Book Review: Butterflies in May by Karen Hart

Ali Parker, a high school senior, is in love for the first time in her seventeen-year life. Her Mr. Perfect boyfriend, Matt Ryan, is a talented artist who hopes to attend Pratt Institute in New York, and Ali plans to major in journalism at a prestigious college. Both Ali and Matt are outstanding students. Their future possibilities seem endless. Then the inconceivable happens-Ali becomes pregnant. Suddenly, her entire world shifts. Everything she was sure of changes. What should she do about this baby . . . about Matt . . . about her life? Ali is faced with the dilemma of responsibility and choice. She's supported by a fun, loyal best friend, Monica, but Ali knows that now, nothing will ever be the same again. She's abruptly and unwillingly forced into the world of adulthood as she faces the crisis of being a pregnant, unwed teenager. 

Release Date:  May 1, 2006
Publisher:  Bancroft Press
Age Group:  Adult (Coming of Age)
Pages:  202
Source:  NetGalley
Butterflies in May, along with Neal Shusterman's Unwind, should be required reading for all teenagers.  I really thought that this was a YA book, but according to NetGalley it is adult fiction.  I think that it would be appropriate for teens though.  

I was drawn into the story from the beginning and I was hard pressed to put this book down!  I really enjoyed Ali's voice.  She stays true to herself and her feelings despite everyone else in her life urging her to make a different decision about her pregnancy.  Ali does a lot of growing up and self-discovery throughout the story.  She begins to reexamine her life decisions and her relationships as the book progresses.  

The account of Ali's pregnancy was unvarnished and refreshing.  She tells it like it is, which I could really relate to, being 18 weeks pregnant right now.  I especially identified with Ali's weight gain early on, since I also exceeded the weight gain guidelines due to my only relief from constant nausea coming from high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.  

The events at the end of the book left me in tears.  The ending was so sweet: filled with hope without being a traditional happily ever after.  I would recommend this book to anyone!

Just One Gripe: 
I wanted to pop Ali for putting up with some of Matt's ill treatment of her.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
Ali's honest voice.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters:  4/5
Plot: 4/5
Setting/Imagery:  4/5
Originality:  4/5
Ending: 5/5
Total Score:  21/25



  1. This sounds beautifully written and heartfelt! I'm glad to hear it rang true for you...sounds absolutely lovely. Great review! :)

  2. Oh wow. Sounds really good and realistic. Thanks for the review and your insight.

  3. This absolutely sounds like something I would enjoy. Thank you for review this and putting it on my radar. Can't wait to check it out.

  4. Thanks for the review! I'm an editor at Bancroft Press, the publisher of this novel. I just wanted to point out that Butterflies in May is indeed young adult. It only shows up as an adult on NetGalley because "coming of age" is only available as an adult categorization.


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