Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Books I've Read: The Fall of Butterflies


This was an interesting book in that the narrator speaks directly to the reader.  To begin with, I found that a little difficult to deal with, but I gradually warmed to it and began to feel like I was a third part of the growing friendship between Remy and Willa.

The story starts off fairly predictably, with Willa, a girl from a nowhere small town and a famous mother being sent off to a snooty school to better prepare her for the plans said mother has for her future.  Interestingly, despite having so much influence, this mother never actually appears in the book. She's more like a malevolent presence over Willa's life, exerting influence from afar.

Willa has no plan to actually live up to her mother's expectations; she's going to kill herself.

But then she meets Remy and becomes swept up in this wild, unpredictable girl's mixture of glamor, wealth and chaos.  New worlds and experiences open up to her and Willa drinks them in.

But there is a dark side to Remy's lifestyle, and when Willa gets sucked into this too, things start spiraling dangerously out of control.

I liked how the friendship built slowly, and that even as Willa lost certain parts of herself to Remy's thrall, she still insisted in studying and kept focused on her schoolwork.  The love story also played on in a realistic, and somewhat heartbreaking way.  The extent of Remy's problem becomes clear slowly, dawning on the reader in much the same was as it it does for Willa.

There are frustrating things about this book - I wanted to shake Remy for blowing the myriad opportunities she has - but overall it's a satisfying read.  As Willa's experiences with Remy open her eyes to the size of the world, it's fascinating to see how she changes.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Willa Parker, 646th and least popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life.

Did she choose this new life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and it’s only the strength of her name that got Willa accepted in the first place.

But Willa has no intentions of fitting in at Pembroke. She’s not staying long, she decides. Not at this school—and not on this planet. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit.

When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel her spinning right out of her grasp.

In Willa’s secret heart, all she’s ever wanted is to belong. But if Remy, the girl who gave her this world, is slip-sliding away, is Willa meant to follow her down?

Andrea Portes’s incandescent, heartfelt novel explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.

2 comments:

  1. Your description of it makes it sound very interesting. I kind of like the idea of the mother never being there, but being a looming presence. You don't see that much.

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