Nell Iris' Christmas

Holidays at Nell’s: Day 27

Today’s book recommendation is maybe the most un-Christmassy of all the Christmas books I’ve read this year, which is why I’m sticking it here on the 27th. Maybe you’re getting tired of Christmas and need to phase it out of your life. If that’s the case, this is the perfect book for you. It has a gift exchange in the end, but even that part is really low on the holiday vibes.

Holidays at Nell’s day 27: Nobody’s Butterfly by Claire Davis & Al Stewart
Click for blurb

Cobweb ghosts are so inconvenient—especially grumpy ones with bad breath. Don’t they know silence is golden?

Johnny Strong is the expert; he hasn’t spoken in two years. Not one word to anyone except the ghost. The main purpose of life is to avoid people and not get noticed. Friends? He doesn’t need them; and certainly nobody wants him despite what the ghost says.

Until a new boy appears at Windybank—Finn Lyons, teenage wizard. He eats frogs, concocts potions, and is always hungry. Not only does Finn stand up for Johnny; he actively seeks his company and soon becomes part of life.
First love; family and words; a heady mix to go in the potion but how will it all turn out?

Hubble bubble; Johnny Strong’s in trouble! Silence is not always golden in this sweet, zany story of the purest magic at Christmas.

Above disclaimer about the un-Christmasness (it’s a word!) of this book aside, it’s an absolutely fantastic story. If you’ve hung around my blog for a while, you know by now that I absolutely love everything I’ve read written by these two authors (for example, I’ve raved about Dear Mona Lisa… and Shut Your Face Anthony Pace and Up! made it to my favorite books of 2018), and Nobody’s Butterfly was no exception.

Johnny Strong and Finn Lyons are two fabulous characters; I love the quirkiness these authors always gives their characters and what makes me re-read their books over and over again. The two boys (it’s a YA story) are staying at home for children between foster homes; Johnny has been there for a long time and doesn’t speak to anyone except the ghost in his room, but Finn is new. Finn sweeps into Johnny’s life like a tornado and at first Johnny isn’t too happy, but that soon changes and they grow really close.

Despite Johnny talking to a ghost and Finn claiming he’s Johnny’s wizard, there isn’t magic in this story. Unless you count finding someone after you’ve lost everyone and everything. Unless you count finding your voice when you thought it was lost forever. Unless you count finding someone you didn’t know you absolutely needed.

I take that back. There is magic in this story, but it’s in the writing. The beautiful, breathtaking writing that always sweeps me off my feet.

Buy link

Inside, Johnny shone so brightly that probably astronomers thousands of miles away thought he was a star.

Quote from Nobody’s Butterfly by Claire Davis and Al Stewart

This book is going on my 2020 favorites book, and not just holiday favorites. Read it, you won’t regret it. But here, you’ll need this:

Christmas Kleenex

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