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The Butterfly Clues (Lost Girls #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  2,473 Ratings  ·  433 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'
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by EgmontUSA (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 29, 2015 karen rated it liked it
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya

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
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
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

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
Feb 17, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it really liked it
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
Emily Anne
Apr 08, 2013 Emily Anne rated it really liked it
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
Kimberly Russell
May 21, 2012 Kimberly Russell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, audio
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.
Kat Heckenbach
Jun 04, 2012 Kat Heckenbach rated it it was ok
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
Aug 30, 2011 Karl rated it liked it
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
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
kate nichols
“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 mu
Misty Baker
Mar 19, 2012 Misty Baker rated it liked it
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.

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 i
Oct 07, 2016 Jannene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, world-tour
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.
Jan 24, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
May 24, 2012 Katie rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
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 ...more
Reading Teen
Jul 18, 2012 Reading Teen rated it really liked it

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
Nov 22, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
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
Vikki Patis
Aug 11, 2016 Vikki Patis rated it really liked it
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. ...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
Apr 14, 2012 Jeanne rated it did not like it
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.
Nov 11, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
i thought that this was a awesome book that always had somthing going on
Oct 12, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
Beautifully written with a bone chilling story, amazing imagery and a plot that would keep you in a corner for days wondering how she did it all without being caught. Who was the killer? Was it bird? Or was it someone else? The author made me want to turn page after page. After every loop hole, and every new piece of evidence. The obsessive nature of the main character rubbed off onto you a little more after every chapter. The ending was so explosive that it could leave a full grown man in a ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2016 Bookish rated it really liked it
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
Jan 30, 2016 JennRenee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
see more reviews.

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
Aurora  Fitzrovia
"The Butterfly Clues" erzählt die Geschichte von Penelope (Lo) Marin. Lo leidet unter Zwängen, wie das Sammeln (ja, Horden) von eigentlich unnützen Gegenständen (die für sie etwas ganz besonderes sind), sie fühlt sich bei bestimmten Zahlen wohl und andere Zahlen sagen ihr, das etwas schlimmes passieren wird. Oder das "Tap, tap, tap, Banana", was sie vor jedem Betreten und Verlassen von einem Haus/Raum machen/sagen muss, etc.
Auf einem Flohmarkt entdeckt sie eine Schmetterlingskette, die sie unbed
Sep 11, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 06, 2016 Kavanand rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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(Spoiler) The Killer 2 8 Dec 19, 2014 02:51AM  
Sno-Isle Mock Printz: * Finalist: The Butterfly Clues 1 7 Oct 28, 2012 06:00PM  
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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 ...more
More about Kate Ellison...

Other Books in the Series

Lost Girls (2 books)
  • Lost Night (Lost Girls, #0.5)

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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.” 15 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.
More quotes…