Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Perez - OPTIONAL

Perez, Ashley Hope The Knife and the Butterfly. Carolhoda Lab, 2012. 204 pgs. Language: R (lots of “F’s” and everything else, Violence: R, Sexual Content: R. $17.95 HC.

The morning after a huge brawl, Azael Arevalo wakes up in custody with no memory of the end of the fight. Which gang won? Where is his brother, Eddie? This prison doesn’t work like the other’s he has experienced. No phone call, no lawyer, no info from the outside. All he does is fume in his cell and observe a girl, Lexi, that he has never met. He has no idea what connection they might share, but it quickly becomes obvious that she is his ticket out.

To begin, this book is rough. The language, the content, and the backstory are all an accurate representation of gang life. Azael is unrepentant in his membership and the things he’s done because of it. Lexi is the same. That being said, this is an important book for the same reason. It’s well written, quickly paced, and has an interesting dynamic where the narrative switches from the present to the past and back, shedding light on Azael and Lexi. This is a book to be shared with caution, but it could really help the right kids. HS – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Ben

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