse, there is a need for a trigger warning. I don't think it should be banned for younger readers because I feel that it's important that they understand and learn about the realities of the themes of this book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Emily May
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“But at what point is a child to blame?”

I am NOT okay. Paper Butterflies is very compelling, but read it when you are in a good mental place. An extra warning to those sensitive to scenes of physical and psychological abuse.

I don't know how to talk about this book, or if I should really give it four stars, which means "really liked it" when I absolutely hated it. It crushed my heart. I actually felt a little panicked at times, like I couldn't breathe inside June's head. I found it hard to slee
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Lola
This is not a book you read to ‘‘escape’’. In fact, to tell you the truth, I often needed to escape from this book.

Thank goodness I read it after finishing a light and fluffy YA contemporary romance, otherwise I would not have survived.

And now, once again, I need to plunge my mind into a mindless story, or I will not be able to stop crying and I’m starting a new job tomorrow for the summer so I really need to keep it together this week at least.

What an awful story. Awful. Awful. Awful. I wouldn
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Andrew Smith
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: y-a, netgalley
To open this book is to step into a disturbing world – June’s world. June is a young girl who lives with her step-mother and step-sister. Her dad lives there too, except he’s away a good deal, working. June’s mother died, she drowned.

Bad things happen all the time to June, it’s as if everybody is plotting against her. Then she meets a boy, Blister, and suddenly there is a bright spot in her life, something to look forward to and to protect.

Much of the time I found this hard to read, uncomforta
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This book just ripped my heart out and shredded it over and over again. So much depth of feeling written into a book. Phenomenal writing. I felt a million things reading this outstanding book and yes, it made me cry and only 3 books have ever had that impact on me. This is powerful.

More detailed review coming once I put my heart back together again.
Emer
A disarmingly simple book about real life monsters.

Do monsters beget monsters?
Are people born bad?


There is so much in this book that catches you unawares. It's the nightmare version of Cinderella's story with a chilling account of child abuse and how it destroys lives. I'm just too emotional to say any more so please just excuse me while I curl up in the foetal position and sob

Four stars
Karen Whittard
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley, Egmont Publishing and Lisa Heathfielf for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance reader copy of this book.

You can find my review on both Goodreads and Amazon. On Goodreads from today under Karen Whittard and on Amazon under k.e.whittard from publication date.

'I'm so sad that I dont know how my heart carries on beating'

This is a must read of a book. More people need to read this book. Simply to understand what a brillia
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♥ Jx PinkLady Reviews ♥

Young Adult
Tough read. Thought provoking. Maybe a little slow in places. <-Maybe it had to be that way. I had a slight issue with some transitions within the chapters. But..... The last 20% showed me that this story had seeped into my heart. It was definitely a tough read, there were times I had to pause but overall a book worth reading. FULL REVIEW THOUGHTS TO COME

Advance copy provided for my honest review thoughts *
Dannii Elle
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I'm so sad that I don't know how my heart carries on beating."

I have received this book on a read-to-review basis from NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Lisa Heathfield, and the publisher, Electric Monkey, for the opportunity.

This was completely traumatic, completely beautiful and completely broke my heart!

This is the story of mental and physical child-abuse experienced through the eyes of the victim. June is a girl of mixed race who finds herself in an entirely white family after the tragic,
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Aoife
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, tear-jerker, ya
I read this in a little under two hours. Once I started it I just couldn't put it down even though my eyes were filling with tears and I could feel my heart physically aching inside my chest. This is a very tough read but an extremely powerful one. At times I felt myself actually recoil when I read about Kathleen pretending to hug and caress June in front of her dad as if I was actually in the story. This is a book that will stick with me.
Isa
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am at a loss of words when it comes to this book..... It rips your heart out and then it places it gently back in it's place.Reading this book has been for me like riding a emotional carousel, took me all the way through from anger, revolt to peace, love and empathy .I completely loved this book!!!
Jenny Baker
This book made me feel like I was the one abused instead of June. I read warnings in other reviews that I shouldn’t read this if I’m not in a good emotional place or if I’m sensitive to scenes of abuse. I ignored the warnings, because the story was intriguing. God, they weren’t even exaggerating!

