Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Roses of May, The Collector #2, by Dot Hutchison book thoughts
Title: Roses of May
Series: Yes, The Collector #2
Author: Roses of May
Published Date: May 23rd, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
# of Pages: 302
Read: May 2017
Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.
Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?
"How do you put yourself back together when the pieces permanently lost are the only reasons anyone's looking at you? Um. She's asking me how to do something i'm not sure i've actually done. If I had to guess, that's exactly why Vic sent the letter: because she's right. We shouldn't have to fix ourselves if we don't want to. We shouldn't have to be strong or brave or hopeful or any such bullshit. Mum has always emphatically stated that it's okay to not be okay. We don't owe that to anyone else."
"What kind of justice puts a twelve-year-old girl on the stand before court and cameras and makes her talk about being raped?"
"I'm glad you're all right, Priya," Vic says warmly. "Aren't I always?" "No. And that's okay.""
"Because there's the law, and there's justice, and they're not always the same thing."
TW: Eating disorder, rape, suicide, murder, creepy men
Before I get into the story I thought i'd mention that the main character, and her mother (it's just her and her mother in the family) are Indian, Priya and Deshani Sravasti, and it does talk about their bindis and stuff like that. While it isn't the focus of the story that stuff is woven into it, and while I am not Indian so I can't speak on it I personally did find it nicely woven into the story. Also there are 2 queer women in the story. One of them died before the story takes place and that is the first one you are aware of so my initial thought was "great, make the only queer character dead! What else is new?" but that wasn't the case! And no, sexuality isn't a spoiler or a twist, it just is what it is.
There are so many important themes in this book! Trauma and what it's like afterwards. That it's ok to not be ok. That you don't owe others anything, especially not the public that thinks families that have went through tradegy, that their pain is for public consumption. It's not. How we, the public, think that we are owed others pain, recovery and trauma when we aren't.
It has some creepy men in it and mentions how their behavior is creepy and wrong. It also has another theme in it that I wish I could mention, but I can't, because then that would be a major spoiler but it's a great message!
It talks about what is truly justice. The law isn't always justice, and sometimes there isn't such a thing because the past can't be changed. The mother is kick-ass and strong. She's flawed like everyone is but she is strong and there for her daughter, the main character Priya. You also get into the killer's head at times too while his identity remains unknown.
There are many quotes that i'd love to share but i'm not sure how much would be saying too much and spoiling it. While there are many quotes i'd love to share it never felt like it was trying to have a bunch of quotes, it just came naturally through the story and hit me in all the feels.
As for the eating disorder the main character has i'm not sure how to describe it well myself so i'll just quote this from the book "The thought of eating is...worrisome. I know this mood. If I start eating, I won't stop. Not even when i'm full and stretching and pained, because that kind of pain makes more sense than this grief and rage that bleed under my skin."
It talks about PTSD. Priya makes friends with vets, who are wonderful characters and they play chess together. At one point it talks about how one of them has a grandchild I think it is that loves these popper things that make a lot of noise but not a lot of flash, and talks about nightmares. I may not be a vet but I have PTSD from other things (house fire and abuse) and have had nightmares. The way stuff is described in the book is obviously PTSD and I related to those feelings so much, even if it's for a different reason (there are many reasons someone can have PTSD).
It talks about guilt, how it doesn't have to make sense, it just is.
And i'd also like to share this quote, "Deshani regales them with tales of her misogynist assistant, who can't manage to hide how disgusted he is to be reporting to a woman, and her own delight in offering him a demotion if he'd prefer a male boss." So many reasons I love Deshani! She won't take your shit.
It also talks about how cruel people can be. This spoils the FIRST book so if you haven't read the first one..but if you have here's another quote (obviously I can't help myself) "We survived. We shouldn't have to keep hiding." "No, you shouldn't." " Some of her classmates have been giving her a hard time. Keep covering her locker in butterfly stickers. Leaving craft-shop butterflies on her desk. Even one of her teachers asked if the Gardener had a butterfly picked out for her." The her in question being in MIDDLE SCHOOL and if you've read the first one you can imagine how truly beyond cruel that is. It's bad enough the kids are cruel, they should be taught better by the adults but even adults can be just as cruel if not more. Adults should know better but so often don't. While a part of me doesn't want to believe people in real life can be so cruel, I also know they can be and it's sickening.
This book is a great mystery about a serial killer but it's also so much more. I cried reading this book on more than one occasion. The only reason it didn't get 5 stars is simply because of me...I didn't always feel like reading (I think i'm getting a little burnt out) but it wasn't the books fault, and despite that feeling I still wanted to keep reading and finding out what happens...which says something! Because this book does deserve 5 stars, though it didn't hit me AS hard as the first one but I think a part of that is I read the first one a year ago and if I had re-read it first this may have gotten 5 stars but as such I forget things, so there's that.
If you enjoy mystery/thrillers and enjoyed the first book, The Butterfly Garden, I highly recommend this one! I can't wait to see what Dot Hutchison comes up with next!