This was one of the hardest books I've read in a really, really long time. By the end of it, I was absolutely sobbing - which, if you know me, never happens.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. Thanks so much to Thomas Allen and Sons Canada for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own.

**TRIGGER WARNING: child abuse. I won't really be talking specifically about this aspect in my review but it is quite graphic throughout the book. Please take care of yourself and be cautious when picking up this book.**

This story follows June, a girl who is living with her father and step-mother and step-sister. The book takes place over the course of a number of years, I think it was close to 14 years when everything is all said and done. I don't really want to say too much about this book because I jumped in fairly blind - I knew it was going to be a tough read from the synopsis but I didn't really know the extent to how difficult this book would be.

There was so much that I loved about this book. Heathfield does a phenomenal job of writing a visceral story that is perfectly balanced. Most of the story dealt with June experiencing abuse at the hands of her step-mother (and occasionally step-sister) but there were moments of reprieve when June was with Blister. I absolutely loved their relationship and seeing them grow up together. Their connection was so strong, it broke my heart towards the end when they were driven apart (see aforementioned sobbing).

I think this may have been one of the most visceral books I've ever read - and Heathfield really just throws you right into it. I felt every emotion June felt from hopelessness and fear to joy and love. I cannot imagine what living through something like this would be like, but Heathfield was able to bring me closer to understanding. I sat down to read this book before dinner, thinking I would get a couple of pages in before I ate, but I was absolutely enamoured. I was glued to my seat, I just couldn't stop. I needed to see what was going to happen next, to see if June was going to be okay.

Another reviewer called this a claustrophobic, suffocating book and, aside from the brief moments where I felt like I could breathe a little better when June was with Blister, I 100% agree with that claim. I felt like I couldn't breathe for most of this book.

Overall, despite these emotions, I think this was an important and extremely well-done book that I cannot recommend highly enough.