About the Book
Title: Nobody’s Butterfly
Authors: Claire Davis & Al Stewart
Print Length: 73 pages
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Publication Date: 1 December, 2017
Categories: Coming of age, literature, holiday
Cobweb ghosts are so inconvenient—especially grumpy ones with bad breath. Don’t they know silence is golden?
Johnny Strong is the expert; he hasn’t spoken in two years. Not one word to anyone except the ghost. The main purpose of life is to avoid people and not get noticed. Friends? He doesn’t need them; and certainly nobody wants him despite what the ghost says.
Until a new boy appears at Windybank—Finn Lyons, teenage wizard. He eats frogs, concocts potions, and is always hungry. Not only does Finn stand up for Johnny; he actively seeks his company and soon becomes part of life.
First love; family and words; a heady mix to go in the potion but how will it all turn out?
Hubble bubble; Johnny Strong’s in trouble! Silence is not always golden in this sweet, zany story of the purest magic at Christmas.
This is a sweet, beautiful story about growing up and growing wiser and finding a voice. It isn’t really about first love or coming out, and yet it is. It’s not a romance, even when it might be.
On the surface, this is a nice, fairly fluffy story about a couple of boys meeting at a group home. It’s heartwarming and maybe even easily dismissed as a cute YA. That would be a mistake. This is a story teenage-me needed to read, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any youth who may be struggling to figure out how to express themselves.
The writing style, as is typical of the authors, is quirky. I don’t know that I would recommend this one as a first try with their work. For some readers, it might take a bit of warming up to. It’s ideal for those who already prefer a more literary approach.
There are some heavy elements, like children with no parents and bullying (including the ever-present hierarchies that dictate who is a target). There’s a boy who doesn’t speak and one who seems incapable of stopping. There’s more than one heartbreaking family situation. Yet somehow, none of those feel either dismissed or heavy-handed.
Finn claims to be a wizard, and whether or not that’s true in a literal sense, magic happens between these pages. It comes in the form of hope and in learning to speak up for oneself. Like all good literary fiction, this is multi-layered and complex. The climax of the story had me in tears, and the resolution, while not simple, is healing and joyful.
For exceptional writing, characters who are easy to love, and a Christmas stocking full of hope, this gets 10/10 fountain pens.
About the Authors
Al Stewart and Claire Davis write about people who are not perfect. Claire embraces the dark side, and Al the good side of the force. Their work is there for a fusion of both, mixed often with kink and humour.