The Fall of Butterflies
by Andrea Portes
Source: ARC provided by HC Intl. Thank you!
My rating: 4 stars
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.
Andrea Portes, author of the hilarious, heartbreaking Anatomy of a Misfit, spins a similarly incandescent, heartfelt story that explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.
This is my first book by Andrea Portes and I’m so happy to say that it did not disappoint. The Fall of Butterflies is a hilarious and thought-provoking read. It was the kind of book I was looking for!
The first thing I thought about The Fall of Butterflies is that it reminded me a lot of Mosquitoland. Willa, the main character is a smart, hilarious and sarcastic girl and it was easy to connect with her since the first chapter. I loved that it was narrated “to me”
I’m not going to lie, even though Willa was this fantastic character with a great banter, it broke my heart a little how easy she became a sheep, a follower as soon as she met Remy.
I’m not going to lie. I thought this book was about a romantic relationship between Willa and Remy, but it turned out it was the story about their friendship, and how damaging some relationship can become.
I’m not going to lie. I might not have loved every character in this book, and I still don’t understand why Willa liked them so much in the first place… but they were so perfectly crafted that it didn’t matter. I cared about them.
For me, the real beauty of this book was in the writing and the character development.
In Remy you see a broken girl with everything Willa ever wanted, with so much potential, but without the courage to help herself.
Milo, the love interest, is just another broken guy pretending everything is okay.
And Willa… She’s just a smart girl doing the wrong things because she wants to fit in, to belong somewhere.
Even though there were some really funny scenes, The Fall of Butterflies is a very sad read. It’s a story about mistakes, lies, addiction and people giving up. It’s terrible to realize how authentic it felt.
But in the end, it holds a very positive message; it makes you understand that even the shiniest things can break, butterflies can fall.
Andrea Portes’ writing is flawless and addictive. For now on, I’ll be looking forward to her other books.