Read The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison Online


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'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....

Title : The Butterfly Clues
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781606842638
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 325 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Butterfly Clues Reviews

  • karen
    2019-04-10 16:57

    okay, if i had to rate the ending on this one, it would be an easy 2 stars. it was a little too "what about prom, blaine?" for me.the rest of it was good, if not amaaaazing. you know the story - girl with ocd (tippity tapping, magic word muttering, irresistible kleptomania, hoarding) deals with the death of her brother, the retreat of her mother into a bedroom-cave of pills and denial, and her father into a workaholic tornado, by exploring the outskirts of cleveland, and finds herself caught up in a mystery involving strippers, an enclave of homeless teenage artists, drugs, money, power, magical numbers, and murrrrder.some good stuff in here - a sympathetic protagonist, (her scene in the police station in which her condition is misdiagnosed and dismissed as the twitchings of a drug addict is especially heartbreaking), some claustrophobic scenes with her rearranging her possessions util they are "just so." and some really touching scenes between herself and her parents really buoy this up a bit.and the treatment of her condition is sensitive and consistent, and the constant reminders of her impulses really give you the sense of someone living with the's the thing: i don't choose to take things. i have to. i've always had to do certain things, since the day I turned seven and began to insist that I wanted to stay six. i didn't know why, but seven felt off, somehow, made me feel like the world was tilting too much to one side. it wasn't so bad at first. just little things--like the way the food looked on my plate, or needing to eat peas before chicken, or needing to put the left shoe on before the right. i started taking little things---a toothbrush or a candy bar from a store, discarded ticket stubs from the movie theater, stickers from the kids at school.but since oren disappeared, it has gotten worse. a lot worse. now, when the urge comes on, it's like this superhuman force that grips my body and won't let go until i have the thing I've spotted, the thing i need. and it's not the taking or the stealing i crave, it's the having and the keeping. forever. with me. safe.i mean, that's just perfect, isn't it? we all have our compulsions and our magical thinking, and it makes sense for her to get sucked into her impulses,given her circumstances; they seem logical in this context. but so her new obsession is finding out who killed a teen-stripper named sapphire, at whose murder lo was unwittingly on the other side of the wall from. and it turns into a quirky nancy drew-type situation with disguises and break-ins and posing as a wanna-be stripper under the guidance of a dreamy homeless boy in a bear cap who sees her for what she is and opens her eyes to a whole world and blah. can we talk about smells again? because a homeless boy living in abandoned buildings should never smell like pine and cloves and snow and whatever else he is supposed to smell like. that is just crazy-talk. not enough to ruin a book, but let's just be realistic here, okay? homeless teenage boys do not smell good. regular teenage boys do not smell good. end of discussion.this is a perfectly serviceable mystery story, with a bit of the stretching the boundaries of plausibility (seriously, cleveland police, step up your game), which is saved from mediocrity by the welcome addition of the difficulties of a young girl with an anxiety disorder. but ultimately, just okay.

  • Jessie(Ageless Pages Reviews)
    2019-04-06 20:13

    Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!The Butterfly Clues has a lot going for it - an engaging and different heroine, a convoluted murder mystery and a teenage romance with real chemistry and feeling that doesn't become saccharine or overwrought. With an intriguing beginning and a simple, easy, almost sparse style of writing, this is a novel that sneaks up on you and can be devoured in several enveloping stints of reading. With much more emotion and feeling than I had expected, Ellison wove a spellbinding tale of Penelope "Lo" Marin and the multiple mysteries surrounding her melancholy existence. This more than exceeded my expectations: I was looking for a quick read time-filler and I found a heartfelt mystery with a great, intrepid lead character. Though not perfect - I called the murderer pretty early on in the story - I will definitely be on the lookout for more novels by this author. Lo is definitely a likeable protagonist: I felt an affinity and rapport with her from the first page. Highly individualistic, Lo has enough personality to fill the pages she graces. The first person is an excellent medium for Penelope Marin (I want to add the extra two on here for her sanity: Penelope Marin, Penelope Marin) to express her story, from her very distinct perspective. She suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and certain things (like saying her name three times in a row, or tap tap tap bananaing before entering a new room to ensure her safety) and rituals are the cornerstone of her life. A mysteriously dead brother named Oren, and two extremely removed parents create loneliness and sadness in abundance for Lo ("I've learned to live without anyone" she says early on), and sympathizing/empathizing with her was never an issue for me. Though Lo has her less-than-perfect side (one of her compulsions is an unswervable need to steal an object when she feels threatened/lonely/scared) she always remains relatable. Moving a lot has a left a feeling of impermanence for most of Lo's life, and her theft is an attempt to feel attached to something if not someplace. Ellison does a great job of humanizing Lo's multiple issues and odd compulsions without judgment. She's definitely human and real, showcasing common teen issues ("I didn't think anyone really saw anything I did, barring incidents of incredible embarrassment,") along with her less common problems (Oren, parents, witnessing a murder.) Sadly the other characters, though mostly likeable, had none of the verve of Lo. The closest to matching her fire is Flynt, her mysterious, apparently vagrant love interest. While I do weary of the hackneyed and overplayed "sexy boy with a dangerous but mysterious past" in YA fiction, Flynt was a well-drawn "loose" personality, nicely contrasting with Lo's rigid routines and rules. The dynamic between the two works really very well: she only relaxes around Flynt, and he can be serious with her. While a love triangle is hinted at among them and another teenage character, it's quite obvious that the only match for Lo is with Flynt and the author doesn't descend into melodrama and angst for Lo to figure that out: she's self-aware and smart enough to make her own decisions. Tellingly of her parents, Lo's mother doesn't even appear for about 170 pages and event hen she's more of a shadow than a character. I can understand that the mom is grieving over her lost son, Lo's brother Oren, but the depth to which she abandons her daughter is astonishing and sad. I couldn't find much initial liking for Lo's father as well: burying himself in his work, and his uncontrollable anger with Lo over her unavoidable counting make for a less than perfect dad. I will say that I did find some redemption and hope for a few characters I'd given up on, later on down the line.While the plotting can be a bit obvious and hard-to-believe lucky (Lo's discoveries of the butterfly/horse almost immediately after the report? Unlikely), I found myself not minding overmuch. Ellison reaches a bit for some connections in her story, but in the end the payout reaps the benefits and more than makes up for any lack of subtlety. I guess I would say: the end more than justifies the means the author went to in order to achieve it. The disparate and compelling storylines keep the suspense high and my interest higher for the entirety of the story. I found myself postively racing through the final quarter of this novel: eager for resolution for Lo, for Flynt, for Oren and even for the murdered girl at the center of the mystery. I was never bored, and always guessing how the author would tie up all the loose ends. I did think the author had too many threads going at the same time, but I will say I was proved wrong in the end. Ms. Ellison manages to combine multiple disparate and seemingly random elements into a wrenching and touching finale. I was surprised by the strength of the emotions I had while reading this book, particularly the end. It was an impressive end to a book that captivated me from the beginning. I also have to add - how striking is that cover? It does a nice job - very evocative - of advertising the novel. Pick this one up.

  • Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
    2019-04-16 17:09

    I have a soft spot for characters who are just a little bit mentally ill. Maybe it's because I've watched Benny and Joon too many times (favorite movie, must watch). It could also be that slightly mentally ill narrators have a distinctive voice that I find compelling. Whatever the reason, The Butterfly Clues pulled me in."Every school a fresh reminder: no one wants to get to know the new kid, especially if the new kid is a weirdo who spends every second of every day trying not to seem like a total spaz in front of her teachers and classmates." Lo is the constant new girl, a loner riddled with rituals and OCD that she tries to hide. When books have a pretty girl who's completely ignored I normally find it unbelievable. But add a little OCD, have the character tap tap tap banana- ing through the whole novel (taping & saying banana) then it feels much more realistic.For some reason I thought this might have some paranormal tidbits. I have no idea where I got that idea because it's not paranormal in the least. It's a book about a girl with OCD solving a mystery. Sometimes the whole "teen solving crime" storyline bothers me because I find myself shouting "WHY DON'T YOU CALL THE POLICE?" Except in this story, Lo actually has a reason for not calling the police. Then eventually when it gets out of hand she does contact the authorities (gasp! I know!). Unfortunately due to her OCD they think she's a druggie and ignore what she says. Poor Lo.Another reason this story struck a chord with me is that even though the main plotline is a mystery, this book is really about Lo trying to cope with the death of her brother. I'm always drawn to books that deal with grief, especially when it's done in a more subtle way. Some books want to say "Look I'm an Issue Book. Let's talk about grief." Then some books, such as The Butterfly Clues, show you someone trying to put the pieces of their life back together in the midsts of grief. I much prefer the latter. The urban setting is vibrant with artsy. At times it toes the line with trying too hard to be artsy. There are street artists, homemade wigs and scary interpretive dancers/homeless people. But I forgive all that. Because Neverland, the run down section Cleveland where the book takes place, seems almost mythical at times. But whenever you start to idealize the life of a street kid, the book drags you back to reality with strip clubs, drugs and murders.The romance should have bothered me more than it did. I only bought it because I felt Lo's loneliness so strongly. She needed someone to tell her she was okay, to accept and ignore her rituals. Was it a little rushed? Yes. Too much too soon? Yep. But I found myself wanting it for Lo. In a world that had taken so much and treated her so unfairly I wanted her to have some happiness. This book did have some flaws but they were all forgivable. Yes it has some cliches, some story lines that we've seen before. But the typical cliches actually made sense in this book. But in the end it didn't matter. I wasn't bothered by the flaws because I was too busy cheering for Lo.Thanks to Netgalley for the e-galley!

  • jesse
    2019-04-11 20:20

    lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other more and more. when one day, she gets tangled in the murder of a stripper, things start to change. (pene)lo(pe) obsessively tries to solve the case, as the police doesn't even really try to look behind the curtains, which in turn makes her the target of the killer who's still on the loose. of course lo finds out more than she bargained for. what sets this book apart is most notably that the author made her main character a person with an anxiety disorder (ocd). for those who lost a loved one, there's the familiar pattern of not knowing how to handle the grief, guilt, anger and depression. growing apart as a family. and finding a way back."after school, i've been picking bus lines at random, finding new places to explore. mostly i go to other parts of the suburbs, find the high school or the baseball hat store at the mall or a restaurant my brother might have liked"overall, the book was surprising in its subtle writing, which i appreciated a lot and made my rating higher. she didn't try to make a melodrama out of a drama, which happens more often to authors and their books than i'd like to admit. random quote"i barely know anything about him, but he seems so familiar --as though i could flip through childhood photo albums and he'd be in every picture."i'm having (fondly remembered) flashbacks:"a warmth fills me, like it used to on saturday mornings when i was a kid and i'd wake before anyone else to watch cartoons, wrapped in my fuzzy pale blue blanket, waiting for everyone else to wake up, too"random quote"a rush fills my whole body as i do, clears up my head, makes me feel instantly like everything in the whole world is okay, like the universe and solar system and every big, holy planet and blade of grass and flake of fresh-fallen snow are rotating and growing and falling just for me right now. when i find where it belongs, where it fits, everything will be whole: i will plug up the emptiness, the swirling, sucking drain of the universe spinning into chaos."

  • TheBookSmugglers
    2019-04-13 00:03

    Originally Reviewed on The Book SmugglersTap, tap, tap. Banana.Penelope Marin (Pe-ne-lo-pe Ma-rin, 6 syllables, 6 is a good number), is a seventeen year old high school junior, a daughter, a sister, and afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder. Since her brother Oren's death a year earlier, Lo's compulsions and rituals have increased in intensity - she has to tap three times and say banana before entering or leaving a room; she repeats things in multiples of three, six, or nine; she steals and hoards objects that call out to her. When she stumbles across a blue butterfly pendant necklace, she knows she must have it for her own, only to learn that it belonged to a young woman named Sapphire - a stripper recently killed in "Neverland", the crime-ridden inner city part of Cleveland. Lo feels a connection to Sapphire, and dives relentlessly into the mystery of her murder. Lo's quest for answers draws her into the darkest reaches of Neverland, to dumpsters, abandoned buildings, heroin dens, and strip clubs. With the help of the enigmatic, secretive artist Flynt, Lo discovers what fate befell Sapphire - and how the murdered girl's story ties into Lo's, and her brother Oren's, own. The debut novel from Kate Ellison, The Butterfly Clues is an incisive, unflinching novel that is often painful to read, but brilliant because of it. Narrated in the first person by Penelope, the novel delves into the mind of a girl driven and trapped by her compulsions - numbers, objects, and rituals. Penelope is a heroine unlike any other that I've ever read, and seeing first-hand her extreme compulsions and her inability to stop even though she wants to - even when her very life is in danger in one pivotal scene, Lo cannot stop herself from her patters and rituals, and this is a terrifying, powerful thing to read. Ms. Ellison's portrayal of Lo's severe OCD rings as wholly genuine and deals with the implications of the anxiety disorder in a way that is both believable and non-exploitative. I felt physically and emotionally pained at points in this book because of Lo's disorder and the shame she feels, her huge self-doubts, her shattered family life (what with her drugged-out mother and never present father), and her enslavement to her myriad rituals. I felt deeply for Penelope, and the fact that I was so frustrated at times during The Butterfly Clues speaks to the powerful character and realism with which Ms. Ellison writes. Beyond her OCD, Lo is a character with vibrant thoughts and feelings and an almost poetic point of view; she's tenacious and brave in the face of fear, and refreshingly unafraid to ask for help. Lo's counterpart in The Butterfly Clues is Flynt; a runaway, street artist, with his own shadowed past. I liked Flynt's devil-may-care alternative to the typical high school hero (heck, he's not even in school because of his past). As a pair, Lo and Flynt are a strong, complimentary duo that play on the fringes of the familiar YA space, and I liked that Ms. Ellison is not afraid to push the envelope. There are no value judgements assigned through Lo's eyes - not to those who are homeless, not to those that have dropped out of school, not toward strippers, and not to those who live in Neverland. As a pure mystery, The Butterfly Clues is less compelling - the overall mystery of Sapphire, her Bird, and her death are fairly obvious, though the plot is tightly written. The only thing that truly bothered me about the novel, however, was how complacent Lo's parents, particularly her father, and Flynt are to her compulsions at the end of the novel. Yes, there is no be all cure for obsessive compulsive disorder, but the novel ends on a strange note where it doesn't seem like Lo will be receiving any kind of further treatment, and this is hugely problematic because Lo's condition is incredibly severe. That said, I did like that there are no happy ever after simple solutions to the story. There's a resolution and happiness of sorts, but clearly Penelope, Flynt, and her family have their scars, burdens, and future battles to fight. But, with any luck, they'll have each other to get through them.Overall, I found The Butterfly Clues to be a painful, powerful novel and one that I wholeheartedly recommend.Tap, tap, tap. Banana.

