“Exquisitely written . . . steeped in emotional clairvoyance.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
Plum Coyle is on the edge of adolescence. Her fourteenth birthday is approaching, when her old life and her old body will fall away, and she will become graceful, powerful, and at ease. Or so she desperately believes. Instead, over the next couple of weeks, the older brothers she adores court catastrophe in worlds that she barely knows exist, while Plum’s friends, her worst enemies, tease and test, smelling weakness. A powerful tale about the shifting bonds and psychological perils of adolescence.
In masterful prose, the author of Surrender tells a quiet but powerful tale about the shifting bonds and psychological perils of adolescence.
Plum Coyle is on the edge of adolescence. Her fourteenth birthday is approaching, when her old life and her old body will fall away, and she will become graceful, powerful, and at ease. The strength of the objects she stores in a briefcase under her bed — a crystal lamb, a yoyo, an antique watch, a coin — will make sure of it. Over the next couple of weeks, Plum’s life will change. Her beautiful neighbor Maureen will begin to show Plum how she might fly. The older brothers she adores will court catastrophe in worlds that she barely knows exist. And her friends, her worst enemies, will tease and test, smelling weakness. They will try to lead her on and take her down. Butterfly is a gripping, disquieting, beautifully observed coming-of-age novel by an acclaimed author at the top of her form.
Hartnett’s dense, sensory prose captures the misery roiling beneath the surface of Plum’s awkward, average existence, while the adolescent sense of drama that suffuses the plot should allow teen readers some purchase on an otherwise difficult, though rewarding, read. —The Horn Book (starred review)
The deliberate pacing, insight into teen angst, and masterful word choice make this a captivating read to savor. —School Library Journal (starred review)
The portrait of Plum is exquisitely written; the third-person point of view is steeped in emotional clairvoyance and expressed in poignantly age-appropriate phraseology. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
Hartnett’s exquisite prose is soaked in visceral descriptions of consumerism, human weakness, and an ugliness that lies just below the surface of everyday life. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Suffused with the helpless shame of being unable to soothe the private sadness of loved ones, this is another strong addition to Hartnett’s impressive bibliography. —Booklist
Lush with a melancholy beauty. —Kirkus Reviews
With heavy language, lavish imagery, and a psychological focus, Hartnett’s novel is, stylistically, a piece of literary fiction—a genre not often seen in the cannons of young adult literature. —VOYA