books and stuff


Stop everything. I read an e-book.

I know, mental.

But, if you’ve read anything else I’ve written, or if you’ve spoken to me for longer than 7 seconds, you’ll know that reading an e-book is a big deal for me.

Truthfully, the only reason I chose to read an e-book was because it was free (thanks Amazon Student). But, admittedly, I enjoyed reading a novel in a different way. Plus, I often multi-task with a book in my hand, so having the book on a screen and being able to turn the page with a simple flick of my finger helped. I found I was able to read faster because I wasn’t balancing a cup of tea, a hairbrush and a book too.

So is this the end for me and printed books?

Of course not.

But I’d definitely read another novel on my Kindle. Especially if they’re free!

Out of a selection of 6 free e-books, I chose Dot Hutchison’s The Butterfly Garden (2016). I didn’t expect much – anything that’s free doesn’t usually offer a great deal – but I was pleasantly surprised.

The Butterfly Garden is a man-made place created by sympathetic serial killer, ‘The Gardener’. He kidnaps young girls, tattoos different species of butterflies on their backs, and keeps them against their will in his huge garden. So yeah, pretty intense.

Throughout I was reminded of James Patterson’s Kiss the Girls (1995). In which a serial killer coined ‘Casanova’ collects beautiful women and keeps them trapped in an underground prison. He repeatedly rapes and tortures the girls, eventually killing them. Another heart-warming tale, right?

Yet unlike Casanova, it’s difficult to hate The Gardener, instead we empathise with him. More often than not I questioned whether he was inherently evil or not, this alone gave more depth to the novel than that of Kiss the Girls. 

Recently I’ve been slacking on my Reading Challenge. So sneakily I’m counting The Butterfly Garden as my No. 12 – ‘a book with monsters’. If you’ve read it, you’ll know. If not, find out.

  • Follow Dot Hutchison here.
  • Found out more here.





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