Review: ‘The Butterfly Clues’ by Kate Ellison

Review: ‘The Butterfly Clues’ by Kate EllisonThe Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
Published by Egmont USA on February 14th, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 325
Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from the library
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'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.

The Book DepositoryChapters/IndigoGood Reads


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 crime and to find out who killed her even if someone went down for the crime already. What she finds is a harrowing mystery and ends up in love with a boy from Neverland who is unlike anyone she’s ever met.

The Butterfly Clues is no ordinary murder mystery. Instead of seeking revenge for someone who is close to her, she ends up on this harrowing journey to find out who killed someone she doesn’t know. That didn’t make sense at all until you get to the end that is. I liked that Lo was different than other characters I read because she was the first one I’ve read that had OCD. It’s not an easy disorder. She can’t leave a place without tapping three times and saying, “banana.” I have never witnessed anyone with this disorder but reading it through her eyes, I can understand why. They need order and control and that is the thing they can control, even if it’s odd or out of their own control.

At times, this book just made me sad. It was surely depressing reading through her eyes. What her brother went through, what her parents went through and obviously what she went through. It kind of broke my heart to read what happened. I did think the whole murder was suspicious and I guessed who the murderer was the moment they appeared in the book. It’s fairly predictable but at least it was entertaining. I also felt like it dragged on and on. There’s a good time to end a book and I thought there were several great ones. When the reader finds out who the killer is, they lose interest. At least I did in this case so I skimmed ahead until the very end.

Through the eyes of an OCD teenage girl, The Butterfly Clues is a little bit depressing and also an exciting journey where she finds out who is behind all these murders in her city.

reading progress



I need to know that beauty exists, to possess it, to surround myself with it, to be encircled by its warmth. (39)
What happens to people when no one mourns for them? (62)
We’re born alone, and all die alone, too. (57)
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. (205)





  1. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    April 6, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    Sounds like an interesting read!
    Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf recently posted…Audiobook Review: Burying Water (Burying Water #1) by K.A. TuckerMy Profile

  2. Megan Mc Dade

    April 6, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    I like the sound of this one. My sister has OCD so I can understand the protagonist a little bit because of that. Great review. Also I love the cover.
    Megan Mc Dade recently posted…Yours Completely Release Day #GiveawayMy Profile

    • giselle

      April 7, 2015 at 9:30 PM

      Yeahhh it was great to read about it from her point of view. Also the mystery made it even better

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