The Knife and the Butterfly

By: Ashley Hope Perez
location: FIC PER
Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction

After a gang brawl, Azael wakes up in a locked cell. Juvie, he thinks. He can't remember what happened. And this lockup is strange. They just make him watch some white girl in another cell. Somehow, he's connected to her...

"There are a lot of heart-wrenching books out there. But there's something special about THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY. The latest by Ashley Hope Perez, this novel is artfully written, with a voice that reads so authentic the story feels horrifically real. Horrifically because the narrator is a young boy in jail, awaiting sentencing, and knowing something terrible has gone down. Something that cost a life.

Azael isn't a bad kid. At least, he doesn't think he is. At 16 he's found himself kinda homeless, abandoned by family other than his brother, and running with a gang. The gang is his family, his brother has recently been brought into the fold, he's a wonderful artist and he has a great girl. But his girl, Becca, wishes things were different. She wants Az to go straight, to do right by her. And Az swears he's trying -- he just can't seem to get his head on straight. This is what Azael remembers anyway. In his nearly-bare cell, he only has some partially blacked-out police records and a contraband sketchbook hidden under his mattress to fill in the blanks.

On the other side, there's Lexi. She's also being held, and she's trying not to remember the brawl that got her here. These are two teens that normally wouldn't cross each others paths. And it takes Azael a few "observation" to realize it, but now he knows she knows something. He thinks she's the key to his memory...and possibly his freedom.

THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY is a striking and surprising novel"   E Anderson


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