  • Emily Anne
    2019-04-11 16:56

    The Butterfly Clues was a surprisingly entertaining read. With a uniquely tortured yet vibrant main character and an atmospheric setting, the words sucked me into Lo's world. This mystery is a refreshing read for any book lover.The book starts out with Lo, a obsessive/compulsive girl who is dealing with the loss of her brother, nearly being killed in a dangerous area. She then learns a girl named Sapphire was murdered that very night. After finding Sapphires's butterfly pendant, Lo is determined to find the murderer.My favorite part of The Butterfly clues is how the author dealt with Lo's obsessive/compulsive disorder. The audience feels Lo's impulse to steal and gets used to rhythms of threes, sixes, and nines. Yet, the author also makes it clear that Lo is something other than her disorder.The mystery in this book caused my heart to pound. It wasn't too predictable (something I cherished. Who else it tired of the same, reused plots?) and had me guessing at times. I loved how, throughout the book, you get to know Sapphire well, despite her being dead twenty pages in. Now that's good writing folks! Kate Ellison reveals secrets masterfully.There are definitely family issues in this novel, ever since Lo's brother died (Ellison doesn't reveal why until later in the book. And I won't tell you either, mwahaha) Lo's family has been torn apart. Her dad is distant, and her mother is blank and hazy, a result of pills.Lo is practically alone. This broke my heart. Then she meets Flynt, the first person to seem to actually care what's happening to her. I liked Flynt, another unique character. I imagine him as our next great painter. Mysterious and fun.The ending of this book is terrific. I remember one line particularly."Almost seventeen years old, scarred but whole". (This may not be the exact quote, so feel free to correct me.) The dose of hope and realism made the conclusion amazing, and you could see how the terrors the characters faced made them stronger. Everyone was changed.All in all, I recommend this book to fans of anything written darkly with touches of light. I loved it, and I hope you guys will too.4/5 bookcases

  • Kimberly Russell
    2019-04-12 16:25

    I loved it so much. I bought it on audio but now I want a hard copy. Easily one of the most original novels I have read in a while.

  • Karl
    2019-04-11 20:05

    I thought the book has potential. The story was original, and the characters interesting. However, parts were corny and stupid. The artsy homeless guy was particularly unbelievable to me. I got so sick of "tap tap tap, banana" that I almost threw the book out. So either the author brilliantly conveyed the emotion of OCD, or he was just annoying.

  • Miss Bookiverse
    2019-04-10 00:19

    Lang und breitDer Leser wird auf der ersten Seite direkt ins Geschehen geworfen. Es bleibt kaum Zeit sich Protagonistin Lo erst mal anzuschauen oder sich zu fragen, was es mit ihrem Bruder Oren auf sich hat. Schon ist man mittendrin in einer kleinen, dreckigen Gasse von Neverland und entkommt nur knapp einem Schuss.Nach diesem turbulenten Anfang wurde ich Stück für Stück mit Informationen gefüttert. Es hat gedauert bis ich in Erfahrung bringen konnte unter welchen Umständen Oren damals gestorben ist. Hier konnte ich mal einen Blick auf Los todtraurige Mutter werfen, dort mal auf Los Status an ihrer Schule und so hat sich das Gesamtbild nach und nach zusammengesetzt.Mit Lo konnte ich mich sehr schnell anfreunden. Sie ist ein seltsames Mädchen, äußerst liebenswert und loyal, durch ihre Zwangsneurosen wirkt sie aber nach außen etwas verrückt. Ihre Macken hat die Autorin mit viel Feingefühl beschrieben. Ich kenne niemanden persönlich, der unter schweren Neurosen leidet, aber die Art wie Lo Dinge zählt und anordnet (alles muss in Dreiergruppen sein, noch besser sechs oder neun, niemals vier, vier ist schlecht), kam mir äußerst authentisch vor. Bevor sie einen Raum betritt oder verlässt, muss sie drei Mal abklopfen und „banana“ sagen. Ihr ständig wiederkehrendes „tap tap tap banana“ hat mich nie genervt, eher zum Lächeln gebracht, weil es so typisch Lo war. Ich konnte mit ihr mitfühlen, wenn sie sich für ihre Macken geschämt hat. Lo kann sich fast nie im Unterricht melden, weil sie dann jede Antwort drei Mal sagen müsste. Manchmal passiert ihr das auch bei Gesprächen und sie versucht die zwei Wiederholungen anschließend so leise wie möglich zu flüstern, damit niemand ihr unnatürliches Verhalten mitbekommt.In diesem Zusammenhang fand ich die Reaktionen von Los Eltern sehr interessant und geradezu herzzerreißend. Die Mutter kann ganz gut mit den Neurosen ihrer Tochter umgehen. Sie gibt ihr Tipps, um Aufmerksamkeit zu vermeiden und ordnet das Essen auf ihrem Teller in Dreiergruppen an, weil sie weiß, dass Lo das beruhigt. Ihr Vater ist da leider ganz anders. Ihn macht das Verhalten seiner Tochter wahnsinnig. Er schafft es einfach nicht, sie zu verstehen. Er will nicht sehen, dass sie nichts für ihr Verhalten kann und denkt sie wolle ihn damit absichtlich ärgern, wenn sie sich selbst nicht stoppen kann.(view spoiler)[Am tiefsten hat mich die Szene getroffen, in der Los Vater in ihr Zimmer stürzt, ihren ganzen „Plunder“ entdeckt und alles zerstört und in Müllsäcke stopft. Als Leser wurde mir Los Hortungszwang erst da richtig bewusst. Davor habe ich immer nur ein paar Sammelobjekte vor Augen gehabt. (hide spoiler)]Kate Ellison erweckt mit ihren Worten nicht nur Lo zum Leben, sie erschafft auch eine Atmosphäre, die perfekt zur Geschichte passt. Die kühle, einsame Stimmung, die das Mädchen umgibt, wird mühelos über die Seiten transportiert. Die Sätze sind relativ kurz und manchmal stakkatoartig, sicher nicht jedermanns Geschmack, aber mir hat es gefallen.Zugegeben, ich fand Los Charakter und ihre persönliche Entwicklung weit spannender als die kleine Kriminalgeschichte, in die sie sich verstrickt. Am Anfang dachte ich, ich hätte alles durchschaut, aber obwohl hier wahrlich nicht das komplizierteste Mordkomplott aufgetischt wird, wurde ich doch noch überrascht. Leider fällt Lo auf ihrer Spurensuche ziemlich viel in den Schoß und der Zufall ist ihr stets hold. Sie ist immer zur rechten Zeit am rechten Ort, hat den richtigen Riecher und große Ohren, wenn sich jemand verplappert. Ich konnte das verschmerzen, aber eingeschweißte Krimifans würden sicher nur darüber lachen.Den Schluss fand ich sehr gelungen. Die Autorin hält hier nämlich perfekt die Waage. Vieles verläuft glimpflich, Los Zukunft sieht nicht rabenschwarz aus, aber es werden auch Momente eingestreut, die klar machen, dass vor der Familie noch ein steiniger Weg liegt, den vielleicht nicht alle gemeinsam bis zum Ende gehen werden.Kurz und knappKate Ellison hat mit The Butterfly Clues ein bewundernswertes Debüt vorgelegt. Ihr Kriminalfall wirkt zwar arg konstruiert, aber dafür schildert sie meisterhaft die Situation einer Familie, die an ihrer Trauer zu zerbrechen scheint und die Gefühle eines Mädchens, das unter Zwangsneurosen leidet.