It’s rare for a novel to make me feel so emotionally connected that I’m almost convinced that it’s a reality. I was so angry and anxious as I read this that I wasn’t sure if I could finish it. I decided
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Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
I don't know what to say about this book, apart from the fact that I hated it and somehow couldn't stop reading! I needed to know June was OK after all the horrible, cruel, downright evil things her stepmother did to her. I cried a lot while reading this. I had no idea where the book was going. I only enjoyed reading the parts where June was with Buster. Literally the most depressing book I've read. Only read if you're mentally prepared for something extremely sad, with very little hope. Lisa He ...more
Poppy fairy
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most tearful story that I have ever read. Lisa Heathfield is certainly a very talented author and is definitely going on a high adventure to the top. More readers should read Paper Butterflies. Every word every sentence every chapter every character had my full attention. I know for certain that other readers will love it too. June was ill treated by her wicked stepmother and stepsister to the point it had me in tears. What is more upsetting no one would believe what her stepmother or stepsi ...more
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
It's been a long time since I've been so thoroughly destroyed by a book.
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
(Review courtesy of http://www.craftyscribbles.com)

One of the cons about avid reading involves venturing into tales with repugnant subjects. Depending on the story line, separating fiction from reality triggers a toll on one's heart, if they're unprepared. For me, child abuse remains number one on the subjects I find difficult to experience.

Despite the good writing of this book, I yearned to "DNF" (Did Not Finish, in bookworm terms), simply because some scenes tore at my heart. But, to support t
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ilsa ➹
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
what the flip did I just read? how the heck are you not supposed to cry at this? all these people like "i'm heartless" if you read this book and didn't cry, only then can you claim you "heartless" because sweetie you haven't read painful books like this.

sure go on about Schwab and bardugo and Marie lu crushing your soul but the fact remains that Lisa Heathfield writes real and raw and poignant contemporaries and nothing, nothing can change the fact that she will make you cry.

this is a horrible
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Basia
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Because a butterfly with a broken wing can still fly. ..."

If one could take a life, a pretty devastating one, but all the more real for all the suffering therein, and distill it such that it took the form of a novel instead, Paper Butterflies would be that book. Not since The Enchanted have I read anything so painful, so upsetting, so hopeless but yet somehow framed in hope. Breathtaking.

In truth, I don't recall the last time I read a book that was this intense, this raw, this difficult to get
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Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
This is the hardest book I've ever had to read emotionally but it was so worth it.
Natalie TBGWP
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I’m writing this with the biggest lump in my throat, a sore nose from constantly wiping at it, and sticky cheeks from the streams of tears that came down with the heaviness of my heart.

Paper Butterflies is a book I like to call a destroyer. A book so deep, hard to read, depressing, hurtful and horrible that you do nothing but grit your teeth in disgust. At the same time though, it gives you food for thought, it gives you love, and beauty. It gives you friendship, family and solidarity, and it gi
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Alessandra Crivelli
**full review on the blog will be here soon**

First thing >> trigger warning: child abuse, bullying.

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I WILL GIVE IT ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD! #lovelovelove


This is sort of a Cinderella retelling: June's mom died and her father re-marries with an awful human being, Kathleen, who has a daughter 1 year younger than June.
The narration is alternated with the "BEFORE" and the "AFTER" parts and I swear you won't ever imagine what is the after part after the actual AFTE
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Kelly
Emotional. Difficult. Harrowing. Hopeful.

All words that can be used to describe this powerful novel from the lovely Lisa Heathfield. Paper Butterflies made me feel irrationally angry and left me feeling broken hearted whilst simultaneously filling me with hope. I think it is safe to say that Lisa Heathfield is a master of pulling on our heart strings whilst dealing with the most sensitive and difficult of topics.

