Recent Reads Review—When the Butterflies Came

As a reminder of my new scoring system, I’m using emoticons. Here’s what they mean:

Open-mouthed smile–WOW—I loved this book and will talk/have talked about/shared it with others.

Smile–Not totally in love, but this was a great book and I may talk about/share it with others.

Thinking smile–This was okay. I enjoyed reading it, but it’s not my favorite.

Sad smile–This wasn’t for me. I stopped reading and couldn’t bring myself to finish.

Steaming mad–How did this get published?

If you happen to be the author of one of the books I review, please remember this is my honest opinion. Don’t hate me if I don’t give your book a great big happy grin. I am only one reader in the whole wide readership and I’m sure there are those who’ll love your work—it just wasn’t me.

When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little—Open-mouthed smile—I’ve always loved Kimberley’s books, but I have to say, this is my new favorite. Maybe it’s because I love butterflies, or mysterious keys that unlock mysterious things—or maybe it’s the elements of mystery and danger woven so magically into the story. Whatever the reason, I can’t stop thinking about or talking about this book!

The Story—Tara Doucet (a.k.a “Pantene Princess” who tormented Shelby Jayne in Circle of Secrets) appears to have a perfect life—but, much like her house, the beautiful outside hides a crumbling mess inside. Tara’s beloved Grammy Claire has passed away. Tara might be able to bear it more if her mother hadn’t disappeared in a fit of depression or if she could talk to her sister, Riley. But Tara is alone in her grief and afraid it will swallow her whole. Everything changes when the butterflies appear. Tara knows they must mean something and when she starts getting letters with mysterious keys from her dead Grammy, Tara discovers she was right. And the butterflies that follow Tara are far from ordinary. They were Grammy Claire’s. Armed with her Grammy’s letters and the clues they contain, Tara sets out to discover what the keys open. Doing so draws her deeper into the mysterious world of Grammy Claire’s butterflies—a world that turns out to be far more dangerous than Tara ever imagined.

A heartwarming and uplifting story of hope, love, sibling rivalry, and faith, When the Butterflies Came fluttered into my heart and imagination with wings of graceful prose and vibrant, beautiful characters.


If you’d like to win a copy of the novel and other awesome prizes (including a live butterfly garden), check out my contest (LiveJournal link WordPress link—you only enter in one place but I’m including both links). I wasn’t able to do everything I planed to promote this book (thanks a lot broken leg—grrr), but the contest ends tomorrow so hurry and enter if you haven’t already done so.

Also, as an extra bonus, one lucky commenter on this post will receive a surprise package of butterfly themed items. Just leave a comment that says, “Enter me” if you want to be eligible for the package. This special bonus contest ends tomorrow so enter today!

Write/Read on!

About Joan Stradling, Author

Joan Stradling is a middle grade and YA author of stories with magical elements. She loves painting, baking, crafting, pet wrangling, and anything else she can fit into her schedule. A passionate believer in the power of books, she still hopes to one day ride a dragon, meet a Hobbit, or discover new worlds by walking through a wardrobe. In the meantime, she imagines and writes about her own incredible worlds and characters–and continues to live vicariously through the adventures in other’s books. You can find her on Instagram (@JoanStradlingAuthor) or Twitter (@justJoanS) or FB (Joan Stradling aka Joan Stewart) Join me on Patreon:
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