  • Kat Heckenbach
    2019-03-21 20:09

    The too much: Lo's OCD is an interesting element, but the author makes it intrusive to the story. Rather than sympathize with her, I became annoyed with her. Also, the compulsive stealing, and the obsession with Sapphire. (Why not make her a pyromaniac, too, to round it all out?) Flynt's evasiveness and overly friendly personality. The dark, oh-so-intense voice of Lo. It all started grating on me.The too little: A reason to care about Sapphire. Lo sees one story and is consumed with a need to discover more about the girl's death. I get that Lo was "right there" when it all happened. But I don't feel the connection that Lo keeps claiming to have with Sapphire. The hints about Oren that never go enough into her relationship with him. He's her brother, and she loves him, and I found it sad that I didn't feel anything over her loss.The inconsistent: Lo, period. She's from the "right side" of town, but her clothes are always raggedy? She's a bit of a brain, but she doesn't care about school? She's as insecure as any girl can possibly be, but she sneaks out, pretends to apply for a job as a stripper, and flirts with an older guy all in one night? It reminded me of Twilight--Bella the whiny klutz who had all the guys panting after her by chapter five. Give Bella an obsessive habit, and make Edward a homeless dude with a bear hat....I truly wanted to like this book, and the opening pages intrigued me. But very soon so much of it seemed chaotic--like too many things were being thrown in, all competing for attention. The more I read, the more I disliked the book.

  • Jeanne
    2019-04-17 17:03

    RFL 2013 Hated it but finished it and can't figure out why this is on a recommended reading list for high school students. Dead stripper, kleptomaniac, OCD, predicatble. Call me a snob, but I just couldn't muster up enough empathy for this mentally unstable girl to care. I just don't like books that encourage people to do things that could get them killed. Best thing about it is that I'm done reading it and can go on to another book.

  • Misty Baker
    2019-04-06 18:58

    I love books that demonstrate frailty. Not desperation, or heartbreak…those are a dime a dozen, but true, genuine, all together skrewed-up-ed-ness. The truth of reality is that we are not all perfect, as a matter of fact we are all irrevocably flawed in one way or another. This is what makes us so damn interesting. We all have habits, quirks, rules that we live our lives by, knowingly or unknowingly…it’s just a fact of life. It is, (in short) our existence.For Lo it numbers, and kleptomania. “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.”Before I talk about the plot, I want to talk about Lo. Being the main character in this book her foot hold is a strong one in the telling of this compelling YA mystery, and with her almost debilitating OCD, and kleptomania, (which is fueled by loss) Kate Ellison character development is a tad unconventional.Like I said above, Lo has a thing for numbers. The number 3 to be exact, and all of it’s varying multiples. She is convinced they determine the outcome of actions, that they, (the numbers that is) exists in two different worlds…Good vs Evil, and if handled or counted incorrectly will have damaging results. The obsessive counting results in obsessive behaviors such as having to touch things 3 times, having to bow 9 times, or having to tap on her thigh, add this to her kleptomania and she makes for a slightly neurotic but loveable and REAL character.Here is a good example of her behavior, and more importantly…how she perceives herself, (which is where Ellison’s unconventional character building comes to light. Through self-awareness/loathing versus social assessment and dialogue.) “Flynt flashes me a big, toothy grim before jogging away toward the dumpster. I feel oddly comfortable here, among my own kind – the weird and the forgotten, the invisible and ignored. At school, I’m the girl who eats plain grape jelly sandwiches wrapped in tinfoil, alone on the front lawn, or in the library when it gets too cold outside. I’m the girl who can’t enter or exit the bus, school, class, without tapping and banana-ing, the girl who doesn’t raise her hand when she knows the answer because if she did, she’d have to put it back against her desk and raise it again and repeat. Three times, or six, or nine – depending on a while host of other factors she could not control – how many words were in the question, how many other people had raised their hands, how many times the person in front of me had scratched the top of her head. I’m the girl who cannot shower after gym class because she’d have to do that, too, at least three times and, by the time she finished, the school day would have ended.”As for the other characters in the book, we are introduced to them because of, (or in some cases in spite of) her uncontrollable actions.So how does her disease affect the plot? Well…because of her OCD she is hyper aware. She notices when things are off balance or missing, she pays attention to the things people say, even if they are unaware that she is listening, and she can’t sit still.When it comes right down to brass tacks, (seriously hate that phrase…don’t know why I’m using it.) “The Butterfly Clues” is a murder mystery. Lo finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and almost looses her life because of it. But, instead of moving on and forgetting her near miss she becomes tangled up in this sick need to find out what really happen to the girl that was murdered. It’s twisty, it’s turny, it introduces you to the dark side of urban life in a very unique and fascinating way, and, more importantly, has a very compelling ending, (that honestly made up for it’s overall length which I believe could have been cut by about 50 pages.)But…when all of the bloody cats, (yes, you can thank me for that visual) and brutish bouncers are nudged to the side it’s about a girl who needs to except who she is in order to move past a moment in her life that she insist defines her. We are never harsher than in reference to ourselves are we?Overall, a interesting book that would do well for “light” mystery readers and “some” YA fans. I have a feeling this one is ultimately a hit or miss. If you are fascinated by psychological behavior, this one might hold your interest, if all you want is to feel good and hear “I love you” you might want to pass.Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: You are perfect…just the way you are.

