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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Becoming a Butterfly by Mia Castile

Title: Becoming a Butterfly
Author: Mia Castile
Series: The Butterfly Chronicles (#1)
Publisher: Entwined Publishing

Publication Date: May 22, 2012
How Received: For Review
Rate: 5

Summary (as quoted from Amazon):16 years old Lacey was never the center of attention, unless she was tripping, stammering, or being deposited into a pool by the local popular kids. All she wanted was to fit in, until one night when everything changed.
Jade and Tasha, her two best friends, helped her create an online personality that was everything she wanted to be – and it was only the beginning. In doing so she attracted the attention of Henry, her lifelong crush and next door neighbor. Unfortunately it was Farrah her online personality and not herself he was interested in.
She also attracted Chase the brooding, quiet, anti-social new kid of Brownsburg High School, who easily figured out her secret and blackmailed her. They forged a friendship that was both unique and complicated.
Lacey must decide if revealing herself to Henry and her entire school as the cool, charming, and funny Farrah is worth possibly losing him forever, and she finds herself needing to make an even harder decision than she ever thought possible. When did the lines between truth and lies get so blurred?

Becoming a Butterfly is a story about coming of age and finding yourself when you never knew you were lost.

My thoughts:
Becoming a Butterfly is a wonderful novel. The story follows sixteen year old Lacey, the girl with the big glasses and wacky braces who’s never fit into any clique and has longed to be noticed by her cute neighbor, Henry, for as long as she can remember. She’s always being bullied and taunted for her looks, and that only adds to her certainty that Henry will never notice her.

But all of that changes when one night, her best friends, Tasha and Jade, come over and they all dress up in classic wigs and cool 70’s clothes. The girls upload their photos onto a social networking site, and then Tasha and Jade decide to make up a new name for dressed up Lacey… Farrah. Soon, all of their friends are fawning over Lacey’s fake persona, and Henry is suddenly talking to her. Farrah seems to be Lacey’s ticket out of loser-dom, until Chase, a cocky, bad-boy from her school, sees through the façade and figures out that Farrah is actually Lacey. He threatens to tell the whole school about who she really is, unless she helps him mix the CD for his band and create a website for them too.

Seeing no other option, Lacey hesitantly begins working with Chase, only to find that he’s not such a bad guy after all. As her feelings for him grow more complex, Lacey finds that she isn’t so sure that being Farrah is a good thing… Or that being loved for someone you’re not is worth the popularity and attention. While figuring out how to scramble through the mess her life has become, Lacey is also dealing with her sister, Lana, who seems to have become very distant and depressed, and has recently started cutting herself. Wondering what to do, and what decisions to make, Lacey must decide how to help her sister, avoid hurting others, and stay true to herself. Will her choices help her to heal her broken sister, and herself? Or will she end up burning those she loves the most?

I loved, loved, loved this book. Honestly, Lacey is such an amazing, relatable main character, and I adored her. I could relate to her insecurities about herself, but there were definitely times that I wanted to reach into the book and tell her, ‘You are amazing, just be yourself!’ Lana was a very complicated character. She seemed so sweet and nice, and yet she was going through so much pain and suffering, and no one saw her broken heart. Chase was simply amazing. Charming, funny, open, and supportive, he was there for Lacey throughout the entire book, and he helped her to see a strength in herself that she didn’t know she had. Henry was… Interesting. I wanted to punch him for hanging out with the mean, popular kids and always ignoring Lacey, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel that there is more to him than meets the eye. Tasha and Jade were both unique and awesome. Even though they are best friends, those two and Lacey definitely had their share of fights and disagreements. The thing that amazed me was how, even though their fake creation of “Farrah” could completely tarnish their reputations, they still stuck by their friend, and were more worried about what would happen if Lacey didn’t tell Henry and the rest of the school the truth, than what people would think of them if she came out and revealed herself. What impressed me the most about this book, though, was how well Castile handled the tough subjects and how she still managed to find a way to incorporate so many funny parts. Her writing is very easy to follow and addictive to read ; I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Becoming a Butterfly is a book that will wrap you in its pages and make you sad, happy, thoughtful, and serene all at once - and most importantly, make you realize that being yourself is one of the most beautiful and amazing things you can possibly do - a must read.

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