Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.
Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?
What a bummer. I really loved The Butterfly Garden last year and when I saw this, I was super excited to give it a read, but no. I read 100 pages of this book, which is a whole third of the story and nothing grabbed me. Nothing. Did anything even happen in those first 100 pages?
Warning, that you’ll see on lots of others reviews… this isn’t a sequel. This is a totally new book, with a new crime, it just has some of the same characters. This could be the second in a series of Inara & Bliss & Eddison, or whatever, but don’t call it a sequel when that’s not what it is.
This felt really YA to me, but I’m not seeing anywhere that anyone else is classing it like that. For me, this read really immaturely and the constant use of random swear words only added to that. It felt as though Hutchison added them in as a way to make the book feel more adult, but for me, it did the opposite of that.
Eddisons relationship with Priya??? One, it felt totally inappropriate, even though there was nothing like that going on. They thought and spoke about each other really fondly, but not in a family kind of way, in a different way, and it made me feel icky to read. And two, it was totally unbelievable. As if an FBI agent (and his team) would have time to send cards and texts to a girl from one of their cases… over years and years. ALSO, why did Priya get special treatment? I’m sure the serial killer went round and killed other girls with sisters, what made Priya so special as to garner all this attention from a grown-ass FBI agent? It was weird and it made me feel uncomfortable the entire way through.
Plus, I find it really hard to believe that if a 17 year old went missing for 3 hours and you called the police, they would bring out patrol cars and lots of officers… that’s not how it works at all. At that age, it’s 24 hours they wait, normally, sometimes shorter if it’s a strange circumstance, but never 3 hours. That’s reserved for young children.
Also, the need to make this book as open and accepting as possible got a little bit frustrating. I love that this book had diverse main characters, but there was something about the emphasis on this diversity that just screamed “look, I’m a diverse book!!!!!” Plus, the bit where the mum sits down to play a Lego game on the Xbox made me wince in secondhand embarrassment.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a total downer and hater of this book, because I’m not. Hutchison is amazing at writing, her descriptive skills are out of this world and she really knows how to capture feelings with words but for me, the story sucked and I couldn’t get on with it at all.
Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Sorry I wasn’t a fan!
As part of The Well-Thumbed Reader’s Big Blogger, Little Blogger project, I’m introducing you to The Underground Bookdom, a fun blog full of YA book reviews, tags and more! Go check it out and follow!