A haunting, beautifully written novel about a girl with a torrid past who goes on one journey just to be taken down a different and unexpected path. How she transverses this path is greatly influenced by Earl, an unusual kid with a tinfoil butterfly mask.
When a book is touted as "The Shining meets About a Boy", you tend to have certain expectations walking into the book. I haven't read About a Boy but I can tell you that this is absolutely nothing like The Shining. This debut holds its own and doesn't need this to give readers the wrong impression. That being said, this novel covers a myriad of topics - some may be triggering, some may be distasteful and given with an eerie presence that will crawl under your skin, but there are also underlying topics that I felt were dealt with beautifully and for that I applaud the author.
Tinfoil Butterfly starts off strong. Emma sure likes to put herself in quite the predicaments. What is she running from? We find that the stitching on her abdomen is the least of her concerns and doesn't even touch the stitches that are crumbling apart inside her. The dialogue between Emma and Earl is a pleasure to read and at times the things Earl says really make your hair stand on edge. You forget they are in a real place and not some dystopian land.
The real love for this novel comes with the lessons that are learned along the way. Emma and Earl. Earl and Emma. Can they save each other or will they let evil in? Earl's world is full of strife and George is someone to be reckoned with, but at what cost? I found myself yelling at some of the decisions that were made. The demons they all have to face, both physically and mentally, are harrowing and disturbing.
This is not a fun, sunshine and rainbows read but most horror novels aren't. We get a sprinkling of paranormal and a dusting of darkness. However, in all of the despair and violence, there is always that little light of hope. Did I find myself rooting for the characters? This isn't a book where I feel you're allotted that. Instead, you're on this journey where you can't peel your eyes away as you need to know how it ends... but the reality is, it never does.... because that is life... and that is death.
"You begin, you begin, you begin. Or you end, you end, you end. Either way there is no stop. No go."
I'm not quite sure what's holding me back from a full 5 star read, but it is a solid 4 star read, a spectacular debut and the right audience will truly adore this story, but it is definitely not for everyone.