The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes, ☆☆1/2
We Were Liars meets Looking for Alaska in a uniquely funny and heartbreaking teen novel about a passionate-yet-doomed friendship set against a backdrop of wealth and glamour.
Willa Parker, 646th and least-popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life. Did she choose this 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 Willa has no intention of fitting in. 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 in. 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 Remy spinning right out of her grasp.
I just have 1 word: meh. Personally, I wasn’t incredibly impressed by this book, but it also didn’t completely suck and I would probably read it again if I had nothing else to read. I read it in one sitting (which I do with most books), and I used it to cross off “a book with one of the four seasons in the title” on my challenge list. I wasn’t entirely sure if it qualified if I’m being honest, because I had no clue if it meant the butterflies were falling out of the sky or it was the season (fall) defined by butterflies. But I really don’t think it matters that much either, so oh well. But if you don’t really care about quality of the book and just read for the storyline then you’ll probably enjoy it fine.
Realistic, relatable, and diverse characters- nope. I was not a fan of the way some of the characters were written, particularly Willa and Remy. I found Remy absolutely ridiculous and I thought her ending was exactly what she had coming to her, and I hated the way Willa treated her. Willa was also really annoying to me, and I only felt bad for her at one point during the book even though she was written for people to feel bad for her. I also absolutely hated Milo, I thought he was a horrible person and badly written character and I was not a fan of his plotline at all. I didn’t think anyone could relate to the characters since they were absolutely insufferable.
1/2 Theme and diversity- I gave it this 1/2 star because it did deal with different themes like suicide and drugs, but was highly lacking in diversity. I probably wouldn’t have given it this star at all, but I felt like it put drug use in a different light and gave it an interesting perspective even if I did question the realism of it. I do give the author some credit for diversity since it was supposed to take place in a richer setting at a prep school and that’s a very white environment and that was portrayed in the book.
☆ Realistic world, plot, and settings- this aspect wasn’t bad, the world in which Willa and Remy existed was what I would have thought a prep school / Ivy League type environment would have been like so I’m not mad at it.
☆ Interesting and realistic plot- I didn’t mind the plot, it wasn’t incredibly fascinating but it still fulfilled my criteria of giving a reason for everything that was happening. I felt like it was kind of disconnected at times between scenes and different plot points, but it told the story well (even if I didn’t like the story that much).
Well written and overall interesting- hehe this is the star that relies entirely on my opinion and blech I was not a fan of the writing. From the beginning it was like the author was trying to create a different take on first person narration, but it just didn’t work and was basically abandoned a few chapters in which made me frustrated because if you’re gonna take risks then see them through. I was not impressed. I did enjoy reading this book thought, when I wasn’t paying attention to the quality of it. However, I didn’t enjoy it enough to actually give it the star so sorry not sorry.
Things I liked:
- The themes maybe
- Willa’s narration during the drug scenes was clever I guess
- That’s it
Things I didn’t like:
- Every single character
- Willa’s parents
- The ghost??? Like wtf was that I’m seriously disappointed it made no sense
- The sad attempt at symbols in the novel please stop
- The lack of diversity, there wasn’t even one unimportant black or gay character I’m honestly so disappointed
- The portrayal of the acting community in it, not okay
- That they put butterflies on the cover of this sad excuse for a book, I’m honestly furious they used those beautiful creatures to represent the title
- THE FUCKING ENDING
Okay I’m done. Go read it, it wasn’t horrible I just didn’t enjoy it. That’s it guys, I hope you enjoyed my very first attempt at book reviewing, let me know what you thought of both the review and the book! I’d love to discuss it in the comments if you have different opinions (or similar opinions, I’m not picky).