Butterflies in May by Karen Hart
Addition: Review e-book from netGalley
Genre: Young adult, chick-lit
Ali Parker, a high school senior, plans to major in journalism at a prestigious college. Her Mr. Perfect boyfriend, Matt Ryan, is a talented artist. Their future possibilities seem endless. Then the inconceivable happens–Ali becomes pregnant. This compelling, inspiring, and enlightening story engages the heart as it shows the struggles of life and the endurance of hope.
This is the first Karen Hart novel I have read and I really enjoyed it. The story follows Ali, a girl with great potential, who has unprotected sex once and ends up pregnant. The plot follows her struggles – to tell her parents and Matt, to face school, the decision to have an abortion or to give up the baby for adoption.
This is a young adult book, but it addressed a serious, adult subject. I think Hart dealt with this issue very well. She explored how people would react to the news, the various phases of pregnancy – including the sickness and the weight gain and the options open to Ali. Hart explored adoption and abortion – weighing up the pros and cons. I felt this was really good. As a Christian I don’t believe in sex before marriage, but as many people do it and teenagers get pregnant, I felt it was important for Hart to deal with everything involved. Hart was clear and fair, looking at everything – even those anti-abortion.
I liked the characters in this story. Ali was lovely to read about. Although I have never been through what she faced, Hart wrote her character in such a way that I felt I could empathise with her. She was very likeable and I just wanted the best for her. I liked how her parents were written – it looked at the stress they would feel due to this, and I liked the hidden secret – although to be honest that wasn’t much of a shock. Ali’s best friend Monica is a sweetie. She is there all the way through, so supportive, and that was lovely. I loved her Aunt too. Even though she really wanted a child, she was supportive to Ali too.
I wasn’t surprised by the outcome but I really enjoyed this book. In a way it reminded me of Judy Blume’s Forever – another teen book that looks at sex. This book was well written and well thought out. I enjoyed reading it and think the issue of teen pregnancy was well addressed in this book.
It is also a love story – looking at first love and young adult romances. Again, this reminded me of Blume’s Forever, the the feeling that this is going to never end. I felt this was also dealt with really well.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend this to anyone – young adult or not.