Before picking up my copy of Paper Butterflies, I had been warned by a few of my boo
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Amanda
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I would like to thank Lisa Heathfield & Egmont Publishing for my copy of the ARC. Due to this kind gesture, I have decided to leave a review.

Well, how was the for a plot twist WHAT EVEN!!!!!



Junes home life is not easy, with a stepmother who puts Lady Tremaine to shame she lives to get free from the house. School isn't much better with the taunts from kids and the racial impact is real. Blister, however, comes to make it that little bit easier, to try and take Junes mind away from the horr
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Trevor
I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING.

It's been several days & I still can't get these characters out of my mind.
I liked this one better than SEED, but perhaps that was just because I could relate to BUTTERFLIES more. This is one of those books you NEED to read. If you've ever been in the mood to have your entire fiber being completely shattered- look no further.

June is keeping her silence after her father remarries after her mother passes, & her life is turned upside down. Her stepmother &
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Anja V
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a horrible book. And it does it so well.
Paper Butterflies is a book about physical and psychological child abuse. It's exactly as heavy and heart breaking as it sounds, and in no way pleasant to read about at all.

The story follows June from early childhood until young adult years. June lives with her father, her abusive stepmother Kathleen, and her stepsister Megan, who supports Kathleens abusive behavior. She also has to withstand heavy bullying in school and even though she sometimes m
...more
Siobhan Maxwell
Honestly I'm lost for words with this book. Wow! Paper Butterflies is totally not what I expected at all, especially the ending was a huge surprise for me. This book made me feel a million different things from anger, disgust and sick to sad, happy, hopeful and I even wanted to cry whilst reading certain parts. I have never read a book that has made me feel so many different emotions. The things in which Kathleen does when abusing June made me feel utterly disgusted and really angry. But even th ...more
Kirsty Hanson
This book has ruined my life. I think I may have read it in about two hours and not once did I get up to get a drink or change reading position. I just lay down and binge-read it. The story of Paper Butterflies will stay with me for a very very long time because of how raw, moving, shocking and emotional it is.

June's life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one—and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him, s
...more
Michelle Toy
This review was originally posted on www.talesofyesterday.co.uk

Sometimes a book comes along that makes a footprint on your memory and your heart for a long long time.

Sometimes forever.

Paper Butterflies is that book for me. It tore my heart completely and left me crying, thinking about the book and its characters long after finishing.

An emotional tale of an abusive childhood, growing up, friendship, love, forgiveness and choosing left or right.

It’s no secret that I was a huge huge fan of Lisa’s d
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Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

4.5*
This book made me cry so hard I almost threw up. This is not an exaggeration. It freaking gutted me. From start to finish. The story is not an easy read. I couldn't put it down because I was so anxious about the outcome, but it isn't the kind of book you'll ever want to read again. I mean that in the best way possible- it's because it will shatter your soul so much the first time aro
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Bee
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried so much!!!!!!!! It's amazing!! Don't be put off by "oh it's just going to make me cry" because you will be surprised by the hopeful message this book has.
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Before becoming a mum to her three sons, Lisa Heathfield was a secondary school English teacher and loved inspiring teenagers to read.

Award-winning author Lisa Heathfield launched her career with SEED in 2015. Published by Egmont it is a stunning YA debut about a life in cult. PAPER BUTTERFLIES is her beautiful and heart-breaking second novel. FLIGHT OF A STARLING is another heart-breaking read wi
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More about Lisa Heathfield
“Forgiveness is easy,' he says. 'It's just like a door. You open it and walk through.” 8 likes
“Some things in life can seem really tough...There are things that seem like a mountain and you can't find a way round it, yet don't have the energy to go over it, either. You always find a way, though, eventually. Us humans are very strong underneath it all.” 2 likes
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