Yes, I’m participating in another blog tour and I couldn’t be more overjoyed at being selected as one of the hosts! Today is my stop on the My Fate According to the Butterfly blog tour hosted by the lovely Filipino bloggers Cara @ The Little Miss Bookworm, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and Kate @ Your Tita Kate. I like getting creative with my blog tour stops, so I decided to pair my mini-review up with a list of books I would have recommended to my middle school self. I used to read a lot of fantasy as a child and, as a result, was pretty oblivious to the world around me. I stayed away from “serious books” back then but looking back I feel I would have definitely benefited from learning about history and current affairs through fiction. Read on for my list of recommendations to my younger self, which only the invention of time travel can make come true!
My Fate According to the Butterfly conveyed its message in a perfectly balanced tale of light and hard-hitting moments. A commentary on the drug war in the Philippines, it drew me in from the start. Sab was a very relatable protagonist and I loved how the innocence of her age combined with her cleverness provided a unique perspective that young and adult readers can enjoy. The supporting cast was also well fleshed out and I liked them all. There was also a ton of diversity that was done casually and I really appreciated that. The writing was neither too simplistic nor too flowery and it brought the world of the story alive beautifully. The pacing was on point and I was entertained by all the elements in the plot. I highly enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to readers of all ages and reading tastes.
When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she’s doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her—on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn’t even know why.
If Sab’s going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she’ll have to overcome her fears—of her sister’s anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom—and figure out the cause of their rift. So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Ate Nadine and digging into their family’s past to determine why, exactly, Ate Nadine won’t speak to their father. But Sab’s adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult — and dangerous — than she ever anticipated.
About the Author
Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a graphic artist. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly, is coming from Scholastic Press on July 30, 2019.
Blog Tour Schedule
Bookstagram Tour Schedule
1. My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva
I finished the book in one sitting and all I could think of after I was done was how much my younger self would have grown as a person had she read it back then. I still love middle grade fiction now but it would have made a much bigger impact on me when I was a child. I also would be much more informed about the dangerous outside world and how seemingly right actions can be wrong when it is examined deeply with nuance.
2. Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar
This historical fiction is set in one of the most defining and devastating time periods in my own country’s past. My history books didn’t have much beyond cold and dry facts, so reading a story through the eyes of a young girl would have bolstered my educational experience.
3. Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
I was fascinated by the story of Malala when her inspiring story made international news but until then I showed little to no interest in the lives of Pakistani girls, thanks to the prejudice of an Indian upbringing. I still have almost no practical knowledge about everyday life in Pakistan, so this book would have helped to fill a gaping hole in my view of the world.
4. Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Stories about the immigrant experience have become one of my favourites in recent years, but I paid little attention to them when I was a child. I also do not have a good grasp of American history beyond the events that are centred around the white, colonial narrative. I believe this book would have surely won over my heart as a child and also broadened my perspective as an Asian.
5. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
In the Indian education system, there is no clear demarcation between primary, middle and high school. However, the experience of drifting apart from friends who were close to you before is a painful one that I wish I had handled with more grace. This book would have taught me invaluable lessons had I read it as a middle schooler and opened my eyes to the Islamophobia that is rampant in the world today.
Are there any other books you’d like to recommend to my younger self? What books have you read now that you wish you would have benefited from reading in your childhood? Do you enjoy middle grade books? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.