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The Butterfly Clues (Lost Girls #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,026 Ratings  ·  414 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 continue ...more
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.

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
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

Penelope has OCD. Her dad doesn't understand her. Her mom drugs herself up all day and stays in bed. Her older brother only died a year ago, but everything changed when it happened. When she ends up in Neverland, a neighbourhood full of crime and homeless children, she ends up witnessing a murder of a stripper. She feels the need to solve the
Katie Manzione
Oct 24, 2014 Katie Manzione rated it did not like it
In all honestly, I should have put the book down after the third chapter. This is not, in any way, a decent enough book to actually complete. The one star would be for the interesting cover because it certainly was not for the contents of this novel.

First off, the plot line of this book is not all that original. It's basically a murder mystery featuring a teenage girl as Sherlock Holmes. On top of that, you have the protagonist's high school and home life problems which only create more of a dis
Mar 16, 2013 Charlie rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 22, 2012 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Jodi Papazian
Mar 07, 2012 Jodi Papazian rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-reads
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
Feb 05, 2012 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 wit ...more
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
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.

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 at the time I was basking in
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(Spoiler) The Killer 2 7 Dec 19, 2014 10:51AM  
Sno-Isle Mock Printz: * Finalist: The Butterfly Clues 1 7 Oct 29, 2012 01:00AM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Lost Girls (2 books)
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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.” 14 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…