Title: My Fate According to the Butterfly
Author: Gail D. Villanueva
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Buy Links: Amazon
“Thank you to Miss Gail. Shealea, Kate and Cara for including me to the blog tour. Thank you also to Scholastic for providing the ARC”
Light and deep, smart and funny, crushing and hopeful all at the same time, My Fate According to the Butterfly will open your eyes to both the world’s potential for magic, and to its harsh realities.
* “Villanueva’s debut is a beautiful #ownvoices middle-grade novel. Tough topics — the brutal war on drugs in the Philippines, family reconciliation, and recovery — are addressed, but warmth and humor… bring lightness to Sab’s story. This immersive novel bursts with life.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she’s doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her — on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn’t even know why.
If Sab’s going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she’ll have to overcome her fears — of her sister’s anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom — and figure out the cause of their rift.
So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Nadine and digging into their family’s past to determine why, exactly, Nadine won’t speak to their father. But Sab’s adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult — and dangerous — than she ever anticipated.
Was the Butterfly right? Perhaps Sab is doomed after all!
To be honest, the first time I saw the book I wasn’t interested at all as I don’t do Middle Grade except Rick Riordan. But when I learned that the author is Filipino, I told myself “Carmel, you should definitely read and support it.”
Here in the Philippines, it is common that when you saw a butterfly it is more likely that someone is going to die or bad things will happen. Sabrina or Sab is a 10 year old character in the story that believes she is going to die because she saw a black butterfly inside their house. Now, torn between reconciling her sister and father Sab learns the harsh truth of what it is really happening in the Philippines.
Plotwise, Gail wrote My Fate According to the Butterfly with such ease that readers can vividly enjoy and imagine the reality of the world through the perspective of a young girl. Different scenarios like eating the famous dirty ice cream and kwek-kwek in the street is so refreshing to the eyes. There’s also the MRT scene which is a common scenario here that shows that a country has its flaws sometimes.
When reading the book, you can see how beautiful Sab and Pepper’s friendship is even they are just children. You can see that no matter what the world throws them they are still with each other’s side.
One specific thing in the book is where there’s an Operation Tokhang where Sab, Pepper, Nadine and Jepoy got a ittlee involve. For those who didn’t know Operation Tokhang it is a thing here in the Philippines where police is raiding a specific place to capture the people who uses or sells drugs. And that for me is kinda alarming because a 10-year old child got to experience that kind of brutal thing. I know that even if your young you should be knowledgeable about it. But being a teacher, for me children should not see and experience it as their consciousness is still fragile. They are things that children should not experience as it may help them to have trauma and be accustomed with that thing. But with the world today we cannot avoid that and we mature and old people should just guide them.
One funny and interesting in the story is Sab’s pet. Not just like the other book, Sab’s pet is a freaking DUCK. Can you believe it? It’s a DUCK as in D-U-C-K. Nevertheless, it’s so cute and refreshing.
To wrap it all. My Fate According to the Butterfly is a refreshing story about the harsh truth of the world through a perspective of young girl.
Actual rating is 4.5 stars
About the Author
Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a graphic artist. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly, is coming from Scholastic Press on July 30, 2019
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