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My Fate According to the Butterfly
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My Fate According to the Butterfly

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  241 ratings  ·  88 reviews
* "Villanueva's debut is a beautiful #ownvoices middle-grade novel. Tough topics are addressed, but warmth and humor... bring lightness to Sab's story. This immersive novel bursts with life." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she's doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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This is one of the most relevant Filipino books I've read in my life. I cried shamelessly in public reading this ok??? To read an excerpt of this book just click H E R E!

Filipino culture is overridden with toxic traits brought by 333 years of colonialization from the Spaniards and welp, just general “traditional” yet regressive takes that most of the community can’t seem
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Oh my god THIS BOOK. I love it so much. It captures perfectly how it is to be a Filipino kid living in Metro Manila. And it doesn't stop there, it establishes economic privileges and inequality too, along with colonial mentality. Moreover, the way it examines substance abuse and the war on drugs is so important and moving. I can't help but wish I had this book when I was Sab's age so I could've known better about all this and learned early– I'm so excited for the youth who will get to do so ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"You can either recognize and understand your privilege so you can make our society better, or you don't and let things stay the same."
Bianca (The Ultimate Fangirl)
Full review up on The Ultimate Fangirl!

My Fate According to the Butterfly is a must-read. It is a heartwarming novel, wonderful and relatable to its very core. With its wonderful and engaging characters paired with an amazing writing style, it is easy to fathom why Gail D. Villanueva is an author for the ages. Such a story speaks volumes when it brought up relevant social issues that are still happening in Filipino society. I can say that it’s definitely a classic to beat. I wish I had
maegan ✷
"Determined to reconcile her journalist older sister and their father before her time is up, Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs."

this is a book based on the philippines. A BOOK BASED ON AND SET IN THE PHILIPPINES. i could cry. like, seriously. i can't wait for 2019.
I am part of the blog tour being hosted for MFATTB by Kate fromYour Tita Kate, Cara fromThe Little Miss Bookworm, and Shealea fromShut up, Shealea. All thoughts are my honest opinions. And I'll be sharing more fun content on my blog. Check out the full schedule here


Ok, I have a confession to make. When I first picked up this book (after an IG photoshoot, of course, COUGH), I didn't know what I was getting into. I mean, I'm sure I read the summary when I signed up for the tour (...) and I skimmed
Karlita | Tale Out Loud

What will you do when death is knocking at your door, knowing you don't have much time to live?

In this story, Gail shows how a small creature like a butterfly can make a person reflect on the things that are far more consequential, that sometimes, the simplest things in life like being with your family is a lot important than anything in the world. Like Sab, she realized that she has to value time and make every possible last moment of her life count. She put an effort to know the real reason
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Scholastic Press for an ARC of this book.

Sab thinks she's about to die. She just saw a black butterfly, which her father told her is a omen of death. Her best friend, Pepper, and her sister, Ate Nadine, don't believe it's actually going to happen, but Sab can't help by worry about it. It also happens to be just before her 11th birthday, and what she really wants this year is to find a way to get her dad and sister to start talking again after they mysteriously stopped about a year
Remy Lai
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The MC is superstitious, which I can totally understand haha, and the real way that the Philippines way of life is portrayed, warts and all, is very very admirable.

Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An incredible debut!
Neville Longbottom
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
My Fate According to the Butterfly is a middle grade story set in Manila that follows ten year old Sab as she tries to figure out why her older sister had a falling out with their dad. This had some surprisingly mature content for a book where the protagonist is 10. Drug addiction, police violence, politics, colonization, racism/colorism, and death are all touched upon within the story.

These aren’t faults, but I think that for adult readers the “reveals” are pretty obvious and some of the
Check out my Blog Tour post here.

My Fate According to the Butterfly is a middle grade fiction novel set in the Philippines. Sab, our main character, admires his father a lot. He inspires her to be an artist just like him. She believes everything he says including the one about the big black butterfly being an omen of death. When this butterfly appears and lands on her locket few days before her eleventh birthday, she knows that she has to make every second of her remaining life counts. She wants
Bookablereads Reviews
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
To be honest, the first time I saw the book I wasn't interested at all as I don't do Middle Grade except Rick Riordan. But when I learned that the author is Filipino, I told myself "Carmel, you should definitely read and support it."

Here in the Philippines, it is common that when you saw a butterfly it is more likely that someone is going to die or bad things will happen. Sabrina or Sab is a 10 year old character in the story that believes she is going to die because she saw a black butterfly
MCZ Reads
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-winners
I received an ARC from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.

