Book Look: Butterfly Trap

Okay, so this review is later than it should be. I've had the ARC for a while and I got into it, read it, then promptly got overwhelmed with summer reading at work taking off, so now I'm back to it. When T.L. Fisher approached me about reading this book, I said yes without hesitation because it was so different from the romance novels I had been approached about previously. It was a change, a change I desperately needed.

When we meet our main character, Nikki, she's twenty-three and already so done with life; she feels as though she has no future ahead of her, no plan, content to sink into merely existing until death claims her one way or the other. She's reckless, one minute she's hitting on a gorgeous man and the next she's being chloroformed and wakes up chained in someone else's basement. As you do.

Here's the thing: I understand Nikki. I've been Nikki. It's not necessarily that she's godless, it's that she feels as though she's been given up on in every sense of the word, so she spends some time talking about praying with doubts that she's even being heard. I feel for her. She's suicidal, she's emotionally damaged, and she's going through something unimaginable. No one's loved this girl in a very long time, and when she's telling her captor her story in an attempt to humanize herself in his eyes, it reads like something you see everyday on the news. This is a girl who hasn't had very many opportunities, someone who desperately wants and needs to be loved but is unsure how to achieve that goal, so she loses herself in drug addiction and anyone who will have her.

If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what will.

There's a sentence about a quarter of the way into the book that struck a chord with me:

"Am I? Am I free? Will I ever  be free?"

It goes on from there, obviously pertaining to Nikki's imprisonment in one form or another, but as a reader it touched me because I've been there. If you've been reading my stuff for a while, then you know I'm not shy when it comes to talking about mental illness. I have a major depressive disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. Trust me when I tell you it doesn't get more real than waking yourself up screaming, only to end up a crying mess on the bathroom floor at three a.m. because your demons are comin' for you, baby. Last year I finally got treatment and found a medication that works, but it's a weird tightrope to walk, knowing that the medication that has eased me out of that darkness could some day just stop working. Could land me right back there.

Am I free, really? Will I ever be free?

This is what a good book does: some of it leeches out into your soul and you identify with it, or maybe it changes the way you look at certain situations, but something about it becomes a part of you. And I think that's beautiful.

Back to the book: this guy that's captured Nikki has been waiting for his butterfly...and our girl seems to be it. Someone who needs a second chance, someone ripe for a transformation. But at what cost?

This book went places I wasn't quite prepared for. I enjoyed every moment - sure, there were a few I was confused by, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. Would I recommend this book? Sure, but only if you can handle talking extensively about trauma, rape, imprisonment, and murder. It gets dark and maybe it's just me, but that's kind of why I read books: I want to see someone go through something. I want to know if they conquer it.

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