  • Aparajitabasu
    2019-03-27 22:06

    An innovative idea, a great story line and an amazing book cover. I present my views of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison.Here is the summary of the 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.They don't make it like this anymore. The Butterfly Clues is not your average young adult contemporary story but its new, its fresh and its different. You don't get the perfect characters, somewhere something is flawed, in a major way. Which not only adds a many layers to the character but also brings it close to reality.We have a solid plot, a not so perfect heroine and a pretty much convoluted murder mystery. The protagonist Penelope 'Lo' Marine is a unique character. Afflicted with OCD and other problems that hindered her personally somewhat, but really added to her layers threefold to her character. She had to perform rituals that are usual with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, like having to say names threefold or tapping her feet in a numerical order or repeat things over and over. Most of all she is not a goody two shoes - she lies, she steals....a lot but most of all what she represents is a flawed and a troubled character, which makes reading about her pretty refreshing. But then she dresses as a stripper, to uncover the mystery behind her brother Oren and this girl Sapphire's mysterious deaths (because she wants to right some wrongs of her life)....this part of the story is pretty difficult to explain without you all reading it and I don't want to spoil it for you all.Anyways Lo is a lonely character, she steals because they provide her with some emotional connection to all that she lacks. On top of it all she doesn't have a good home environment, her mother is always sick and her father is never home. So it is somewhat understandable that Lo always looks to explore new places and try and steer clear of the place that somewhat suffocates her. Flynt on the other other hand was her opposite, a very laid back guy, who seems to be the epitome of maturity with only Lo. The pair were a great match because of their character and the chemistry and romance they shared. Also Ms. Ellison did not put in the overly dramatic angst but instead had a very nice and organic, yet still angst-y romance and not some tacky love story.The story is pretty straight forward and paces very nicely. The writing is emotional and realistic and very strong and pretty serious. Ms. Ellison starts it all with an intriguing beginning, a powerful context and ends it pretty well with a satisfying conclusion which sneaks up over you and takes you in. While the context was pretty heavy, the book was an easy read and every other simple hints and clues that were rather very simple were incorporated and penned in such a way that they provided a level of mystery to the tale. Every page full of twists and turns, the author weaves a spellbinding tale of Penelope "Lo" Marin and the multiple mysteries surrounding her melancholy existence."Simple yet different but haunting"

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-19 19:15

    I really enjoyed this although it has some flaws; it's a solid mystery with complex characters which I always like, but the ending did not hold up. The resolution of the mystery was ok, although a little convenient in terms of the rescue. But everything after that. Lo’s father who has clearly never accepted Lo's rituals suddenly has a complete turn around? Jeremy and Keri end up together because Lo suggested it to Jeremy? In fact, I really think the book would have been stronger if the entire school subplot had been excised. I never felt invested in that because Lo wasn’t invested – the only reason it seemed to be in there was to provide the one red herring attack and to show how alienated Lo feels from her peers. Heck, except for Keri, I couldn’t even remember which of the other girls was which.While I wish Flynt was real, he’s a completely preposterous character. And I couldn’t believe the strippers would all just talk to Lo about Sapphire and let Lo take her stuff! Seriously? I don’t know any strippers and haven’t been to a strip club ever so I cannot speak from personal experience, but I have friends who have, and from what I understand this is a pretty idealized version of that life – or maybe not idealized so much as glossed over. So maybe I could see the strippers talking to Lo, but I can’t imagine none of them would have protested the removal of Sapphire’s things by a stranger they know nothing about.The amount of coincidences is pretty far-fetched as well – I can see Lo believing that the universe meant for her and Sapphire to connect, but are we supposed to as well? Because I as a reader did not feel enough setup for that little bit of magical realism/destiny/etc. at all and from the way I read it, we are intended to believe that's part of how everything came together.The real accomplishment here is the character of Lo. She feels like a living, breathing person I might meet. Ellison brings to life this complex girl trying to deal with her overwhelming grief at losing her entire family (and this is a very real portrayal of grief in my opinion – you don’t just lose the one person, your entire family has to rebuild itself around the hole and sometimes they can’t and even if they can your relationships never look or feel the same) and caught up in something scary that, because of who she is, she can’t let go. I particularly love how Ellison made us feel how clearly Lo felt the loss of her mother, the parent who understood her and helped Lo cope with her compulsive urges, but without hitting us over the head with it. Instead Ellison shows us concrete differences in Lo’s life – how she and her respective parents deal with food and meals for example before and after Oren's death.Lots to like here, but room for improvement as well. I'll be interested to see what Ellison does next.

  • kate nichols
    2019-04-06 20:56

    “Maybe the things we think we have to believe are the things that end up killing us in the end, when we figure out we were wrong, about everything.” Clear space on your bookshelf for your next favorite read The butterfly clues!!! The butterfly clues is one of those books that must be compulsively read. I’m talking up until 2AM, can’t sleep, can’t stop until the last page is turned, kind of read.What i loved:1. I loved Lo, she was just so.... real, with her strange obssesion of saying her name mutiple times and her almost cult like ritiual of tapping on everything in order to ensure safety Lo was definitly flawed and maybe even crazy...but thats why i loved her, she was perfectly imperfect, a beutiful mess,in other words human. With her brother oren's mysterious death and her parents near-non-existence lo is lonly and in need of something stable in her life so... she steals, for lo stealing is like her security blanket and it soon becomes her obssesion(which is really messed up i know)2. The mystery, who doesnt love the Whodunnit kinda suspence. There were so many twists and WTH moments I just couldn't look away : Did oren really die from a overdose or was he muredered, and does his death have anyting to do with the mysterious sapphire's murder. plus how does flynt have anything do with this and how did he know so much about sapphire: did he kill her? however even though though the main plotline is a mystery, i felt like this book is really about Lo trying to move on after the death of her brother. (which for some odd reason was perfect.)3. The romance, okay i have to admit devastatingly hot boy with a questionable past is soo over used, but for some reason I didnt mind it that much. I hate how in some books girls just seem to drop down on their knees whenever a highly suspicious but really hot guy enters the picture! it makes me wanna throw the book at my wall and yell WHO THE HELL CARES IF HE'S HOT . And i especially ESPECIALLY hate the love at first sight kinda romance, however in butterfly clues it wasnt like that, the romance between her and Flynt was ...realistic and i loved it! (okay their was some seriously cliche moments between them but otherwise it was perfect)What i didnt like1. running away is a serious issue and i felt like in butterfly clues the author sorta romanticized that idea. The life of a street kid is not just consisted of street artists, homemade tattos and scary interpretive dancers, but i forgive all that because even though it wasnt realistic Kate ellen did do a fantastic job of making neverland (a rundown place where the homeless kids lived) sound seductive adventurous and almost magical.All in all this was an amazing book and i absolutly loved loved loved it. If your thinking about getting it you definitly should!!!!!!

  • Jessica
    2019-04-13 17:06

    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.

