The Butterfly Clues
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The Butterfly Clues

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,426 ratings  ·  345 reviews
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'...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by EgmontUSA
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karen

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...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
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...more
jo mo


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 se...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
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 tot...more
Karl
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.
Kat Heckenbach
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 di...more
Infinite Playlist
Lang und breit
Der 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...more
Emily Anne
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...more
Kimberly Russell
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.
Aparajitabasu
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...more
Rebecca
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...more
TheBookSmugglers
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Tap, 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 a...more
Jessica
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...more
Reading Teen
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 d...more
Misty Baker
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.

“Pe...more
Ellen Sara
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...more
Jeanne
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.
Jess
i thought that this was a awesome book that always had somthing going on
Charlie
This is the second book I've read by Kate Ellison (See review of her newly released Notes from Ghost Town), and I was not disappointed! What Ellison does remarkably well is portray flawed, and uniquely constructed characters. She truly digs in and reveals the details that make each one special. Without overwhelming the story with lengthy describes or extraneous details, every character is present, whether they are a main or support cast. It really does take great skill and craft to not neglect t...more
Bookworm1858
I had no idea what to expect from this book other than it was from Egmont, which I generally associate with more literary YA. Thus I opened the book with no expectations and proceeded to meet Penelope or Lo, a character with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I am fascinated with OCD, as a long-time fan of Monk who has been gently teased about having some tendencies of her own. In this case Lo's disorder centers around numbers like 3 or 9; I much prefer even numbers so her distaste for 2 and 4 wer...more
Bayla
Buzzwords: Death, murder mystery, OCD and kleptomania, finding your space in the world, romance

Lo has never fit in, with her OCD and the urge, the need, to take things that sometimes comes over her, and since her brother's death, for which she blames herself:

"It's not difficult for me to make these sorts of lies sound genuine. The guilt is real enough. The guilt is always real" (p. 68)

she finds herself slipping even farther from normalcy. She finds comfort in things:

"[I]t's not the taking or th...more
JennRenee
see more reviews. http://jennreneeread.blogspot.com/



This 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...more
Jodi Papazian
It took me awhile to get through this book. I never reached the point where I was so engrossed that I couldn't put it down. I was not able to form much of an interest in Lo, the main character, which is likely why the story dragged for me.
After Lo witnesses a crime, she becomes obsessed with the victim, Sapphire. Lo decides that she was meant to solve Sapphire's murder and risks her life (on a nightly basis) to gather clues. Hindering Lo's abilities is her severe OCD and her uncontrollable urg...more
Kavanand
Sixteen-year-old Lo's family has fallen apart since the death of her brother a year earlier. Her father works all the time, her mother rarely leaves her bedroom, and Lo's obsessive compulsive disorder is threatening to overwhelm her. Her life is built around numeric rituals, like repeating things three times and tapping on her leg nine, nine, and then six times. She also hoards objects in her room and keeps everything arranged in a precise order. Through her obsessive collecting, she ends up wit...more
Kloie
Nov 03, 2012 Kloie added it
An intriguing and riveting thriller, sure to keep you reading. With a murder, an investigation and clues, this is the perfectly unexpected death. When Penelope (Lo) loses her older brother, Oren, her world turns upside down. She copes with a severe case of OCD, which becomes even worse. Lo searches everyday for clues, reasons to why someone like Oren could die. She runs into a little town called Neverland, a place where unwanted children run to. As she's walking she witnesses a murder. Lo become...more
Christina Wilder
You guys.

I'm in love.

I know, I know. The book's not perfect, you say. The ending was contrived. The descriptions didn't seem realistic, just like some of the plot twists. Lo may not have OCD but instead has repetitions as a coping mechanism but it's not as accurate as it could/should be.

I hear what you're saying, but...I'm smitten. I'm a smitten kitten.

Now, I read this during an interesting time in my life, when I was rediscovering how amazing my family is, how lucky I am to have my husband, and...more
Savannah (Books With Bite)
The start of this book confused me a little. The way the book started in pushing the reader start into the story is good. I like that i was forced into something I didn't understand. Though after a few chapters in, the author gave enough back round history for me to find my footing and seemingly fell into the story after that. Not only was I completely intrigued but knew that this is a book I was going to chase till the end.

Lo is a lonely girl searching for meaning. After a great loss in her fam...more
Laura
I've never been one for murder mysteries and whodunnits. Well, except for Midsommer Murders, and I think my enjoyment of that is more associative as it reminds me of pleasant Sunday evenings with my parents. So it's fairly surprising that I should enjoy a book which is basically a light murder mystery for a YA audience.

Lo, the first person protagonist of The Butterfly Clues, really appealed to me. If you look at some of the reviews of this book around the internet, it seems like she's a charact...more
Stephanie D.
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...more
WilowRaven
I was: blown away by the power behind Lo's story.

My thoughts:
The Butterfly Clues is a book that I will always remember for one important reason as Lo is unlike any heroine I have ever read. Although it's never identified with any definite terms, it's pretty obvious that she suffers from an extreme case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She is almost crippled by it. She taps her legs, her shoulder, her shoes, the floor in groupings of numbers that make sense to her. 4s are bad, 3s are good,...more
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Kate Ellison spent a lot of time as a child, in Baltimore, pretending to be things she wasn't: a twin, a telekinetic, a benevolent witch with a box full of magical stones, a spy, a soccer player. She trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker, and has at least one artist friend who really does keep his true name a secret fro...more
More about Kate Ellison...
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“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.” 10 likes
“Dearest Penelope,
I am a giant jerk. I don't mean to imply that I am abnormally sized human who happens to also be a jerk, but, instead, that I am a normal-sized human who happens to sometimes be an extra-large jerk. When you buy me an ugly holiday sweater next Christmas, it needn't be an extra-large man's sweater, but it should probably feature some much-despised...figure that will serve to indicate to the world the immense degree of my jerkiness. What I'm really saying is...I've thought more about it, and I'd like to be of help to you in your quest so that come Christmas you can just find me a basic ugly holiday sweater that has no other object but to be a basic ugly holiday sweater, and I can wear it the next time we beat God and the devil alike at trash can bowling.
Yours,
Flynt”
7 likes
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