Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

(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's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind.

As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.(GoodReads).

I really loved this book - so I'm bestowing the honor of my very first All Seven Review (I think, frankly, I'm late for dinner reservations, otherwise I would fact check this assertion!)!

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison was complex, dark, interesting, and surprising. About mid-way through, as the reader is following Lo into stripclub in order to track down Sapphire's killer, I remember thinking to myself, hmmm this may not truly be young adult fiction, but the seediness really lends to the charm of this book. Plus, if you can get over the setting, this a pretty PG book!
  • Originality - 7: I loved that this book follows an OCD teenager, but didn't make that the central point of the story. Yes, it becomes a crucial "character" in certain parts, but the story wasn't focused on the disorder as some sort of hindrance. 
  • Absurdity - 7: You know, if I think back to myself at age 17, there's is not a chance in H-E-double-hockey-stick I would have gone roaming around abandoned houses, talking to somewhat sketchy homeless street artists or frolicking into a strip club in an attempt to solve a murder - in which I may unwittingly be inserting myself as another victim - BUT to each headstrong teenager her own I guess!
  • Level of Paranormal Romance - 7: Lo and Flynt have an undeniable connection and even though half of the time I was screaming in my head for her to RUN, I have to admit, there were some pretty swoon-worthy moments!
  • Level of Harry Potterness - 7: Kate Ellison did a fantastic job of capturing her characters in a relatable way. I was totally engrossed in this book and the writing was one of the main reasons why!


  1. Hahahaha... I was an idiot at 17. I probably would do such stupid things. Not sure if much has changed. Also, I was a hypocrit. I'd go into abandoned buildings to look for a murderer and then complain about stupid people in horror movies. Because I'm awesome.

    1. HA!!!

      At 17 I would CERTAINLY NOT being roaming around, Grad Student would have never allowed that to happen. Anyways, I believe she and I were too busy scooping ice cream under death-hot conditions to have any energy to solve murders.

    2. You have correctly identified my summer job as a 17 year old. But then again, Connecticut is not a hotbed of crazy dark deeds...

  2. Hmm... Obsession. Murder. Seedy stripclubs. Teenage stupidity. Oh yeah. I can definitely get down with this book.


Comments? Heck ya!