Happy Monday, pals! Today I thought I’d do a bit of a different recommendations post. Instead of just recommendations, I’m doing a “if you like this, try this” post. Today we’re doing The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson!
Some features about The Butterfly Garden that I used: it’s dark, it’s a thriller, it has a primarily female cast, it’s somewhat fucked up, and it’s fast-paced.
So, if you liked The Butterfly Garden…
and you want a feminist YA, try: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis: The Female of the Species is a feminist YA about rape culture, and it’s super interesting. It has a really great exploration of female relationships and friendships, and the commentary on rape culture is great.
and you want a classic, try: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar is my favourite classic. It’s a largely autobiographical account of Plath’s depression and attempted suicide, with lots of feminist commentary on what it means to be a woman. If you enjoyed the dark nature of The Butterfly Garden, I think you’d definitely enjoy this classic.
and you want a non-fiction, try: A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard: this is the memoir of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped at 11 and held captive for 18 years. As The Butterfly Garden is about a kidnapper, I thought this was a pretty obvious comparison.
and you want a thriller, try: The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis: The Boy in the Suitcase and The Butterfly Garden have a lot of similar characteristics. They’re both thrillers, they both have dark elements, they both deal with kidnappings, and they both have a large focus on women. The ending of The Boy in the Suitcase is much cleaner than that of The Butterfly Garden, though.
and you want a thriller with girls, try: Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand: Sawkill Girls is a thriller with some magical realism elements that has a lot of commentary on how society treats women. It also has a lot of great diversity and representation, including a f/f romance and an asexual character.
and you want literary fiction, try: The Secret History by Donna Tartt: okay hear me out. Other than being dark, The Secret History doesn’t really share many other features with The Butterfly Garden. However, I think if you enjoyed The Butterfly Garden and wanted to try literary fiction, The Secret History would really work. It’s dark, suspenseful, and has some fucked up characters.
and you want a fast-paced YA book about trapped girls, try: The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir: this also might seem like a weird comparison, but I think they’re actually fairly similar. The Book of Essie isn’t a thriller nor is it dark, but it is largely about a girl who is trapped in her family. It’s super fast-paced and twisted, and does a great job of subverting expectations. So I think if you liked The Butterfly Garden but wanted something a bit lighter, The Book of Essie would be for you.
So those are my recommendations for books you might enjoy if you liked The Butterfly Garden! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me on any of them? Are there any others that fit the description I gave? Let me know!
Thanks for reading! xx