Summary (from back cover)
Katherine is almost 18. Severely burned when she was 3, she dreams that one day she’ll look like everyone else. Be like everyone else. Achieve her dreams.
But Katherine won’t be seen as a victim. Her life is filled with humor and friendship, as she faces her first “real” date, arguments with her mum, and decisions about her future. An extraordinary story of a journey where pain and trauma become triumph and a passion for living, “Butterflies” is a coming-of-age story that celebrates the fighter in all of us.
A hard-hitting novel about what it’s like to be a burn survivor, “Butterflies” isn’t just for teens, it certainly inspires people of all ages. Katherine’s other struggles with her looks and her desire for independence are easy to understand, but the twist of her burns make the novel thought-provoking.
What does it mean to be a survivor? Gervay’s novel about life, love, and everything in between teaches readers about hope, dreams, and achieving your goals. As Katherine’s tale is told, the reader comes to understand that it isn’t what’s on the outside that defines the person, it’s the inside that counts.
Katherine’s relationships do not stay stagnant throughout this novel, rather, they grow and change just as Katherine does. Think of Rachel, Katherine’s older sister, and how she dedicates her life to her studies and the time she cuts just for Katherine. Or Jessie, Katherine’s beautiful best friend, and how she comes to understand how difficult it is for Katherine to accept that she looks different from the rest of the girls. Maybe you’ll think about Katherine’s mother, the displaced Italian hoping for a better place for Katherine to receive the medical care needed for her burns.
As Katherine comes to terms with her struggles, you’ll come to term with yours, as well. Relating to Katherine’s life isn’t difficult, but it’s the lessons learned in the story that are more important. Learning to love yourself for who you are is hard, but if Katherine can accomplish it, so can you.
I give this book a firm 4 out of 5 stars. Any questions about this novel? Are you thinking of reading “Butterflies” by Susanne Gervay?