Books Young Adult Fiction The Butterfly Clues

The Butterfly Clues

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/6c/b0/0c/_11418182_1329411652.jpg
 
0.0
 
4.7 (2)
475   1
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 14, 2012
ISBN
1606842633
Buy This Book
      

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.

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (2)
Kate Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues is a YA mystery that I heard about through (I think) a newsletter. I honestly have no clue. Good books seem to fall in my lap these days. And shoutout for a cover that doesn’t feature a twenty-something in a purty dress!

So the main character, Lo, is left feeling guilty after her brother’s death, and now finds herself dealing with dysfunctional parents who don’t seem to care about her. She’s convinced herself that she’s ugly and she has no friends. Sounds like pretty standard YA fare, yes? But when you throw in the demanding presence of OCD, things get a bit more juicy.

I applaud Ellison for creating a unique heroine. I’ve never read a book about OCD before, and the author handled it so tastefully. Lo never made excuses for herself or tried to get over her OCD or anything like that. Her hoarding, thievery, and counting were all part of her. They were constant in the narrative but not jarring, and Ellison handled that aspect so tastefully and beautifully that I couldn’t have been more pleased.

For instance, in the first chapter when Lo has a compulsion to steal a figurine from somone’s porch:

”The whole world falls away, goes quiet, as I move closer, and closer, and closer. Inches. Centimeters. Millimeters. The moment we finally touch is slow, holy, thunderous, the single moment when everything makes sense.”

Isn’t that gorgeous?

Oh yeah, Ellison’s prose is to die for. It’s lyrical and full of imagery and all that good stuff I love. My Goodreads status updates were full of pull-outs from this book. (Sorry guys!)

And because I can’t help myself, I’ll share just one more:

”I don’t know how I get outside, but, suddenly, I am—shaking, choking. I fall into the cold wet grass and dirt and dark, door swinging close behind me. The world is swinging, loose and wild.
Moon huge. Breathe heavy.”

Okay, I’ll stop.

Anyway, the mystery part itself was fairly well done. Now it was slightly predictible, but the above-mentioned things negated that for me. I really like the idea of a teenage girl beating the police at their own game. (As an aside, if you’ve ever seen the movie Brick, which I totally recommend, The Butterfly Clues is similar to that). I wasn’t surprised by any of the major plot twists, but I didn’t see them coming a long way off—more like a few pages before they happened.

Oh, and, of course, it couldn’t be YA without some romance. And a love triangle. I didn’t actually mind the love triangle for once, as I think Ellison handled it well—Lo was never in some quandry over which guy to choose. Flynt, Lo’s love interest, was fun and unique and interesting (troubled past, nice smile, you know, boy-next-door with flair). I even liked the corny romantic ending because it fit so well with the rest of the story.

And there was also one very delicious scene at Flynt’s “house,” on the couch, that involved sketching and kissing… Think Titanic but less…Leo DiCaprio.

…just saying.

I really really liked The Butterfly Clues. Lo was a unique and likable protagonist, Ellison’s prose was gorgeous, and the story was engaging and had a nice resolution. I’m trying to go over the other books I’ve read this year, but I think this is my favorite 2012 YA debut so far!
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Renae M Reviewed by Renae M March 25, 2013
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (184)

The Butterfly Clues

Kate Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues is a YA mystery that I heard about through (I think) a newsletter. I honestly have no clue. Good books seem to fall in my lap these days. And shoutout for a cover that doesn’t feature a twenty-something in a purty dress!

So the main character, Lo, is left feeling guilty after her brother’s death, and now finds herself dealing with dysfunctional parents who don’t seem to care about her. She’s convinced herself that she’s ugly and she has no friends. Sounds like pretty standard YA fare, yes? But when you throw in the demanding presence of OCD, things get a bit more juicy.

