November 19, 2011

Obsessed with Finding Answers • The Butterfly Clues

The Butterfly Clues book cover
The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Publisher: Egmont USA
Publication Date: February 4, 2012
Source/Format: Netgalley || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. 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.

I saw this striking cover on NetGalley and it compelled me enough to want to check out the synopsis of The Butterfly Clues. Highly intrigued by the promise of a girl compelled to collect souvenirs or trinkets from each town she's moved to, and her eventual involvement in trying to figure out a crime, I immediately took it upon myself to read this novel.

The Butterfly Clues was nothing like I expected it to be. While reading it, I experienced an inordinate amount of emotions - I felt sorry for Lo, I felt annoyed with her parents, I enjoyed (although occasionally, I got freaked out) Lo's forays into Neverland and many more. 

I think what Kate Ellison managed to do very well is paint a portrait of a person with extreme OCD. We are taken directly into Lo's mind, watching events unfold through her eyes and observing all of her habits. We see how she's simply compelled to do things, how she can't stop herself from wanting things to be a certain way and in their proper place. This is probably the first book I've ever read that showcases such a condition in its entirety. 

The Butterfly Clues starts out slow, but builds up to an intense climax. I didn't figure things out until I was very close to the end of the novel, which made for a suspenseful and interesting ride. 

The Butterfly Clues was an interesting, if slightly disturbing, read. Kudos to Kate for painting a portrait of a girl broken by circumstances and learning to live with her tendencies and writing in such a way that I was compelled to stick with Lo till the end.


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