THE FALL OF BUTTERFLIES
By Andrea Portes
Hardcover: 386 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen (May 10, 2016)
Willa Parker, 646th and least popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life.
Did she choose this new 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 it’s only the strength of her name that got Willa accepted in the first place.
But Willa has no intentions of fitting in at Pembroke. She’s not staying long, she decides. Not at this school—and not on this planet. 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.
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 her spinning right out of her grasp.
In Willa’s secret heart, all she’s ever wanted is to belong. But if Remy, the girl who gave her this world, is slip-sliding away, is Willa meant to follow her down?
Andrea Portes’s incandescent, heartfelt novel 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 yet another debut novel that was a huge disappointment. I picked it up because I wanted to try to read outside my normal genre and it bothers me that these books are not living up to my low expectations.
This is the story of Willa and Remy, two girls who become amazing friends while at an Ivy League high school. Willa has a mother that is famous for her brain, while her father is just a regular guy. Willa grew up with her father so she had a rather normal upbringing, except for when it came to what Willa did academically. That is when her mother kicked into gear and did her best to dictate what happened next. Remy is the type of girl with an infectious personality, everyone wants to be friends with her. Remy does Willa a favor when she befriends her and allows her into her crazy world. Each girl has their own demons to fight and is this friendship really good for either of them?
The first thing of note with this story is the writing style. It certainly will not be for everyone and if you stick with it, it will take some getting used to. The reader will either love it or hate it, no middle ground. Most of the writing can come across as if the author is talking to the reader like they are a three year old. It is almost demeaning at times.
Almost right away, I started to immensely dislike Willa. She chooses to describe her classmates before even meeting them. How is that possible? However, when she does, she is HORRIBLE. She is rude, inconsiderate, insensitive, and hateful. She gives them terrible names like "OCD", "Peanut Allergy Boy", and "Headgear Girl". I could not figure out if the author wanted the reader to immediately hate this character or what her end game was. Actually, Willa's character is a void of anything solid and reasonable. She admits to being suicidal and having suicide plans, but the reader never finds out why she thinks this way. This is, quite possible, one of the worst written MCs ever.
The intense and immediate attraction between Willa and Remy may lead the reader to believe they are lovers, but they are not. No idea why the author chose to include this as part of the story because it truly does not hold a place in the story. It serves nothing to the overall plot. Speaking of plot, I'm not sure there is one. If there is, I wasn't able to find it.
It is not hard to guess that I did not enjoy this book. I couldn't find anything redeeming about it. Willa's character is a horrible human being, and Remy is just bad news. These two are like a puddle of gas and an open flame. I would not recommend this to anyone. There are much better books out there and I would suggest you pass over this to get to them. That's why I gave this story 1.5 stars. The only thing that brought it up from 1 star was I liked some of the places Willa visited and talked about. In the end, this book was just not for me.