  • Katie
    2019-04-09 21:13

    I was looking for a good mystery and, having OCD myself, I thought I would like this. Unfortunately, it is painfully predictable. As each character was introduced, it was fairly obvious who they were and what role they play in the plot. Not only that, Lo's obsession with the case never rang true for me. She seemed far too wrapped up in her own head to care much about anyone else, let alone risk her life for them. Even after getting physically attacked and having her life threatened, she continues "investigating." I use that term loosely because she seems to have no skill or intelligence. Nearly every clue falls into her lap by one coincidence or another. One crucial element comes to her in a dream! Because of this, all the risks she takes serve to make her look foolish and stupid, not brave and clever. Moreover, I found her rather unlikable, self-centered and self-pitying. She clearly has issues far beyond her OCD. OCD is a fairly well-known and culturally accepted disorder. Yes, she's behaving in an odd way. However, I've never had anyone seriously mock or deride me for my strange behaviors or compulsions. If it comes up, I offer a simple explanation that is usually met with interest and, often, friendly amusement. And, frankly, total strangers rarely notice. But if you creep around like Lo, acting like you're about to come unhinged at any moment... Yeah, I guess I could see why people would steer clear of you. Overall, I felt the OCD element was overblown and far too dramatic. People, you don't have to live on the fringes of society because you have OCD! Finally, I felt pretty much every character was a stereotype. The grieving parents who don't care they have a child still-living. A stripper with a heart of gold. Magical artsy free-spirit runaways. The rich mean girls in high school. The nice guy who sees the beauty in the weird girl at school. And, frankly, Lo is just as shallow and bitchy as the mean girls. She makes nasty comments about her classmates, doesn't give the sweet track-star who is inexplicably hung-up on her a chance, doesn't attempt to be friends with the girl who gave her a ride home and hugged her when she was crying. Noooo. They're not special enough for her! They're too normal. She needs a secretive homeless runaway that acts like Peter Pan. Only someone like that could ever understand how deep and complex she is. Ugh.While this isn't the worst book in the world, it's too flawed for me to recommend. There are better mysteries out there and better OCD stories, too.

  • Reading Teen
    2019-03-25 23:14

    Audiobook: The audiobook was even better than the book! The reader Therese Plummer was fantastic! She didn't have to grow on me, as most audio readers do. She was brilliant from the very beginning. She could read each character with such a unique voice. Plus at one point Therese totally broke out into song. She nailed the bluesy old song, that a 40 year old homeless man was singing, while he sat on the corner of the street. This was so unexpected, when she started to sing, I stopped what I was doing a just stared, big eyed at my PC. This is not one of my favorite books of all time, but it might be one of my favorite audiobooks of all time!Review:I read this book almost just because of the cover. I love the cover, simple yet very eye catching. Kate Ellion's debut novel The Butterfly Clues is an amazing book! I loved it from beginning to end. Sometimes, murder mysteries are just so so for me. Not this one, it was a little freaky and it wasn't predictable. Yay.Penelope "Lo" was very strange, which was kinda a breath of fresh air. Normally the main character kicks butt, or is beautiful, perfect. Lo was very obsessive compulsive. She had to taptaptapbanana to open a door or to get out of a chair. Lo had to put her peas in piles of six before she could eat them. Rearrange her bedroom every-time she felt the least bit off or anxious. It was so interesting to read from Lo's point of view. The character development of Lo was perfect. Flint, Jeremy, Sapphire and many others were strong and awesome characters as well.This book is dark, seductive, mysterious, and mostly awesome. It's so different than anything you'll ever read. I can't even tell if there is going to be a sequel, gosh I hope so.I going to taptaptapbanana outta here, hoping you'll check out one of these options for The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison. -AmyProfanity: Strong/HeavySexual: Extreme (rape of a stripper)Violence: Extreme (rape/murder)Other: The book takes places in/around a strip bar/Gentlemans club

  • Adam Silvera
    2019-04-01 19:16

    REVIEW ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON SHELF-AWARENESS.COM.This debut novel probes a haunting mystery with an unforgettable protagonist.Seventeen-year-old Penelope "Lo" Marin has collected beautiful things all her life, treasures from each town she's lived in (11 total). But since her brother, Oren, died, her hobby has evolved into an obsession. While wandering through a "sad, strange part of Cleveland"--Neverland, the city of lost children--Lo barely escapes gunfire intended for a stripper named Sapphire. The next day, Lo visits a flea market and comes across a butterfly pendant that had been among Sapphire's things and, with that, a commitment to find Sapphire's murderer takes hold.Lo's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder distinguishes her narrative from other crime-solving protagonists. She's ruled by superstition about numbers ("The year I turned eight I wouldn't let Mom put eight candles on the birthday cake. Eight candles would have made it inedible"), and she's a kleptomaniac hoarder, trying to hold onto things forever, unlike Oren. Oren was Lo's only friend until Flynt, a street artist in a bear-eared hat, introduces himself and quickly becomes her tour guide in Neverland--friend, love interest and suspect in the very crime Lo has set out to solve.Kate Ellison not only masterfully allows readers insight into the sufferings of OCD, but she explores the lives of Neverland's lost children, such as runaways and strippers, while remaining mindful of her teen audience. With bold storytelling, gritty characters and otherworldly locales, The Butterfly Clues marks a magnificent debut.

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-30 00:10

    I’m always a fan of mysteries and so I was really intrigued with The Butterfly Clues especially when I found out that the main character Lo, has OCD and well my favourite television programme just so happens to be about a detective with OCD. However, they’re not the same but I still really enjoyed The Butterfly Clues. Not to mention that I love the cover, it’s absolutely gorgeous.I sat down and started reading The Butterfly Clues and I got swept up in all the mystery. Lo becomes obsessed with a girl who got murdered and she feels that if she can solve this mystery it might give her some closure about her brother’s death. Not only do you not know who killed Sapphire and why but you also don’t know what happened to Lo’s brother Oren for a really long time.While I have to say that I absolutely loved the mystery surrounding these two events I found that towards the end I was getting swept up in all of the emotions too. It was so well done and I just couldn’t help myself but feel Lo’s pain with her.One thing I really loved was that there’s things that are hinted at throughout the whole novel and so you get this vague idea of what’s going on in Lo’s life and in the whole murder and everything and then you get to see the whole picture and it is just so emotionally wrenching that I couldn’t help but tear up.I had guessed the whole whodunit part of the story but that wasn’t really the main part of the story. The main part was Lo and how she was so emotionally broken after her brother’s death, how her whole family is broken after Oren’s death. There were so many scenes that I felt were quite heart-wrenching to be honest.Overall, I absolutely adored The Butterfly Clues, I thought it was really touching and so emotional, not to mention a great mystery. I don’t really know what else to say about it other than it’s a truly amazing book and I look forward to reading more by Kate Ellison.

  • Vikki Patis
    2019-04-02 16:05

    It's not often you have a protagonist who suffers from a mental illness, and it's even rarer to find an author who manages to convey it so perfectly. But Ellison describes Lo's battle with OCD with the kind of style and grace you'd imagine from someone who has inside knowledge of such an illness. As someone with OCD, who has to battle similar ticks and urges as Lo, it's refreshing to see it portrayed as more than simply washing your hands more often or having to colour-code your wardrobe. Because it is so much more - and so much worse - than that. To quote Lo herself, you just have to, and that's what having OCD is all about: just having to do things that don't make any sense to the outside world. OCD defies logic, but the impulse to do certain things is strong, sometimes too strong to resist.My version of this book is called Lost Girls, and it's an excellent whodunit, thrilling until the last page.

