Synopsis: The closest he will ever come to happiness is when he's hurting her. Will she let him? A beautiful and twisted story of first love and innocence lost -- written when the author was just eighteen. Sphinxie and Cadence. Promised to each other in childhood. Drawn together again as teens. Sphinxie is sweet, compassionate, and plain. Cadence is brilliant, charismatic. Damaged. And diseased. When they were kids, he scarred her with a knife. Now, as his illness progresses, he becomes increasingly demanding. She wants to be loyal -- but fears for her life. Only the ultimate sacrifice will give this love an ending.
- Sphinxie and Cadence were promised to each other, promised to marry and have their own children. Unfortunately, it didn't work out as expected. Cadence is damaged, mentally he is. I'm not talking a reckless "bad boy" here, he's actually mentally ill hence why he scarred Sphinxie when they were children. Now, several years later they meet again.. Does Sphinx decide to be with him or let him go for good? Does she give the ultimate sacrifice in the end? I've seen several negative reviews of Breaking Butterflies on Goodreads, although I can totally understand each point everyone is making but I feel some people are missing the bigger message and you should read this with a more open mind... However, I really liked this book. This is more of a personal approach and review. Mild spoilers up ahead.
- I've seen this statement a lot for this novel, "it has an abusive relationship and it romanticizes abuse." If you're a sociopath, it doesn't give you a free pass to hurt and abuse others. From what I have studied from psychology over the years, I just don't blame them when they do because they have an illness. Their brains aren't the same like the rest of us. They're mentally ill, they lack a moral conscious, and they feel no remorse or empathy. I don't believe you can compare this relationship to other abusive relationships, they're not exactly the same.
- Sociopaths aren't just mental illness free reckless men with anger management issues. They're more dangerous. Sociopaths are born, not created overtime like some reckless men. I wouldn't call this an abusive relationship but a more intense, destructive relationship. It can destroy both partners. As for romanticizing abuse, that wasn't what the author was doing. He was trying to portray a different relationship that cannot be helped.
- Cadence is manipulative, sometimes emotionless, he uses Sphinx and crushes her like a butterfly. Cadence might seem heartless, but Sphinx still has emotions that make her stay. If you loved someone so much, wouldn't you want to be there for them in their last moments? I understand Cadence is not your average love interest, I would think twice to be around him. Although, I wouldn't abandon my son if he was mentally sick even if he treated me like crap, so why would you abandon a partner you love? The heroine knows this is wrong, Cadence is not normal, but it's her choice to still stay with him. I don't think it's because she loves him, I think it's because he needs her even though he cannot say it. I don't think this is a love story or a romance book, it's more psychological. There is hardly any romance in this novel though, the feelings are there but there isn't any mushy gushy stuff. They don't even kiss okay? There are a couple of errors about sociopaths in the book, it's probably because the author wrote this book at a such a young age, he was only eighteen.
- Sphinx could be considered brave for even dealing with Cadence or incredibly stupid for wanting to be around someone insane. Sphinx knows she doesn't deserve to be treated as a doormat, but I realized she's just trying to be there for someone else no matter how hard that can be. I wouldn't exactly judge her for that though. It's easier to make up your mind about a human being who doesn't have an mental illness and they hurt you anyway, you can leave them - but I would find it quite difficult to leave someone who has an mental illness. I wouldn't call Sphinx a doormat but rather helpless.
- The actual plot was fascinating, this novel had many twists and turns down the way. The author presented a sick, destructive relationship that isn't too common in Young Adult, I found that really unique and different. I found it realistic for the most part, it would have baffled my mind if Cadence somehow changed because of love but he doesn't. He remains true to himself. I didn't agree with all he did, but I did empathized with him. One thing that bothers me about this book is the parents. Leigh and Sarah, I would never let a sociopath guy near my child and vice versa. I empathize yes, but they're still dangerous.
- The book is horrifying and intense, although I would have liked to see more darkness in this novel, it could have been five butterflies for me if it was more developed. This book should have been made more for adults and not teenagers because it can be taken the wrong way. Overall, I won't forget a book like this again, it does make an impact on the reader. The writing is fantastic, it's easy to get lost into a novel like this. It can be hard to read Breaking Butterflies though, it's not a book for everyone but I found it a unique novel. I would have liked to know Cadence's POV as well. This is a twisted book, you don't want to keep reading, but at the same time you cannot wait for what happens next. I would rate it 4 butterflies.
S. E Green
- Lane is an ordinary teenager who is trying to pass high school, but she does have a secret obsession with studying serial killers. She might be one herself - she has dark impulses to hunt criminals, but she hasn't done so yet. Lane is soon targeted by "the Decapitator" after getting too involved with her mother's case who's an FBI agent. I thought this novel was refreshing, it's not every day you read about hunting killers. I don't mean the police or anyone, just actual ordinary people who you wouldn't expect that from. I couldn't put this novel down, the writing itself is compelling. Well, this is another novel that several people disliked but I found it intriguing enough. I tend to be the minority in most cases, I usually end up liking the book most people don't and I don't like the book everybody does.
- I found the heroine Lane fascinating, her character is refreshing. She is brave, but that could be mainly because she's fearless. She doesn't really have fear. Although, she does do "slut-shaming" but I'll forgive her since they're subtle comments and she doesn't always do it. She has this sick obsession with delivering justice. I'm surprised why she doesn't become a cop herself, but she actually wants to deliver the punishment herself. I wasn't the biggest fan of the romance, it wasn't the most important aspect of the novel. The romance doesn't seem to go really anywhere, Lane only tries it because she wants to feel "normal" for once. I find the other love interest that has always been there in her life to be more forbidden and daring, I would have liked to read more about him.
- Overall, the world building plot was intriguing enough - the last few chapters of the book were just amazing, I wasn't expecting that twist and I respect Lane a lot for making that decision in the end to keep it on the down low. This is similar to Dexter, although Dexter is one of my favorite shows. Lane does have several emotions because she's not a sociopath nor does she have a mental illness. She sounds like she does, but she also has human characteristics about her. She shows mercy, and she loves her family especially her mother and younger brother. She's also capable of loving someone. She's ordinary but she's still dark if that makes sense. I would have thought she had OCD, but it's not quite there yet and I could be off. The novel doesn't actually explain how she gets these dark thoughts to hunt killers though. I cannot wait for the sequel of this novel! This is an odd and dark novel that keeps you on the toes, you could never guess who the actual killer is.
These two books are recommended for fans of Dexter, and I Hunt Killers.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron