New Release Book Review: The Butterfly Shell by Maureen White


Title: The Butterfly Shell
Author: Maureen White
Published: August 3rd 2015
Publisher: The O’Brien Press
Genre: Upper Middle Grade, Young Adult, Contemporary
Length: 192 pages

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blurb (via Goodreads):

There are some things about me you should know.
1. I always wear my butterfly shell – even when I’m swimming or sleeping
2. I don’t cut myself anymore
3. I believe in ghosts.

It’s the beginning of First Year. Marie loves reading, hates Rachel and her gang, The Secret Six, and isn’t sure how she feels about Stella, who’s more than a little odd.
Between the mean girls tormenting her by day and a ghostly cry waking her at night, Marie’s first year at secondary school is far from what she had expected …

The story of a strange year and a very special shell.

My Thoughts

Warning: This story does involve self-harming, so if that’s something that you wish to stay away from, I’d recommend not picking up this book.

The Butterfly Shell was an interesting read. It’s a short book and a fast read but there’s a lot packed into the pages. Marie is just about to start a new year at school and already she’s in for a rough time. Being tormented by Rachel and her group of followers becomes a daily thing and the only source of friendship she has is in the form of Stella, a little girl who’s a little strange.

When Marie believes she is hearing the ghostly cries of her dead baby sister, who was also called Marie, it seems like the pressure of everything going on in her life starts to get to her. She starts self-harming as a way of release, and I found this to be uncomfortable to read – I know that it happens, but it breaks my heart to think that someone so young would feel the need to do this to themselves.

I really enjoyed this book. Marie’s journey as she discovers her mother’s hidden secret and also her attempts to pacify Rachel and her crew were an emotional roller coaster of a ride through such a short space of time.

The development of Marie as a character throughout is wonderful; she’s a normal girl having a tough time and she struggles. She struggles a lot, but you see her come out stronger. The ending was a bit of a gasp-inducing moment for me. I hadn’t been expecting it. I’ll admit that this ending didn’t give me the neat little bow wrapped ending I usually like my books to have – it was a little more open-ended – but it was still great all the same.


A different, understated story that is an emotional ride from start to finish.

This book is available at the following links:

Non-Affiliate: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Affiliate: BookDepository

About the Author

No biography available at this time.

One thought on “New Release Book Review: The Butterfly Shell by Maureen White

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