Odd ramblings of an obsessed reader

Book Reviews

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield + Cover Poll

Paper Butterflies

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield


There are too many years of things left unsaid…

Paper Butterflies is a richly compelling, emotional read which took me on a rollercoaster of feelings leaving me exhausted, wrung out and broken.

Friends I broke the dog

Because a butterfly with a broken wing can still fly.

I missed all the subtle clues and didn’t even stop to consider what the more direct prompt, the labeling of the chapters ‘before’ or ‘after’, might indicate so the twist hit me hard. Right in the gut. I don’t think I have felt a reaction this strong to a book ever.

And my heart breaks into a million tiny pieces.

I read a book recently that tried to sucker punch the reader into a strong reaction. It is a very popular book that fell flat for me, but I can’t give more details without a spoiler alert.

Spoiler Alert!


The book I am referring to is They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera which failed to give me the emotional punch I suspect it was trying to. If, like me, you have the crazy idea that crying in books is a good thing then Paper Butterflies is the book you should read ASAP


I’ll keep them safe and they can beat their wings and no one will know that they’re there.

I was so caught up in the story that I forgot to take notes and postmark possible quotes so this morning before writing this review I paged through the book again. Suffice to say the quotes here were paid for in tears. Yes again.

There’s no point in me saying anything more.

There was one small thing that has been niggling at the back of my mind. A detail that I couldn’t quite believe was true. I did some research online and found out that although fairly unlikely the detail is very possible. It is a huge spoiler though, so tread carefully and be very sure before opening the spoiler alert below.

Spoiler Alert!

The spoilery detail ...

was the death sentence given to a 16yr old character. From online research, I discovered that it is possible (although extremely rare) in some US states. Book blogger jassyfizzle interviewed Lisa Heathfield on this topic. The post ‘Spoilery Paper Butterflies Q&A with Lisa Heathfield’ is available at: https://jassyfizzle.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/spoilery-paper-butterflies-qa-with-lisa-heathfield/


I let his words hold me. They fold around me and I try to let them keep me safe.

There is one character that needs special mention: Blister is the best friend I never knew I needed.

And then I remember.

My review copy is the new 2017 edition, published by Carolrhoda Books but Paper Butterflies was first published in 2016 by Electric Monkey with a different cover. Now I really like the older 2016 cover, but I would love to know what you think. Survey at the bottom of the post.

Holding on to it will only poison you.
5 Star



Title: Paper Butterflies 

Author: Lisa HeathfieldPaper Butterflies

Publication Date:
First published: 30 June 2016
New edition: 1 October 2017

2016 Edition: Electric Monkey
2017 Edition: Carolrhoda Books

Source: Review copy


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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… But at what price?   — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a complimentary review copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my review copy and may not appear in the final version.



  1. Maggie

    I personally love the 2016 cover, although I like them both! Thanks so much for linking up to The Monday Review! 😀

  2. Olivia @ The Candid Cover

    Whoa! I have seen this book before and admired the cover, but I don’t think that I have read any other reviews for it. You have me wanting to know what this book has in store for my own emotions. It sounds amazing and I will definitely be adding it to my TBR. 🙂

  3. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    Wow, great review! This sounds like such an emotional yet amazing read. It was already on my TBR but I’m going to have to make this one more of a priority. I’m not a big fan of covers with faces on them so I voted for the 2016 cover.

  4. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    DUDE. First of all, thanks for that link, because that detail threw me a bit too- I knew it WAS possible, but super rare. ALSO. This book made me cry so hard I almost threw up, no exaggeration. Just gutted me. You did a great job with this review, because it is SO hard to talk about without spoilers!

  5. Stephanie @Fairday's Blog

    Sounds like a very powerful book. One I would have to dedicate a little time to- since emotional books can wipe me out a little (and your review makes me think this will be one of those books). I skipped any of the spoilers- but this sounds like a great read. I prefer the 2016 cover because I had a little trouble figuring out the title of the 2017 version (lots of writing on the cover). Thanks for sharing.

  6. Megan | Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest

    I am going to have to give this one a try 🙂

  7. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Omg what an amazing and TOTALLY convincing review! This was on my TBR-wishlist already but like…not avidly. But now I need to get myself a copy because it sounds so amazing. And feels breaking?! NEED.

    I actually prefer the 2017 cover! Usually I don’t like faces-on-covers, but I love how they’ve done the typography!

  8. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I hadn’t heard of this book. I read your review carefully so I didn’t accidentally see those spoilers—looks like something I’d love! Oh, and it looks like everyone seems to agree that the original cover was better. 🙂

  9. Kimberly Sabatini

    I’m a fan of the old cover too. Hadn’t heard of this one, but it sounds great! Need to add this to my list.

  10. Lara

    I definitely prefer the 2016 cover. I love minimalistic covers and I’ve never been a huge fan of covers that just have faces on them… I haven’t read the book though so I’m not sure which cover would suit the actual content better. That would be interesting to know.

    Lara (https://wordswithlara.blogspot.com)

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