Review Detail

Gently tackles the reality of the Philippine Drug War
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
My Fate According to the Butterfly is probably the first Middle Grade novel I’ve read in a very long time. I don’t even remember the last MG novel I’ve read. While I usually shy away from the category, I just knew that I couldn’t pass on any opportunity that I have to read and boost this book.

The story follows Sab, a Filipino kid who wants to be an artist like her Father. In fact, she looks up to her father a lot and gets her being superstitious from him so when a black butterfly lands on her a few days before her birthday, she believed she was going to die.

I really love the portrayal of Sab’s curiosity and innocence in the book. It was quite refreshing to see her take on things that seem mundane and trivial for me, but has totally captured her attention. The family dynamics was really interesting for me as well. See, Sab’s parents are separated, her mom and dad both have boyfriends and it was heartwarming for her to refer to them as her three dads.

I didn’t relate to Ate Nadine that much though, which was a bit sad and surprising because we’re both the eldest sibling. I just felt like she was too dismissive of Sab sometimes, which I found myself thinking “Was I that dismissive of my sisters?” Then again we see their relationship grow as we go along.

The book gently touched the reality of drug war, while also exploring the reality of a number of issues such as socioeconomic inequalities, colonial mentality, and white privilege. I love the fact that the author was able to navigate through these themes and contextualize them in the eyes of a Filipino kid without soft-pedaling their importance and meaning.
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