Title: The Butterfly Clues
Author: Kate Ellison
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad’s consulting job means she’s grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she’s learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place—possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home.
But in the year since her brother Oren’s death, Lo’s hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as “Sapphire”—a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can’t get the murder out of her mind.
As she attempts to piece together the mysterious “butterfly clues,” with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined—a world, she’ll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother’s tragic death.
The Butterfly Clues was interesting. There was so much going on that it kept me intrigued. Lo, the main character, suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and her behavior made life very difficult for her. She was painfully shy and constantly worried about trying to hide the “rituals” that she had to do. I found her character very liable, despite her disorder. Yes, it was a bit hard getting used to all her little rituals at first. I kept forgetting that she had OCD and that she was doing those things for a reason. However, this really put me in the perspective of a family member or friend of someone with OCD. I grew to understand Lo and really sympathize with her father, who had a very hard time dealing with her disorder.
This book threw me off many times! Just when I thought I knew what was going on or what was going to happen, I find out that it was something completely different. At the beginning it was sort of exciting, but after a while it got annoying. I mean, how many plot twists can there be? It just kept going, Lo would think something was going on, then she would learn something else and the whole thing would start all over again. By the end I was just glad it was over.
I definitely have mixed feelings about The Butterfly Clues. There were things I liked and things I didn’t, like the love interest. Flynt was so aggravating. He was such a street rat and though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t think that he went along with Lo’s character at all. He constantly lied to her and kept secrets, even though he knew that Lo wouldn’t stop until she knew the truth. He just kept going with the lies, watching her struggle trying to solve a mystery while fully knowing that he could have helped her a lot by just telling her the truth. It was so annoying.
Despite having such a horrible male lead, this book did have it’s positives. I loved the fact that Lo was so flawed, she wasn’t perfect or even well-liked by anyone. It was a great way to establish a connection with the reader, not because she wasn’t “perfect” like YA book girls usually are, but because it showed that she was human. This is one of those books that some people will like and others will not, so don’t hesitate to pick it up, because I’ve heard great things about it from people that loved it.