Willa Parker (whose name you don’t know until Chapter 5) has decided to leave her cafeteria table of gentle misfits and go to boarding school. Though she hasn’t spoken to her mother in a long while, she knew her mom could pull the appropriate strings and get her in the ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep. An all-girls school on the east coast, it’s a long train ride away from her loving and encouraging father in What Cheer, Iowa. She doesn’t plan on staying there very long, and in that end, is encouraged to find that they have a rather tall bell tower. Perfect.
Willa’s mother has a plan, too: Princeton after Pembroke. After all, she’s a worshiped economics muckety muck and wants Willa to follow in her footsteps. So of course she’s ecstatic about the switch to Pembroke. She’s a driven perfectionist that hasn’t realized that maybe she should have asked Willa what she wants and maybe shouldn’t have ruined their family.
Immediately, Willa draws the attention of Remy Taft (yes, that Taft family), a fellow student who becomes fast friends with Willa. Why, Willa has no idea, but it has caused their classmates to think Willa is not just some hick from Iowa. But being friends with Remy has a price, and Willa didn’t come to Pembroke to complicate her life.
Slowly, she gets drawn into a world of privilege and private islands and NYC high-rises where she discovers that maybe having everything you want isn’t always the answer.
I previously read Anatomy of a Misfit by the same author and remember it being deep with a layer of snark on top. It’s like crème brûlée. You gently break through the top to get to the filling – but really, it’s just all delicious. Her writing is wonderful. Lyrical, languid and jazzy, all at once. Plus her vocabulary would make Noah Webster actually want to smile in one of his portraits.
Not once did I really know where this novel was going to take me, but I absolutely was going along for the ride.
The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes was published May 10, 2016 by HarperTeen. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library, so everybody wins.
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction Contemporary Romance