Sabrina Dulce, known as Sab, is a week away from turning 11 when she sees a black butterfly. Her estranged father once told her that a black butterfly represents death, and that seeing one means someone will die. Sab decides to reconcile whatever conflict caused her father and her sister to stop speaking before before her birthday, in case she's the one meant to die. Sab races against the deadline to uncover family secrets and
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Scholastic Press for sending an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have written a full length review on my blog and here is an excerpt:

Written from a child’s perspective, this book was clearly written for younger audience. But, it has so much potential and important messages. Firstly, this book highlights on drug abuse issue and the impacts of drug abuse on our loved ones. It was written beautifully and not only through Sab’s family, also through the photo exhibition
M.L. Little
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
@kidlitexchange #partner:
Well let me say I loved this book. Guess how many previous books I had read set in the Philippines? Zero. This book absolutely immerses you into the world, language, culture, and surroundings of the Filipino people. It sparked my interest so much, I began exploring the country on the Internet and Google Earth. If I did those things, so would a curious kid. It’s an amazing introduction to the Philippines.
As for the story itself, I loved 11-year-old Sab and her panicked
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
"It's up to you what you make of it. You can either recognize and understand your privilege so you can make our society better, or you don't and let things stay the same." (p. 178)

BAM! Those lines hit me big time. While I couldn't relate to some of struggles that Sab faced, I couldn't certainly relate to this concept. While reading this book, my eyes were opened to the history and reality of many people's lives in the Philippines. I also love that Sab realizes that her dad isn't perfect - just
Celina Daradar
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have so many things to say about My Fate According to the Butterfly that I honestly do not know where to begin. In 240 pages, Gail Villanueva managed to inject themes, values, issues and culture that faithfully reflect and represent Filipinos in the 21st century.

In my book review, I will be tackling them in the hope of explaining why I think this book is a true gem in Philippine literature.

Culture: Gail’s debut novel is bursting with Filipino cultural references that I find myself repeatedly
Metamorpho Dani
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book brought me back the love for middle grade novels. It was such an easy read even though it deals with topics like substance abuse, colorism, drug war and white privilege. I loved how important is family in this book. I have a full review in my blog https://metamorphoreaderblog.wordpres...
Sydney Young
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a sweet book. Appropriate for children, deftly handles modern problems through a mid-grade view.
Nicole Hewitt
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

I went into this story blind, so I’d completely forgotten that it was going to tackle some very serious subjects, especially the topic of drug addiction. The book doesn’t deal with the issue 100% head-on, which might make it a little easier for a MG audience: Sab spends most of the book in the dark about a certain family member’s ties to the Philippine war on drugs. but she learns as the book goes on how it has
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating: 5/5

I truly believe that Gail D. Villanueva is one of the greatest Filipino writers of this generation. Even before we became friends and I discovered what an amazingly sociopolitically aware and critical person Gail is (seriously, I could talk to her about current events for hours), I already knew from reading My Fate According to the Butterfly that Gail’s skill in weaving together the ordinary, and subsequently making something extraordinary out of it, is almost unparalleled.

Christina Soontornvat
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved the story of Sab, a sharp young girl growing up in modern day Manila, who is trying to figure out how to bring her family back together after a mysterious rift. Along the way, she also confronts issues of privilege, colorism, and addiction. This book serves up a powerful commentary on the many consequences of the Philippines’ war on drugs. And even while it covers these many important issues, the story still remains light - Sab and her bestie are so funny! I loved that it took place in ...more
Rachel Somer
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so honored to be able to read an early copy of MY FATE ACCORDING TO THE BUTTERFLY. The story follows Sab, a ten-year-old Filipina girl living in Manila. When Sab receives a death omen that she may not make it to her eleventh birthday, she goes on a mission to reunite her father and older sister. Her journey forces her to confront not only the harsh realities of the war on drugs, but also how addiction has impacted her own family.

I ADORED this book. It was heart-warming, tear-jerking, and
Christina Reid
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was excited to read this for several reasons - it is set in the Philippines, features a young female protagonist, deals with superstition and folklore as well as a number of other issues such as drugs, family make-up, social structure, government control, etc.
Full review now on my blog as part of the blog tour!
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m very much pleased to say that this book is one of the few books that was able to portray the realities of living in the Philippines really well.Hands down on that part. At first, you might think “oh this is just some sort of contemporary book” and it’s okay. You’re entitled to your own wrong opinion.Kidding aside!!My Fate According to the Butterfly is so much more than that. The author deserves an applause for confronting a lot of timely issues in an appropriate manner in the book.Gail D. ...more
Jenn Cayanan
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am in utter disbelief with how well written this book is and the grade level it is at. Gail is able to encapture a very well written book that tackles prominent issues in the Philippines/ Philippinx American culture. Colonial mentality? Check. Privilege? Check. Drug abuse? Check. Stereotypes? Check. Dark Skin vs. Light skin? Check. Sexual orientation? Check.

I can't wait to give these books to my nieces!! Salamt Po Ate Gail.
in short, i cried thrice

[full review on my blog]
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
I liked My Fate According To The Butterfly! It's a cute and heart-warming middle grade book that's worth checking out.

I really liked Sab, and her connection to butterflies. It's an interesting story, and I never thought of butterflies as being a sign of death before this book. For me, the black butterfly wasn't literal, in terms of how it relates to the story. She learns a lot about her dad and family and how things aren't what she thought they were.

Maybe that's what the butterfly represents-
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Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipina author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a graphic artist. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken.

My Fate According to the Butterfly