Monday, February 6, 2012

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison Review

The Butterfly Clues Kate Ellison book coverThe Butterfly Clues
By Kate Ellison

Feb. 14, 2012
EgmontUSA, 336 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley

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.

— description

I don’t know what I expected based on the title and cover of this book, but The Butterfly Clues is so much MORE.

It's a twisty thriller that kept me guessing and kept my heart pounding. It's an unlikely romance that took me pleasantly by surprise. It's a deep, troubling look into the mind of a young woman suffering from debilitating grief, guilt and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Lo’s OCD was stunningly captured in this debut novel. Yeah, maybe I saw through a few of the twists, and maybe the mystery dragged briefly in a few parts for me, but the descriptions of Lo’s compulsions -- to tap, say select words, touch things in a certain sequence -- transported me into the brain of someone suffering from this disease. It was scary and brilliant.

And, you know, on a lighter note: Kudos to Ellison for getting me to fall for a second fictional white boy with dreads. Again, who knew this was possible?!

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. LOL about the white boy with dreads thing. Wow, sounds like this book is really worth picking up! We've loved the cover for awhile now, and felt intrigued by the premise, so your review is kind of sealing the deal!

  2. I initially wrote this book off when I saw it... Another cover with a darn butterfly. Not that there's anything wrong with butterflies. I like them well enough, but Mariah Carey ruined them for me back in the day.. when she did that cribs.. with the tacky shiny walls, and the granite counter tops that looked like it had butterfly wings in it.. Creepy.

    This book actually sounds good though. its the first time reading the description. And now that I have.. I can see that this butterfly is much cooler than all the others I have seen.. this one is at least looks like its splattered in blood. That's hardcore.

  3. WOOT! Jessica Darling reference in a non-JD related book review? You just made me want to read this even more.

  4. Sounds fantastic! I wasn't sure about this one, but I'll definitely be giving it a chance now :]

  5. Very interesting. I haven't read anything about OCD like...ever. So I wouldn't be opposed to checking this one out. Also, white boy with dreads? REALLY? Well... they're not red, are they?

  6. Excellent! We love this cover, in the concept, so we are super glad to hear that it lives up. Thanks for writing your thoughts!
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