Do you ever sit down to write a review and find yourself staring at a blank page for what seems forever?
Because there is so much to say, you don’t know where to begin?
So, I’ll start by listing, in no particular order, the things I love about Butterfly Blood, Rebecca Carpenter’s stunning YA follow-up to her 2016 Metamorphosis series debut Butterfly Bones.
1. It’s a YA-cum sci-fi-cum magical realism-cum-mystery novel that, like The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter stories, also works for adult readers.
2. The plot has some shocking twists (sorry, no spoilers here) that are all the more powerful for being so completely credible.
3. The story alternates between Bethany’s Point of View and an initially unknown narrator, who appears to be being held somewhere against his will. Who is he? And who is holding him captive? Tension mounts as the narrator’s identity and his plight gradually unfolds.
4. This is a love story – but not a soppy ‘meh, meh’ kissy one.
What the blurb says:
Her blood. Her love. Her freedom.
“How many of my sins will have to be paid for in blood?”
Sixteen-year-old Bethany Keatley finally has the healthy body and looks she’s always desired. But the price she’s had to pay has left her traumatised.
The only thing making her battle on is the memory of that kiss with Jeremiah.
Exhaustion and shock
Now miles from him and living in Florida with an aunt she’s never met before, shocking revelations about her parents are too much to bear.
After collapsing from exhaustion and shock, Bethany wakes in a hospital bed awaiting test results—results that might lead to the discovery of her unusual butterfly blood.
But that’s the least of Bethany’s concerns when the doctor informs her she’s infected with a parasite and, without immediate treatment, she’ll die.
Too young to refuse and too weak to fight back, Bethany’s life once again hangs in the balance. Yet her scientific knowledge and suspicious nature lead her to unravel a horrifying web of lies.
Will nature intervene again, demanding another payment?
In this stunning sequel to the award-winning Butterfly Bones, Rebecca Carpenter raises the stakes and offers up an intense and heartbreaking ride that will leave you shocked to the core.
5. Sixteen-year-old heroine Bethany Keatley is sassy and smart and has an answer for everything. (Oh, how I wish I’d been half as gutsy and ballsy at her age…)
6. Bethany tackles setbacks and adversity with humour, courage and intelligence. (Rather like Hunger Games and Harry Potter heroines Katniss Everard and Hermione Granger.)
7. Bethany is NOT perfect. She can be stroppy, and un-cooperative and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Or, even at all. Which results in some lovely one-liners.
Take this example: the doctor at the hospital where she is being treated for a parasitic infection asks about her friends. ‘I had one good friend,’ says Bethany. ‘But I haven’t been able to reach him.’
‘So, this friend isn’t a girl?’
And Bethany wonders: ‘What part of him does the educated doctor not understand.’
8. Bethany’s faults make her believable and real.
9. Carpenter is the ultimate wordsmith: her writing is sprinkled with vivid word pictures that let the reader see what a character is thinking and feeling.
For instance, when Bethany’s aunt Denise asks if she is ready to learn the truth about her adored father, Bethany responds: ‘My stomach churns double time. I want to scream and throw sand and tell her she’s crazy. Instead I fold my hands in my lap, nod and brace myself.’
FINALLY: looking for a tense, twisty YA drama? Look no further.
Review by Sue Featherstone.
Available to buy on Amazon from August 28, 2018.