I applaud Ellison for creating a unique heroine. I’ve never read a book about OCD before, and the author handled it so tastefully. Lo never made excuses for herself or tried to get over her OCD or anything like that. Her hoarding, thievery, and counting were all part of her. They were constant in the narrative but not jarring, and Ellison handled that aspect so tastefully and beautifully that I couldn’t have been more pleased.

For instance, in the first chapter when Lo has a compulsion to steal a figurine from somone’s porch:

”The whole world falls away, goes quiet, as I move closer, and closer, and closer. Inches. Centimeters. Millimeters. The moment we finally touch is slow, holy, thunderous, the single moment when everything makes sense.”

Isn’t that gorgeous?

Oh yeah, Ellison’s prose is to die for. It’s lyrical and full of imagery and all that good stuff I love. My Goodreads status updates were full of pull-outs from this book. (Sorry guys!)

And because I can’t help myself, I’ll share just one more:

”I don’t know how I get outside, but, suddenly, I am—shaking, choking. I fall into the cold wet grass and dirt and dark, door swinging close behind me. The world is swinging, loose and wild.
Moon huge. Breathe heavy.”

Okay, I’ll stop.

Anyway, the mystery part itself was fairly well done. Now it was slightly predictible, but the above-mentioned things negated that for me. I really like the idea of a teenage girl beating the police at their own game. (As an aside, if you’ve ever seen the movie Brick, which I totally recommend, The Butterfly Clues is similar to that). I wasn’t surprised by any of the major plot twists, but I didn’t see them coming a long way off—more like a few pages before they happened.

Oh, and, of course, it couldn’t be YA without some romance. And a love triangle. I didn’t actually mind the love triangle for once, as I think Ellison handled it well—Lo was never in some quandry over which guy to choose. Flynt, Lo’s love interest, was fun and unique and interesting (troubled past, nice smile, you know, boy-next-door with flair). I even liked the corny romantic ending because it fit so well with the rest of the story.

And there was also one very delicious scene at Flynt’s “house,” on the couch, that involved sketching and kissing… Think Titanic but less…Leo DiCaprio.

…just saying.

I really really liked The Butterfly Clues. Lo was a unique and likable protagonist, Ellison’s prose was gorgeous, and the story was engaging and had a nice resolution. I’m trying to go over the other books I’ve read this year, but I think this is my favorite 2012 YA debut so far!

Was this review helpful to you? 
How on earth do I explain to you how much I loved The Butterfly Clues? It seems like anything I say just won't be enough. There is a mystery at it's core, and one that is beautifully done. I had no idea the entire time where the story line was ultimately taking me. However it's so much more than that. Layered on top of it all is the story of a girl who is looking for redemption, the inability to let go of the past, and the deep want to face the future head on. This book is amazing.

Before I dive into the meat of why this story blew me away, I feel it only fair to tell you about our main character. Lo isn't your normal teenage protagonist. Her heart was broken by her brother's death and she's been struggling to pick up the pieces ever since. Even though Lo's heart is in the right place, her guilt has caused her to pick up OCD tendencies. These show a lot in the story line. I'm warning you because they can be very disconcerting and distracting. Following a character who is constantly muttering tap tap tap banana and counting random items can be difficult. However I will promise you that if you can overlook the little things, and focus on the person that Lo is under all of this, you'll fall in love.

Now for the good part. The mystery. Lo finds herself inexplicably drawn to certain items, and locations. It is this habit that lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. I won't go into too much detail because, despite how difficult this plot is to figure out early on, I dislike spoilers. What I will say is that Kate Ellison weaves a story that will pull you in deeply. The setting of Neverland is amazing. Kids go here to hide, to disappear, and for Lo that is the attraction. There she can be whatever she wants. It is the anonymity of it all that allows her dive deeper and deeper into the mystery, and ultimately into danger. As I said, this part is so well done! Once the story takes off there isn't a moment to breathe, and I loved every minute of it.

