Friday, 25 September 2015

YA Book Review: The Butterfly Shell by Maureen White

The Butterfly Shell is the debut novel from playwright and drama teacher, Maureen White. 

The Book Blurb reads:
Marie was hurting even before the accident. Between the mean girls tormenting her by day and a ghostly cry waking her at night, her first year at secondary school was far from what she had expected. But Marie is now writing her story, the story of a very strange year and a very special shell which was found in a most unexpected place.

The cover of The Butterfly Shell has a soft, silvery-blue sheen and at a first glance it can appear quite plain, but upon reflection you really appreciate it's understated beauty. This is a good introduction to how we felt about this book as a whole, at first we expected very little, but as we progressed, we were wholly absorbed in this delicate, beautiful tale. 

In The Butterfly Shell, our protagonist Marie, details her first year at secondary school. She is in no way an outwardly extraordinary character, but she has an interesting mind. Most girls who read this book will relate to Marie which is what makes the story all the more effective. 

Marie starts first year bubbly and optimistic, but through the year certain characters at school grind her down and dull her sparkle. It's a gripping read as you experience and feel the painful effects of subtle, manipulative bullying right alongside Marie. 

With a separate set of problems worrying Marie at home, she tries to keep everything bottled in. Almost accidentally and ever so easily, she falls into the dangerous habit of cutting herself. As a reader, you feel for Marie, yet fully empathise with how she reached this dark point. 

The Butterfly Shell is vital reading for girls in sixth year of primary, or first year of secondary school. Maureen White covers difficult topics with a raw yet beautifully light touch. 

The Butterfly Shell is best suited for readers aged 12-14 years. It is published by The O'Brien Press and can be purchased now for €8.99 in all good bookshops. To find out more visit the O'Brien Press website here.

Thank you to the O'Brien Press for sending us this book to review :-)

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