Review: Other People’s Butterflies by Cora Ruskin

One of my favorite things about blogging has been meeting other writers and discovering some really great indie authors. I’ve been a reader of Cora Ruskin’s blog Cora Still Writes for a while, so I was happy to receive an ARC of her debut novel, Other People’s Butterflies. It’s contemporary YA with a fabulous protagonist and healthy dose of drama. Plus look at this gorgeous cover!!

Gwen Foster is a typical high school girl, dealing with school and friend drama…except for the part where she’s secretly collecting personal information on all her classmates, not to mention trying to figure out why, unlike her classmates, she has no real interest in kissing anyone. As Gwen is coming to terms with her asexual/aromantic nature, an unknown person starts dishing out all the dirt Gwen’s collected on social media. Can Gwen’s favorite character, a 1940s femme fatale super spy, show her the way to fix everything?

Although I read a lot of YA, contemporary YA is not my usual genre. However, from the first pages I was hooked on Gwen as a character. I loved her narrative voice (and her very British sense of humor), and her growth over the story felt very real. The suspense and mystery parts of the story were really intriguing, and I liked how the scenes with Gwen’s fictional idol are interspersed to create tension and further the themes of the story. Parts of the ending felt a little abrupt, but I think that was because I wanted to read more of Gwen!

I especially appreciated reading the perspective of an asexual character, which is not something very common in any genre of fiction. I liked the organic way in which Gwen came to identify herself by that label, and the difference it made to her to know that she wasn’t the only person who felt that way. I hope anyone reading this story and seeing themselves in Gwen will feel the same!

So if you like high school drama, spy stuff, childhood friends, Briticisms, and diverse characters, I highly recommend checking this one out! It’s especially great that it is releasing during Pride month. I look forward to reading more by Cora in the future!

Get Other People’s Butterflies on Amazon

Check it out on Goodreads

2 thoughts on “Review: Other People’s Butterflies by Cora Ruskin

  1. Michael J. Miller June 23, 2021 / 11:46 pm

    Ok, you had me at “Briticisms” but the idea of the book being written from the perspective of an asexual/aromantic character is incredible. A novel is a wonderful way to help broaden people’s understanding and comfort zones with something they may not be familiar with. And, as you say above, it offers a great outlet for people – especially teens – who have the same orientation but don’t feel themselves represented in the stories they read. I am absolutely going to check this out. Thank you for putting it on my radar and YAY for this book in general!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei June 24, 2021 / 3:27 pm

      Yay, I hope you can check it out. It really exceeded my expectations. I’ve read other stories with “ace” main characters, but none delved into the concept in such a full yet natural way. Enjoy Gwen!!

      Liked by 1 person

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