I'll quit rambling and get straight to the point. Lo's story is fascinating. I know that some readers might be put off by her OCD tendencies but I'll tell you honestly, it wouldn't be the same story without them. Imagine being unable to run away from danger because you had to your count steps. Or being so filled with the need to take something, or go somewhere, that you put your well being at stake for it. Lo is special, and it is her overall character that really makes this book. Even if it doesn't sound like something you'd normally read, give The Butterfly Clues a chance. I loved it! I hope you will too.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Jessica Reviewed by Jessica September 20, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (75)

A uniquely wonderful thriller!

How on earth do I explain to you how much I loved The Butterfly Clues? It seems like anything I say just won't be enough. There is a mystery at it's core, and one that is beautifully done. I had no idea the entire time where the story line was ultimately taking me. However it's so much more than that. Layered on top of it all is the story of a girl who is looking for redemption, the inability to let go of the past, and the deep want to face the future head on. This book is amazing.

Before I dive into the meat of why this story blew me away, I feel it only fair to tell you about our main character. Lo isn't your normal teenage protagonist. Her heart was broken by her brother's death and she's been struggling to pick up the pieces ever since. Even though Lo's heart is in the right place, her guilt has caused her to pick up OCD tendencies. These show a lot in the story line. I'm warning you because they can be very disconcerting and distracting. Following a character who is constantly muttering tap tap tap banana and counting random items can be difficult. However I will promise you that if you can overlook the little things, and focus on the person that Lo is under all of this, you'll fall in love.

Now for the good part. The mystery. Lo finds herself inexplicably drawn to certain items, and locations. It is this habit that lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. I won't go into too much detail because, despite how difficult this plot is to figure out early on, I dislike spoilers. What I will say is that Kate Ellison weaves a story that will pull you in deeply. The setting of Neverland is amazing. Kids go here to hide, to disappear, and for Lo that is the attraction. There she can be whatever she wants. It is the anonymity of it all that allows her dive deeper and deeper into the mystery, and ultimately into danger. As I said, this part is so well done! Once the story takes off there isn't a moment to breathe, and I loved every minute of it.

I'll quit rambling and get straight to the point. Lo's story is fascinating. I know that some readers might be put off by her OCD tendencies but I'll tell you honestly, it wouldn't be the same story without them. Imagine being unable to run away from danger because you had to your count steps. Or being so filled with the need to take something, or go somewhere, that you put your well being at stake for it. Lo is special, and it is her overall character that really makes this book. Even if it doesn't sound like something you'd normally read, give The Butterfly Clues a chance. I loved it! I hope you will too.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

From Alison Cherry, author of Red, a novel PW declares “sparkles with wit,” comes a terrific new book about two...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist:...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
A TREMBLING EARTH The flames of civil war sweep across the Shima Imperium. With their plans to renew the Kazumitsu...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Phantom's Dance Book Review
Category: Young Adult Indie
Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A streetwise girl trains to take on a gang of drug dealers and avenge her best friend’s death in this...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
the cure for dreaming.jpg
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in...
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
unmade.jpg
Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice? Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
The stress is getting to fifteen-year-old Jess. Her mum’s officially lost it, going from yummy mummy to seriously weird almost...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
“Powerful. Clever. A solid ... choice for both girls and boys.” —Publishers Weekly Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Whispering Skull.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Screaming Staircase.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Sudden Light.jpg
In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Cousins Keeper.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
When the odd new kid at school turns out to be his cousin, Kieran feels embarrassed and resentful. But how...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Number 7.jpg
It all starts with a mysterious phone call from Louisa's decorative antique phone. And that wouldn't be so strange, except...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gollywood, Here I Come! | Children's Book About Celebrities
Category: Kids Indie
The Tale of a Young Turkey’s Rise to Cinematic Stardom. Who doesn’t fantasize about becoming a big movie star, living...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Combining the survival instincts made famous in THE HUNGER GAMES with the intensity of THE BOOK THIEF, LAST STOP KLINDENSPIEL...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
With inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman's Daughter trilogy—perfect for fans of Libba Bray—explores the...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)