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Saturday, December 14, 2019

#ATBR2019 REVIEW: Tinfoil Butterfly by Rachel Eve Moulton @mcdbooks @fsgoriginals @jessmapreviews

Tinfoil Butterfly 
by Rachel Eve Moulton

Publisher: MCD x FSG Originals
Publish Date: September 10, 2019
272 Pages
Genre: Horror

Emma is hitchhiking across the United States, trying to outrun a violent, tragic past, when she meets Lowell, the hot-but-dumb driver she hopes will take her as far as the Badlands. But Lowell is not as harmless as he seems, and a vicious scuffle leaves Emma bloody and stranded in an abandoned town in the Black Hills with an out-of-gas van, a loaded gun, and a snowstorm on the way.

The town is eerily quiet and Emma takes shelter in a diner, where she stumbles across Earl, a strange little boy in a tinfoil mask who steals her gun before begging her to help him get rid of “George.” As she is pulled deeper into Earl’s bizarre, menacing world, the horrors of Emma’s past creep closer, and she realizes she can’t run forever.

My Review:

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 are 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.  

Jessica's Review:

I feel like this is a hard one to put my thoughts into words about. This was not what I was expecting it to be and I found myself being completely engrossed. TINFOIL BUTTERFLY is a beautifully written debut novel and one that sticks with you after you've closed the book. There's something haunting and emotional about this and I couldn't put it down.

It's really hard to go into a ton of detail about the plot because I don't want to give away much - and it is a shorter book. We meet Emma, and she is trying to escape her past and is trying to hitchhike her was around. Some bad decisions have led her to an abandoned diner where she meets a young boy in a tinfoil mask, Earl. He tells Emma he needs her help and she needs his, so we are now on a journey with them as they try to figure out where they're going and what they need to do.

A bleak overtone throughout the book and plenty of despair and some violence. Moulton doesn't let up on the readers as the book continues - we have to watch on as Emma and Earl struggle in this journey and the darkness that they face. Some things are a little over the top when it comes to their backstories, but considering this is more of a horror novel you go into it expecting to suspend some belief. This definitely isn't going to be for everyone and it's almost difficult to pinpoint who this would be perfect for - so if the synopsis intrigues you, then I would recommend picking it up and giving it a try!

4 stars

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