How to Befriend a Butterfly 06/08/20
The Territory: Truth
Publisher: Firefly Press
In Noa's world, rising sea levels and extreme flooding has meant that there are restrictions on population, and the people that are left are divided into the rich, technology-ruled Territory and the Wetlands, a nightmarish swamp, rife with disease.
Belonging in the Territory must be earned, which means all teens must sit exams that define which way they will go for the rest of their lives. With a sensitivity to the choices we ask teens to make about their future lives at so early an age, as well as the historic (and not-so-historic) divisions and boundaries cultures have enforced against groups that are deemed 'less than', the world of the Territory is rich with meaning and relevance for young readers.
In this final instalment of Govett's excellent trilogy, heroine Noa and her friends, who found themselves in the Wetlands in book two, are determined to break back into the Territory in order to carry out a daring plan to challenge the status quo and make the dystopian Ministry accountable for its barbaric actions and attitudes. The brutality they have to engage in to pursue their goal is difficult and makes Noa question whether she is any better than the tyrants she seeks to depose – but perhaps the end justifies the means?
This excellent dystopian trilogy addresses many contemporary issues, including climate change, inequality and – particularly relevant to a teenage readership – the relentless pressure to perform in exams. Throughout the trilogy, Govett's characters feel grounded and well thought out; you really feel that they are 'real' teenagers, with real teen preoccupations about friendship, family and love, as well as what it means to live in a violently divided society.
A great, page-turning read with plenty of action that will appeal to reluctant readers and bookworms alike.