Lisa Heathfield

All posts tagged Lisa Heathfield

Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield

Published February 16, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one—and a secret one. She is trapped like a butterfly in a net.

But then June meets Blister, a boy in the woods. In him she recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away from her home and be free. Because every creature in this world deserves their freedom… But at what price?

What did I think?:

One of the people I think knows me and my reading tastes very well is my sister and fellow blogger, Chrissi Reads. She often shoves books into my hands, begging me to prioritise it on my next Chrissi Cupboard Month (which I do twice a year) and over the years, I’ve learned to listen. I know that this book deeply affected her and she warned me it might destroy me also. Yet I still wasn’t prepared. I read parts of this book one-handed as I couldn’t help but put my other hand over my mouth in disgust, in disbelief and indeed, in terror for what our main character June, suffers in her life and how it affects her going forward as a young adult. It’s a horrific story with trigger warnings for physical and emotional abuse and I hesitate to say I enjoyed it but it was one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time.

This is the story of June, a mixed race young girl who lives with her white father, his new wife, Kathleen and her daughter Megan and attends a predominantly white school. June’s mother had died some years earlier and she is still struggling to cope with the grief from her loss but unfortunately, has bigger problems to deal with. This encompasses feeling like a complete outsider in her own family, feeling neglected, ugly, insignificant, unimportant and trying to cope with the way that her voice is always quietened and never allowed to be heard. June is stuck in a terrible situation with an archetypal evil stepmother and a wicked stepsister who becomes an accomplice in her mother’s crimes and her situation is not helped by a hapless, blind father who refuses to see what is right in front of his nose. Her only joy in life comes from a new friend she meets, Blister who begins to make her feel that her own self-worth is something that should never be beaten down or compromised.

I don’t really want to say too much about the plot as always, this book is something you just have to discover for yourself. It broke my heart over and over again in different ways and made me so furious as June continues to suffer and her suffering is constantly ignored by the people who are supposed to be there to protect you. Of course, I thank my lucky stars that I have never been in these horrific circumstances but I have had a few personal experiences with bullies when I told someone “in charge,” what was happening to me and I was either ignored or not believed and it’s a very emotional, almost life-changing thing to go through. There’s a few scenes in particular in Paper Butterflies that were almost too difficult to read, are still vivid in my mind and occasionally I had to put down the book for a little break as it just got overly sickening and I was close to tears. As I mentioned before, this is an intense and powerful read and it reminded me somewhat of A Little Life in its brutal honesty. It’s strange to say, this was a gut-wrenching, harrowing read but it’s one that I simply have to give the “big five,” as I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):



December 2017 – Chrissi Cupboard Month #8

Published December 1, 2017 by bibliobeth

It’s December, and that means….drum roll please…it’s Chrissi Cupboard Month!

Hello everyone! Every other month I alternate what I’m reading quite specifically between three things. It’s either Real Book Month (in February and August) where I try and read all the physical books just waiting to be devoured on my bookshelves. (and that’s a lot!) Then there’s Book Bridgr/NetGalley/ARC Month (April and October) where I try and catch up on all those ARC/review copies sent to me by authors, publishers, NetGalley and Book Bridgr. (also a lot!) Finally, there’s Chrissi Cupboard Month (June and December) where I try my best to get through all the books my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads lends me (you’ve guessed it – there’s lots!). So this is what I’ll be reading for the month of December:

Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

The Savages (The Savages #1) – Matt Whyman

Conspiracy Of Blood And Smoke (Prisoner Of Night And Fog #2) – Anne Blankman

The Last Beginning (The Next Together #2) – Lauren James

I honestly can’t pick out a single book from this little pile that I’m most looking forward to, Chrissi has told me great things about all of them. I’m excited about completing the two duologies from Lauren James and Anne Blankman and there’s obviously been a lot of hype about the Angie Thomas novel, The Hate U Give which I was absolutely determined to read this month. Have you read any of these books? I’d love to know what you think!

YA SHOT – 28th October 2015, Uxbridge, London

Published October 21, 2015 by bibliobeth


What’s it all about?:

YA Shot is a one day event for young adult and middle grade fiction in London where seventy-one authors will participate in talks and book signings. It has all been organised by the lovely Alexia Casale, author of The Bone Dragon and House of Windows who decided on a YA Shot five-word “ethos,” that it should be generous, passionate, inclusive, challenging and fun and she has put together a fabulous programme that is sure to excite anyone who is enthusiastic about young adult fiction.

Tell us more?:

The event in partnership with Hillingdon Borough Libraries and Waterstones Uxbridge will host various “panel” and “in conversation” talks throughout the day at different sites all within easy walking distance of each other. There will also be an opportunity to attend workshop events hosted by bloggers and vloggers active in the UK at the moment.

What kind of talks?:

There are so many talks planned that look so interesting! I will be trying to attend as many as possible (that is, until I have to go host one of the workshops with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads in the afternoon!)

The ones I’d love to go to include:

11.30am – 12.30pm Playing with Time: Historical fiction and historical settings – Chaired by Natasha Farrant with Lucy Coats, Rhian Ivory and Alison Rattle

12.45pm – 1.45pm Crime and Punishment: Fictional wrongdoing and human rights – Chaired by Laura Jarratt with Cat Clarke, Keren David and Emma Haughton

2pm – 3pm Trigger Warning: Exploring sensitive issues in ethical ways – Chaired by Alexia Casale with Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne and Louisa Reid

12.45pm – 1.45pm Treasured Land: Nature as a character and concern in YA – Chaired by Piers Torday with Lisa Heathfield and Anna McKerrow

4.40pm – 5.40pm Tragedy! Tackling sadness in fiction for younger teens – Chaired by Candy Gorlay with Jane Elson and Aoife Walsh [MG event, suitable for children aged 7-11 as well as adults]

Aagh, I can already see I’ve got a clash and am going to have to think carefully about which talk I want to go to! This is only a small sample of what’s on offer and I can honestly say I think there’s something for everyone.

Don’t forget the workshops as well! Chrissi Reads and I are hosting one at 3:45 pm about How To Get Started With Blogging. If you’re new to the blogging world or already have your own blog but want to know a bit more about getting things going, please come along and we shall try our best to make it worth your while. We’ve also got Michelle from Fluttering Butterflies and a member of the Bookish Brits who will be talking about group projects and reading challenges, Benjamin of Tomes who will show you how to get started with vlogging, Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa and Daphne of Winged Reviews who will show you how to develop your brand and increase your followers and Jim from Ya Ya Yeah and Wei Ming Kam of Rare, Medium, Well Done who will discuss diversity in literature. To name a few!

Which authors are going to be there?:

I’m just going to throw a few names out there:

Alexia Casale (obviously)

Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild series

Jane Elson, author of A Room Full of Chocolate and How To Fly With Broken Wings

C J Daughtery, author of The Night School series

Tanya Byrne, author of Heart-Shaped Bruise and Follow Me Down

Emma Carroll, author of Frost Hollow Hall and The Girl Who Walked On Air

Holly Bourne, author of Soulmates and Am I Normal Yet?

Cat Clarke, author of Undone and The Lost And The Found

James Dawson, author of This Book Is Gay and All Of The Above

And that’s just a few of them.

Where can I buy tickets?:

Tickets are still available from the YA Shot website. Online orders will close at 6pm on Tuesday 27th October but there may be some available on the door on Wednesday 28th October.

Any more information?:

Please see the official YA Shot website which will tell you everything else you need to know. Maybe I’ll see you there!