Book Reviews

Review: Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

Butterfly Yellow is a book that defies expectations. It’s a story about family, making mistakes, and friendship. This #ownvoices story is one that will, at times, break you heart, but at other times, make you smile.


In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Butterfly Yellow tells the story of Hằng, her family, and her quest to find her brother. It is a deeply emotional story about survival, determination, and love. You can’t help but fall in love with Hằng’s courage, perseverance, and steadfast love. As her past is slowly revealed to the readers, the emotions and tears will pour out. But this isn’t just a story about the perils and danger Hằng faced to flee Vietnam. It’s a story about moving forwards, accepting our mistakes, and trying to fix them.

Butterfly Yellow is told with a few different perspectives, two main points of view, Hằng and LeeRoy. In some ways, they are very similar – the pursuit of their dreams, their courage in chasing those dreams, and the challenges they face. Hằng’s intense memories will grip you as you try to figure out what happened to her, the family secrets, and where she can go from here on.

Butterfly Yellow is a story about closure, new experiences, and expectations. A story about family and friendships, having to go your own way, and our fight to get closer to our dreams. I didn’t take that many notes while reading, because I was so captivated by the story, both Hằng and LeeRoy’s story. It’s a truly unique book that I hope everyone gets the chance to read.

Find Butterfly Yellow on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite diverse historical fiction? I am always a fan of Stacey Lee books!

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2 thoughts on “Review: Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

  1. I’ve had this book on my wishlist for ages & your review encouraged me to try & find it online… I couldn’t find a copy in good condition so ordered two other books by Thanhha Lai instead

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