People throw the term “heartbreaking” around a lot when talking about books, but with this book, there really is no more fitting description. At first I found June’s story almost impossible to read. The unfairness of her situation and the way she was treated just made me want to shout at the pages. Sometimes, with books that deal with issues this difficult I end up wondering if I even want to enter the world that is being created. Sometimes they’re just not journeys I can bear to go on. I never felt like that with this book. Even though June’s world is so dark, is at times SUCH a dark place to be, I was nonetheless utterly compelled.
Into June’s dark world comes the ray of light that is her best friend Blister. He and his unconventional family are so perfectly portrayed; flawed and ordinary and perfect and extraordinary all at once, just as those people are who come into our lives at the right time to save us in whatever way they can, or try to anyway. But it’s all the questions at the heart of the novel that keep you turning the pages – the secrets and lies and bottled up emotions that swirl in June’s unhappy home are almost physically nauseating at times as they twist together and ultimately unravel.
This is a spectacularly well written book – intimate and emotional, steeped with fear, and imbued with a hope as delicate as a butterfly’s wings (paper or otherwise). You’ve got to be brave to read this book, but it’s worth plucking up the courage.