The Butterfly Girl Review
Author: Rene Denfeld
Series: Naomi Cottle #2
Publication Date: 01 October 2019
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life.
The search takes her to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets like ghosts, searching for money, food, and companionship. The sharp-eyed investigator soon discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river.
Though she does not want to get involved, Naomi is unable to resist the pull of children in need—and the fear she sees in the eyes of a twelve-year old girl named Celia. Running from an abusive stepfather and an addict mother, Celia has nothing but hope in the butterflies—her guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. She sees them all around her, tiny iridescent wisps of hope that soften the edges of this hard world and illuminate a cherished memory from her childhood—the Butterfly Museum, a place where everything is safe and nothing can hurt her.
As danger creeps closer, Naomi and Celia find echoes of themselves in one another, forcing them each to consider the question: Can you still be lost even when you’ve been found? But will they find the answer too late?
The cover of this book is absolutely amazing and the pearl sheen in person is probably one of my favourite things. On the other hand, this book sounds like the perfect read for #thrilltober. It sounds like it is going to be a thriller that I cannot put down. Just a little extra - I have not read the first book but from what I gathered from the synopsis, I don't really think that you need to.
Thank you so much to Harper Books for providing me with the ARC copy of this book. Just a quick disclaimer for those reading this review, I have received this book for free. Please note that this does not affect my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.
The writing was difficult to get into. I can't pinpoint what exactly didn't work for me but after about fifty pages, things smoothed over and it was easier to read. I really enjoyed Celia's point of view. In comparison to Naomi's point of view, it was flushed with detail and descriptions that pulled me deeper into the story. Naomi's point of view lacked the colour and the gripping nature of Celia's point of view.
The plot was slow-paced and felt as if a lot of tension was found at the end of the book. The build-up was slow and almost non-existent in the beginning. Although tensions were high at the end, I felt as if the ending was a little rushed in comparison to the rest of the novel. I wanted a bit more from the end as everything is just mixed and I am not entirely sure what unfolded in the pinnacle of the book. The contrast and similarities between Naomi and Celia's life are done really well. There was a big emphasis on the fact that they were both lost in the actions they were never able to do or the ones they did in fact do, which haunt them.
The characters felt underdeveloped. They lacked dimension and felt as if they were just a glimpse of who they are or who they are meant to be. I found myself wanting more depth when it came to Naomi and her husband. However, I think that I would have found them more developed if I had read the first book which would have provided me with some more context.
Overall, despite all of the things I didn't like, I found myself really enjoying the book. I was unable to put it down once I got a little more into the writing. The plot might have been slow but I liked the insight that we got into Celia's life and the family dynamic between Naomi and her husband. I would definitely like to go back and read the first book and I would love for Naomi's story to continue because I think it could be something great. The potential is there. Thank you so much to HarperBooks for providing me with a copy of this book!
Yours in Reading,