International Writers Magazine: Young Fiction:
Get out the
Kiss of the Butterfly by Jill Hucklesby
Orchard Books - Pages: 288
ISBN 978 1 84616 343 - 2
is a 13 year old girl who is an incredibly determined young lady,
whether it is finding cures for her mothers cancer, or learning
her new moves for tae kwon do.
her mother became ill Jaz takes it upon herself to look after her.
Making sure she takes her pills, organizing her exercise regime,
or phoning specialist doctors from all over the world to ask for
If you are looking
for a feel good story this is not the book for you, it will have you
reaching for the tissues on several occasions.
Not only does Jaz have to face the problems that all teenagers face
like first love, fashion and friends, but she also has to deal with
her mothers illness causing her to grow up very quickly.
When Jaz gets the shocking news that she will not be spending the summer
in London with her friends the "Urban Chicks" she is devastated,
she is to spend the whole summer in her Grandfathers old house
in the marshes in the middle of nowhere, just her and her mum, any teenagers
worst nightmare. While they are away Jaz learns more about her mum and
starts to see her as not only a mother but a friend as well. The relationship
between them both is heart warming, and makes the outcome even harder
to take. Although Jaz becomes closer to her mum throughout the summer
she still wishes to be back in London with her friends, her only link
to the outside world, and the only thing that keeps her from going mad
from being surrounded by so may frogs is the phone calls and texts from
her best friend Bella.
The book does not set up any false hopes as it starts with Jaz and her
dad attending the funeral of her mother, so you are aware from the start
what is in stall for the reader. I can not decide whether this makes
it easier when the inevitable happens, or just builds up the agony while
reading the book. Throughout the conversations and tender interactions
between Jaz and her mother you cant help but have the nagging
knowledge that this woman will die. I found myself getting frustrated
with Jaz when she was wishing she was back in London with her friends,
rather than be on a bike ride with her mum in the marshes.
Although, it is expected when the cancer returns I still found it saddening,
almost wishing that the first chapter was a clever ploy by the author
to surprise us with good news at the end, but this was not the case.
If it wasnt for Ethan, a boy she comes across in the marshes,
I dont think she would be able to get through the news and the
death of her mother.
Overall, I found the book heartwarming when reading the relationships
between the family and how they act as a unit, but like I have said
before this book is a real tearjerker especially near the end so, be
warned to have those tissues at the ready.
© Monique Wintle
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