Rating: 3 / 5
TINFOIL BUTTERFLY by Rachel Eve Moulton was October’s Adult book from Unplugged Book Box (full contents of the box pictured below). I had not read any reviews on this one, so I was going into this one blind. I just knew it was a short read in the horror genre, so it seemed a good pick to wrap up a weekend.
Emma is making her way across the United States, hitchhiking a ride with a rather sketchy man. She’s leaving behind a sad existence and a broken family so her desire to get away is stronger than her sense of self-preservation. She is hoping to make it to the Badlands, but her relationship with the driver goes sideways and she winds up taking off with his van after a bloody fight, running out of gas in an abandoned town in the Black Hills as a snowstorm looms.
Abandoned towns turn into spooky ghost towns and this one gets even spookier when a kid named Earl in a tinfoil mask appears begging for her help to get rid of someone named George. She doesn’t know who or what George is, but Emma has few options but to follow Earl. This leads her down a dark path. As she learns more about Earl bits and pieces about Emma’s own tragic history are revealed to the reader.
Trigger warnings for suicide and child abuse.
This is a book that left me a little unsure how I felt about it. There were definite strengths. Earl’s appearance and some of the things that Emma finds when she follows Earl (keeping this vague to avoid spoilers) brought the spooky vibes I was hoping for when I picked this up. That said, I really struggled to connect with Emma. Emma is involved in some very disturbing relationships and activities that really leave her in a bleak place. Earl similarly is from a tragic past and his situation is pretty bleak as well. I could certainly pull for them to make it out of the situations they find themselves in, but I wasn’t overly invested in the story overall.
The author definitely has skill at creating an eerie atmosphere and a unique story, but it just didn’t fully pull me into the story. Though the book was a bit of a miss for me, I did love the contents of my subscription box as a whole, so still count the overall experience as a win!