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The Butterfly Clues (Lost Girls #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  4,021 Ratings  ·  452 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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Rating details
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Jun 13, 2012 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
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: love-the-prose

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
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
Emily Anne
Mar 31, 2013 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 17, 2012 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.
Feb 10, 2012 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
Aug 30, 2011 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
Kat Heckenbach
Jun 04, 2012 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
Apr 09, 2012 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.
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
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
Jan 21, 2012 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
Apr 06, 2012 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
Reading Teen
Jul 18, 2012 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
Adam Silvera

This debut novel probes a haunting mystery with an unforgettable protagonist.

Seventeen-year-old Penelope "Lo" Marin has collected beautiful things all her life, treasures from each town she's lived in (11 total). But since her brother, Oren, died, her hobby has evolved into an obsession. While wandering through a "sad, strange part of Cleveland"--Neverland, the city of lost children--Lo barely escapes gunfire intended for a stripper named Sapphir
Misty Baker
Mar 19, 2012 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.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 22, 2011 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 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. Becaus ...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
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
i thought that this was a awesome book that always had somthing going on
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

- - -

2.5 stars

In this story we meet 'Lo' (nickname for Penelope). She has a total klepto problem. She gets what she calls "the urge" to swipe things from all over the place. Everywhere she goes, she does this. All sorts of things, too. Sponges from the grocery store, jewelry, trash even. She hoards these items up in her attic bedroom. She is also Obsessive Compulsive and has the need to rearrange all of her items pretty much on a daily basi
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
With this book you really have to suspend your
belief of reality. (view spoiler)
The book has many instances that are extremely
unrealistic and very convenient for the plot to
continue. Quite frankly the book was one big
unrealistic even after another.

Another thing that b
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I did not completely finish this book, but I thought it was great. The atmosphere is very dark and eerie. The characters have really really complex personalities. Because of that, I feel growing more attached the the characters is made much easier. This also sets up for sad things that can happen along the way in the story.
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
The Butterfly Clues was a more interesting read than I expected it to be. The premise sounded intriguing, which is what made me grab it in the first place, but I was worried it would be unremarkable in the current flood of YA literature pounding the market.

As a crime/mystery novel, it was only moderately compelling. The crimesolving aspects felt a little thin and unbelievable even with a decent suspension of disbelief. Lo, for some reason, ends up on the very bad side of town and doesn't quite w
Annika Baird
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was pretty good.gettong it started was a little bit tough. I felt like there wasn't much of a plot until Flynt came in. I really like Los perspective. it's quite obvious she has some mental disorders, but her way of thinking is so interesting. eventually I didn't really care what she was looking for, I just wanted to read about her life and her sturggles.
Feb 23, 2012 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
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(Spoiler) The Killer 2 9 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 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.” 16 likes
“Maybe there is something when it all ends. Maybe there is memory, memory of the person you loved, when you lived. Maybe this is the white-light-tunnel deal, and I'm pressing toward it, and it's pressing back, until we become the same thing.” 11 likes
More quotes…