This book hooked me from the very beginning. Dot Hutchison is good at dropping small details that makes you interested to find out more. At first we don’t know anything about the girl Inara. Then we learn about the Butterfly Garden, where the Gardener likes to keep his kidnapped. He tattoos wings on their backs and keeps them until they are 21… Then he preserves them in resin and glass.
Just the idea of this concept is sickening. The Gardener gives them names, keeps them locked in a beautiful garden, and does what he wants with them. The creepier thing is he doesn’t do much. He just watches them.
His son Adrian is a terrorizer. His other son, Desmond, is an angel.
Inara (known as Maya in the Garden) acts like a kind of mother figure to the other girls. When Desmond comes finds the Garden, they both immediately start being interested in each other. At first Maya hates him for believing his father’s lies about the girls being “saved from the streets.” It’s only when the Gardener shows him what happens when they die, that he finally sees the truth.
This book was a great adventure for me, just to see how the characters interacted with one another. The characters feel real – you feel like you know Inara and Bliss and Lyonette. The only down point for this book was the romance part of it. It made the whole thing just a little less believable for me. Other than that though, this book is a great read and I recommend it to older teenagers and up. It may be YA, but it is definitely not a light read.
I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!