TITLE: The Butterfly Clues
AUTHOR: Kate Ellison
PUBLICATION: 2012 by Egmont USA
Penelope loves to collect things. Her obsessive compulsive behavior is all she has after the tragic death of her brother until the murder of a stripper named Sapphire compels her to find the killer of the girl. Her investigation leads her to the seedier side of town and it soon becomes clear that she treads a dangerous path looking for clues.
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT . . .
I originally discovered this book sitting on the store shelf and I had such longing to buy it. Why did I not give myself leeway to purchase other books in 2012? It had such a pretty cover and when I opened to read the plot blurb on the jacket flap, I nearly danced with joy. A book clearly aimed at YA readers that didn’t center around a romantic love interest.
This book had me pretty much hooked from the first page. Ellison’s writing is tinged with a bit of surrealism at times, and it was an easy read to be sure. Lo’s rituals and obsessive compulsive thoughts wind and bend throughout this book so it doesn’t feel like just a gimmick to sound like a different plot and then fall flat. This is consistent throughout the novel and I find that I understand some of her obsessions such as the positive and negative numbers that she encounters. The hoarding behavior makes me think of that television show Buried Alive, only somewhat more orderly. Lo organizes her room the way I do my bookshelves!
Still Penelope is a teenage girl so there are romantic feelings that do blossom, but they’re not the be all and end all of the book. I liked that aspect of it and was pleased that Lo had other priorities on her mind apart from getting a boyfriend. There are two major things that happen in this book: the search for Sapphire’s killer and dealing with the grief that still torments Lo a year after her brother’s tragic death. Lo is clearly a very empathic person and I think she can be crushed under that very ability to feel. The moments where she is haunted by her brother, memories so clear that it’s as if he were beside her, were poignant.
Do you ever get a feel for the type of music that would fit a story? Like a soundtrack that it should have if it were ever adapted to film? I tend to listen to music on the shuffle option while I’m reading and it seemed that when Florence + the Machine popped up it fit the narrative well.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, reading most of it over the course of a day. I think I would like to add it to my collection at some point too. Although I’ll probably wait and get it in paperback; I’m liking more books in paperback nowadays. Maybe by that point my bookshelves will resemble more of how I want them to be.