  • Ellen Sara
    2019-04-18 16:13

    This was a really well written novel. It had me by the edge of my seat sometimes. I worried about Lo putting herself in so many crazy/dangerous situations to solve the murder of a girl she had never met. Especially going to the club. But I felt like the author did a fantastic job crafting this novel. I felt Lo's compulsions.It felt like I was having them with her I understood that she hated it too but it was part of her. I sort of thought the love story was going to go a different way but I was happy with the way it ended. A really great read.

  • Jannene
    2019-03-27 20:21

    This book is incredible. The main character, Penelope, is so likeable. Your heart goes out to her because of all that she is going through.The story was amazing and so well thought out. I nearly cried a few times.

  • Jess
    2019-03-19 21:03

    i thought that this was a awesome book that always had somthing going on

  • Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
    2019-04-15 18:17

    ♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah - - -2.5 starsIn this story we meet 'Lo' (nickname for Penelope). She has a total klepto problem. She gets what she calls "the urge" to swipe things from all over the place. Everywhere she goes, she does this. All sorts of things, too. Sponges from the grocery store, jewelry, trash even. She hoards these items up in her attic bedroom. She is also Obsessive Compulsive and has the need to rearrange all of her items pretty much on a daily basis. If she doesn't, things just seem wrong to her. She's obsessed with numbers. Certain numbers and multiples of numbers make her feel safe; they're a good sign. Other numbers are a bad omen and bring out a sort of panic in Lo. Everything must be symmetrical. All of this behavior escalated after the death of her brother. Something that none of her family has been able to properly cope with. Her mother is a recluse, hiding away in her bedroom, watching TV all day. Her father spends so much time at work that he doesn't even see what is going on upstairs in Lo's bedroom until much much later (and what a scene that is!!). Neither of Lo's parents are paying enough attention to even see that their daughter is out at all hours of the night, all over town and the neighboring towns, gallivanting around. Stealing, meeting with homeless strangers, and being mere feet away from a murder.That's right - when the book opens, Lo is creeping around a very bad part of Cleveland. She's looking for things she can swipe (this is like a daily thing for her after school). She's lurking around a random house when she hears a gunshot, and it misses her by mere inches. So, she books it out of there and gets home as fast as she can. She sees an ad the next day about a murder that took place in Cleveland. A young stripper simply named 'Sapphire', was shot and killed in her own home, the very house Lo was lurking outside of.She then finds some "clues" at the local flea market - one of which is a crystal butterfly pendant. She of course, swipes it. It's here that she also has her first run in with Flynt, the love interest.Flynt lives in Neverland - a part of Cleveland where the homeless kids hang out and do whatever it is that they do. Flynt is an artist. A very quirky one. He finds places to stay wherever he can - usually in exchange for work of some kind. He sweeps Lo off her feet a bit, and also ends up as one of her suspects. Before she begins to suspect him, Lo recruits Flynt to help her with the "case". She does some pretty off-the-wall things while trying to find out what happened to the dead stripper. Lo feels a great connection to Sapphire through her belongings. She even goes undercover to the strip club Sapphire worked at in hopes of finding out information about her and a possible killer. She begins receiving threats to back-off, finds a dead body, and even almost gets killed herself. When everything comes to a head, Lo finds out a huge secret that may change her life for better or worse.- - -Complaints, and I have a lot.* Lo's character was not likable. Not for me. Her OCD bugged me to no end. Maybe because I don't understand the disorder in real life enough to have patience with it, but I wanted to rip my hair out each time she did one of her TAP TAP TAP things. I also don't quite understand why she was like this. It didn't add anything to the plot aside from a few arguments over it with her father. The plot would have been almost exactly the same if Lo didn't have OCD. It was completely unnecessary and made Lo unlikable to me.* Lo's age was never mentioned and wasn't apparent. The way she acts makes me think she is about 12 or 13 years old - but to pose as a stripper, surely she has to be older? 16 or 17? I just think it would have been smart of the author to mention her age somewhere - OR to make it more clear how old she was. One minute she is innocent/naïve enough to be blushing over a boy calling her "beautiful" - and the next she is posing as a stripper in a bustier and heels, walking into this strip club like she's seen that sort of scene a thousand times. HUH?! This just doesn't seem like a complete puzzle.* On top of the above complaint, Lo keeps ALL of the insane things going on to herself! That is the most unrealistic thing about this whole book. I can only assume its her age.. but then again, I don't know her age. Again, it would have been a helpful tidbit to mention. Even so, who in their right mind (having OCD and being a kleptomaniac doesn't make you stupid) would hide all of this? I don't get it.* The killer was obvious from the moment they showed up. Ellison gave us a clue, but it was too perfect of a clue to give! So we meet this person a third of the way in, and if you have a brain, you KNOW this person is the killer...and then we have to listen to Lo wonder and ponder on other people possibly being the killer, when all the while we know it's this one person. Sigh. That made the rest of the book a bore, and I wanted to speed ahead to the end because of it.What did I like?* Even if Lo wasn't a character I liked, Flynt certainly was. I loved his exuberant personality! He was so unique and quirky. So much fun to read the parts of the book that included him. He seemed protective of Lo and was very patient with her. Plus, he had fun nicknames for her, like Queen P. How cute is that? :)* The character development was fantastic. I felt like I knew them on a very personal level, and I love that about any book. Bad character development is an automatic negative.* Ellison's writing is very beautiful. While I may have found the plot flawed, it was still written extremely well! * The plot twists were great! Completely unexpected! While you have to wait til the last few chapters for them - it's worth it. It pretty much saved the story, in my opinion.I would only recommend this book to you if you have a multitude of patience. If you don't, this book will make you mad and possibly make you want to throw something.- - -ARC source:, publisher Egmont USA.

  • Sunshine
    2019-04-13 22:08

    With this book you really have to suspend your belief of reality. (view spoiler)[ At some point themain character is investigating the death ofSaphire and she dresses up like a stripper and goesto a strip club to get the scoop. What 16/17 year oldgirl is going to be allowed inside a strip club?(hide spoiler)]The book has many instances that are extremely unrealistic and very convenient for the plot tocontinue. Quite frankly the book was one bigunrealistic even after another.Another thing that bothered me is the fact thatthe main character clearly has OCD and it is neveraddressed. It was just used as another plotdevice for why the character is so messed up. I must commend the author though, when the hwas having a lot of anxiety due to her OCD I couldfeel it too.

  • ElijahSowl
    2019-03-23 23:09

    I did not completely finish this book, but I thought it was great. The atmosphere is very dark and eerie. The characters have really really complex personalities. Because of that, I feel growing more attached the the characters is made much easier. This also sets up for sad things that can happen along the way in the story.

