Amanda Pearl's Reviews > The Butterfly Clues

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
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's review
Sep 27, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult, egalley, mystery-suspense, 2012-release, illness-disease, february, bir-2012, cover-love
Read from January 16 to February 02, 2012

FYI I read an egally from netgally! Thanks EgmontUSA!!!

I wanted to start off this review by saying that while I gave this book three stars, I read an advance galley so I think the finished copy will be more of a 4 star book. There are certain things that will probably be edited up a bit (mostly some support to characters that may not show up a lot but are important to the story). However as it was The Butterfly Clues was still an excellent murder mystery that, while not really all that surprising, was still very suspenseful and enjoyable to read.

The Butterfly Clues is first and foremost a book about OCD. The author does a, well, intense job of describing what it's like to have OCD. It is on every single page, for better or worse. When the consistent need to touch, take, and tap is done well, it adds SO MUCH anxiety and tension to the murder mystery. It's like, imagine not being able to escape a dangerous situation because you HAD to tap your leg nine times before you went through a doorway, or you HAD jump over every crack in the sidewalk or you'd HAVE to go back and start over, even if someone was chasing you! There were times where I just had to take a break from reading because I was getting so freaked out! But then there were times where the OCD was just there because it had to be, but didn't do anything to move the plot forward. Those scenes were painfully slow to read.

I really liked Sapphire as a character, even though we never get to actually meet her. I don't want to give away the plot (even though I found it to be pretty predictable, as in I guessed everything from about page 60 or so) but I liked who she was and what ultimately happened to her. I found her relationship to Lo a little convenient, but still very interesting.

There is one other thing I didn't like, and I think this is just personal preference. What is up with the idea that homeless = artsy? Where exactly does this kid get the money to pay for art supplies? I had a really hard time believing a person like Flynt really exists. Maybe that's because I am too grounded in my need for security. I could never just be an artist and "live off the land" Chris McCandless style. I think if more background to how Flynt survived had been given I would have enjoyed his character more. As he was I pretty much rolled my eyes every time he used his art to be all mysterious and sexy.

Overall The Butterfly Clues is an intense murder mystery (that doesn't have any paranormal aspects to it, thank God!) that uses OCD to create extremely suspenseful situations for the main character. Lo is a unique character that has some major flaws, but you can't help but love and root for anyway. I recommend The Butterfly Clues to anyone who enjoys murder mysteries or books about mental illness (or books with beautiful covers!).

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Reading Progress

12.0% "interesting mystery so far, the OCD really adds to the suspense."
24.0% 1 comment
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