The Black Butterfly, by Shirley Reva Vernick
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Ghosts, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Goodreads Summary: Penny is furious, and who can blame her? She has to spend Christmas break alone at the Black Butterfly, an old inn at the coldest, bleakest edge of America—the coast of Maine. This "vacation" is the brainchild of Penny's flaky mother, who's on the other side of the country hunting ghosts. Penny most definitely does not believe in spirits. Or love. Or family. Until, that is, she discovers two very real apparitions which only she can see…and meets George, the handsome son of the inn's owner…and crashes into some staggering family secrets. If only Ghost Girl didn't want Penny dead. If only George were the tiniest bit open to believing. If only she could tell her mother. Then maybe this could still be a vacation. But it's not. It's a race for her life, her first love, and her sanity.
Shirley Reva Vernick is rapidly becoming the new hot item in young adult fiction. Her first novel, The Blood Lie, won the Simon Wiesenthal Children's Book Award, was silver medalist for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, and was an ALA 2012 Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Remember Dippy—a feel good adventure about a fourteen-year-old boy shepherding his older autistic cousin through his summer vacation—was released in spring 2013 and won the Dolly Gray Literature Award from the Council For Exceptional Children. This time around, Shirley wanted to let loose with a page-turning coming-of-age romance mixed with ghosts and adventure. Shirley is the creator of the much visited storytelling website storybee.org. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
*A review copy has been provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.*
When you begin reading this book, you'll have to be ready for one heck of a thrill ride.
Although this book has a total Christmasy cover and is taken place during the Christmas holidays, I really feel that anybody can read this book during any time of the year. It's just that good, even though I didn't expect it to be.
The summary sounded really cheesy, but something about it just intrigued me to request to read this book. So when seeing this book, remember that summaries could sound really uninteresting, but the book itself might change your life forever and cause you to fangirl and all 'that. Don't second guess bad summaries. :')
Once beginning this book, I felt as if I wasn't in this world anymore. I was in Penny's world, watching her battle challenges and fall in love in less than a seven day period. 40 pages in, so much was happening and I was already clenching my iPad for more. This is the type of book that could possibly make you stay up late in the night to finish it, which I had to force myself not to, because
and I ended up finishing this in a two-day period. When I got back to it, a very steep and fast roller coaster ride began and I was left captivated with this book for another two hours until I finished reading it.
Format and How Was Written: I loved this because the chapters were really L O O O N N N N G G G G. Chapters, in my eyes, are like scenes or ideas. Every chapter goes through a whole new idea and scene. I absolutely hate it when books have super short chapters that are like two pages long and don't even have to end because nothing's happening in them. The Black Butterfly's chapters were long and sweet. Every chapter something new happened and it suspended us at the end of each and it makes you so intrigued that you won't be able to even grab a sip of tea in between because you're like out of this world. Before you begin reading, make sure you say goodbye to your phone, friends and family for a few hours.
Summary: I should've stated what this book was about before, but oh well, what could you do. *shrugs* Penny is an outsider at her school in Idaho. All she's waiting for is something different and fun to happen in her life, and once she gets a chance to fly to Maine to spend her Christmas holiday at the inn her mother recommended, The Black Butterfly, she gets mixed feelings. The first time she sees the mysterious inn, all she wants is to go home, but sooner or later, she'll realize that it's the place where she'll get her first kiss, encounter two ghosts, a near-death experience, make new friends, and finds the truth about the inn and her mother.
Plot: YESYESYESYES. Like I mentioned above, this plot was amazing. I was never bored, and I found everything so unique and different than other contemporary-supernatural books. I felt that this book had just about every type of genre in it- excluding dystopia and science-fiction. Everything blended in so perfectly with each other, and if you're a lover of mild supernatural books, then go pick this one up.
Characters: Penny- Penny was an alright character. She was likeable and all, but I found her personality to be kind of odd. She's probably the only flaw in this book. This girl seriously was being treated like a princess at the inn, and she still didn't know what she wanted. A boy who gave her "electrical sparks all over her body" was probably the best choice for her, but she also wanted a ghost boyfriend who can leave her any day. WHAT THE HECK? That's total nonsense. He didn't even love her and she still thinks about him all the time when she's supposed to be thinking about the boy who loved her from the beginning and always told her the truth- George.
George- This guy gave me serious problems.
Why can't I have him? :'( Penny didn't deserve him! Okay, but seriously, I loved George as a character. I felt that he was the only normal person in the inn, everyone else looked bizarre, but in a funny way. This guy will flip your heart around over and over again.
Side Characters- Bubbles, Rita, Blue and the rest of the crew (HAHA that rhymes) seriously were all fantastic characters. They made me laugh so many times (not even kidding) and they're probably the best set of side characters that I've read about in a long time.
Romance: Can I just scream now? No? Oh, alright, but one day I will if you don't like this romance, because it was just beautiful. Falling in love in a less than a week period is just unique and beautiful and never happens in books, NEVER. If somebody doesn't believe in love at first sight, then this book'll help you realize that it could happen. :') I'll never forget about the beautiful bond that George and Penny created.
Overall: I'd seriously read this book over and over again. I definitely recommend it 100% to every single YA lover. Love contemporary books with a twist? Then definitely pick this one up. You won't be surprised.