  • Chris
    2019-03-26 23:14

    The Butterfly Clues was a more interesting read than I expected it to be. The premise sounded intriguing, which is what made me grab it in the first place, but I was worried it would be unremarkable in the current flood of YA literature pounding the market.As a crime/mystery novel, it was only moderately compelling. The crimesolving aspects felt a little thin and unbelievable even with a decent suspension of disbelief. Lo, for some reason, ends up on the very bad side of town and doesn't quite witness a murder (she's on the other side of the wall). Due to her OCD nature, she picks up on some of the relevant details from the murder and the victim's belongings such that when she sees the belongings at a swap meet, she is quite literally compelled to try and unravel the clues. That initial catch is pretty interesting, but the way the clue finding and unraveling played out was a little less interesting to me.The romantic elements in the story also felt a little bit strange and forced. As soon as she met the boy who didn't go running from her quirkiness and who she was legitimately intrigued by, it was obvious that he was going to be the romantic lead. I was glad that the story didn't push too hard for them to get romantic (after all, they're solving a murder), but when it did turn in that direction, it felt awkward.While the setting fluctuated from non-descript to unbelievable (particularly "Neverland"), I found that I really enjoyed some of the specific environments she described. The concept of Neverland was interesting in a "Gotham City" kind of way. It's kind of like this area of town where the city has just given up. Any homes or businesses there have been abandoned or have become havens for the underbelly of society. It felt gritty and grimy and added to the tension. My only problem was that the believability factor grew a bit thin for me...I've never lived in a big city, but I have a hard time believing that such a large area of town could be as abandoned and derelict as Neverland. Then again, maybe I'm just being naive.So now that I've mentioned areas that I found just "meh", you might wonder what it was that I found truly exciting.What really drew me in and kept me going is the characterization, particularly of our narrator "Lo."Lo is a kleptomaniac with serious OCD and plenty of other emotional and mental baggage. It's apparent that she's had some degree of OCD her whole life but everything sort of went into free fall a year ago when her brother disappeared and was later found dead.On the surface, this characterization may not sound all that exciting or compelling, but where it really shines is that this is a first-person narrative told by Lo. We get her internal voice...along with all the mental quirks and oddities that go with it.I'm sure everybody has some compulsive tendencies...but as I read along with Lo, I could really feel the heightened emotions and strain of compulsion as she went through even mundane activities. The author did a great job of creating a unique and consistent voice for Lo through the novel and driving it home strong. I found the experience of living the novel through her eyes absolutely fascinating.The other characters and settings varied from somewhat flat and static to similarly 3-d and fleshed out. I loved the interactions Lo had with her dad and other adults. Not only for the added tension it gave to her internal monologue but also for what felt like fairly realistic adult responses to her claims and behaviors. The characters who helped her were interesting and fun...almost as quirky as Lo herself.Thinking back over this book...this certainly isn't the best book I've ever read. It's not "high literature" by any means nor does it necessarily top either the YA lists or the crime/mystery list. Where this book really shines is in developing a stark and unique voice and making it so utterly believable that I could feel myself intently drawn into her mental and emotional instabilities. I absolutely loved the way the narrative was presented and thoroughly enjoyed this fresh presentation of what it means to be OCD. ***3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Eve
    2019-04-17 20:25

    The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison has some very distinctive elements that appealed to me, chief of them an obsessive-compulsive/kleptomaniac protagonist, "Lo." Written from a first person POV, the parts where the narrative delves deep into Lo's obsessive rituals, worries, fears, and compulsions are the most impressive. Lo's condition is one that I haven't seen before in young adult so in this psychological aspect The Butterfly Clues stands out in a very crowded genre."Here's the thing: I don't choose to take things. I have to. I've always had to do certain things, since the day I turned seven and began to insist that I wanted to stray six. I didn't know why, but seven felt off, somehow, made me feel like the world was tilting too much to one side. It wasn't so bad at first. Just little things--like the way the food looked on my plate, or needing to eat peas before chicken, or needing to put the left shoe on before the right. I started taking little things---a toothbrush or a candy bar from a store, discarded ticket stubs from the movie theater, stickers from the kids at school."But since Oren disappeared, it has gotten worse. A lot worse. Now, when the urge comes on, it's like this superhuman force that grips my body and won't let go until I have the thing I've spotted, the thing I need. And it's not the taking or the stealing I crave, it's the having and the keeping. Forever. With me. Safe."When The Butterfly Clues begins, Lo is in the throes of her disorder. Although the narrative hints that her brother's, Oren's, disappearance over a year ago precipitated her condition into manifesting as full blown kleptomania and hoarding, the reader is kept in suspense as to what exactly happened. Only the aftermath is apparent: a stressed out, absent father; a heavily sedated mother; and Lo, a daughter left helpless and alone in the grip of her own demons. The exposition is subtly and expertly revealed, along with the parallel story of who killed Sapphire.Mirroring Lo's free fall into her obsessive-compulsive ways is her descent into the underworld of drug addicts, runaways, thieves, and strip clubs called "Neverland." Ellison balances its allure, in the form of a free spirit, Flynt, with its dangers, such as Sapphire's murder. I was intrigued with Lo's exploration of Neverland and charmed by Flynt; however, I was frustrated by how Ellison depicted Lo's clumsy and unrealistic investigation of the murder, which involved posing (while underage) as a stripper in a nightclub, interrogating other strippers, finding evidence in plain view which the cops apparently did not locate. I knew who the killer was the moment he/she came on the scene.As a mystery/thriller, The Butterfly Clues, was not very compelling; it fares better as a psychological portrait of a teenage girl trying to cope with tragedy while battling OCD.

  • JennRenee
    2019-04-16 23:16

    see more reviews. book has been on my TBR for a while. I waited patiently for it to be released, well maybe not paitenitly, then I had to wait about a month to get to a place in my reading pile to actually read it. I was really really excited. The cover is just gorgeous and the sysnopsis sounds amazing. Well, it didn’t dissapoint! This book had everything I would hope for in a mystery book. Mystery (of course) thrills, cooky characters, and a little romance. I will start by saying I fell in love with the main character, Lo, within a few pages. She is just amazing. It’s pretty obvious that she is OCD but she seemed a little autistic to me too. I haven’t read a book where the point of view is from such an intrigquing, strange, but easy to love character. Lo is very smart, brave but scared in the same breath, and unpredictable. She has hers issues and that is what I love about her. She does not let her issues get in the way. She is fully aware that she has the little ticks that others see as strange. She just can’t help herself. She does what she can to not let her ticks become obvious out in public, but that is hard to do at times. I also think it’s amazing that she basically lives on her own, her parents are both checked out in away, from parenting. She realizes this but knows she cannot let it affect her life. I love how driven she is, even if the drive comes from obsessive compulsion. I also love that fact that she does find someone that accepts her for who she is and realizes that there may possibly be more that will accept her as she is. The other characters are great too. They do stand out in their own way but really are shadowed by the main character. The story is also awesome. The author does a great job on opening the mystery up by tying it into the Lo’s obsessions. Lo wil do whatever ever she can to solve the mystery. The other part of the story is what has happened in Lo’s life with her family. Her brother dissapeared and shortly after found dead. Lo is still having difficulties dealing with her brother’s death. This is just one of the reasons she is so obsessed with death of a girl found in a not so good neighborhood and obsessed with finding out what happened to her. I will say it again. I found this book amazing. The story flowed smoothly the entire book, not one single snag for me. I found myself immersed in the story, even when I was not reading it. I stil find myself thinking about “tap tap tap bananan” everytime I go through a door. (you will have to read to find out what that means) I really wished this was a series with a whole new mystery, I am not ready to say goodbye to Lo. Pick one up as soon as possible if you love exciting characters and a good mystery!