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Review: Butterfly Bones by Rebecca Carpenter

December 28, 2016

About the book

At birth, Bethany Keatley was diagnosed with a rare bone disease and sent home from the hospital to die. Despite losing her mother to cancer before she turned two, Bethany defeated her prognosis and now, at fifteen, with hindered growth making her appear ten years old, she is alive and well thanks to the hormone injections which her scientist father developed.

But if growing up isn’t hard enough already, being small makes her a target and a social outcast. The only way she’s been able to escape her high school tormentors so far is by working hard, achieving good grades, and through her unusual friendship with star football player Jeremiah Wright. That is until a misunderstanding with new girl Zoey Margold. Beautiful and brazen, Zoey and her followers make it their focus to break Bethany.

Yet dealing with the bullies becomes the least of Bethany’s worries. The mice on which her dad tests the butterfly hormone are showing side effects no one saw coming and now her plan to leave the small minded town of Springs, Georgia and become a scientist has all but shattered. Her world becomes a prison and her existence a life sentence.

But nature has her own plans for Bethany.

My review:

Butterfly Bones by Rebecca Carpenter is a tragic story of one child’s illness becoming a father’s obsession. Poor Bethany. At a time in her life when school and boys should be her focus she instead has to worry about her father’s experiments. It is love that makes him desperate to help his only child but in his desperation, he does something to Bethany that starts an irreversible change.

That’s not all Bethany has to worry about. A mistake on her part brings her to the attention of the new girl at school. An attention that is nothing but bad. Jerimiah, her best friend is also her crush. Bethany can’t tell him of her feelings, not with Zoey’s attention so focused on them both.

A strong book with bullying as a central focus Rebecca Carpenter brings emotion to fore even with characters who are not emotionally present such as Bethany’s father. Bethany’s sarcastic inner strength cannot save her from her own father’s misguided love. All of the characters have a well-roundedness that heightens the emotion of their errors. The fantasy element of Butterfly Bones only enhances the true story of love that underpins the drama. A great book one. I look forward to reading more.



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