Release Date: February 14, 2012
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
Unlike my sister, I'm not a huge fan of mysteries. I think they're okay and sometimes interesting but I don't really get caught in the piecing together of clues. But for this book, The Butterfly Clues, I found myself doing just that--which made this quite a thrilling mystery read and enjoyable for me despite some minor issues.
It was the sudden suspense of the beginning that really caught my attention--from the first page of the book I was thrown into Lo's complicated life and perspective. And for a while after that, Lo's exciting adventures of twists and turns had me at the edge of my seat. But when I got about halfway through the book, I was getting restless. Eventually it came down to the mystery being dragged out too long that I was getting bored and frustrated. Lo would be so close and then get thrown off yet again by another perplexing clue--and that would happen again and again and again. This might be appealing to someone like my sister who loves that kind of stuff but it drove me bonkers! Thankfully though, towards the end of the book, Lo was finally getting onto something, and when she did, I was completely surprised and got into the book again.
Another aspect of the book that grew throughout the story was Lo and Flynt's relationship. I liked how it was really sweet. I especially loved how Flynt totally understood Lo and loved and accepted her for who she was. But, I also thought Lo and Flynt's relationship was a bit too insta-love to be convincing for me. Other than that, I liked the couple overall and the ending they had together was lovely.
All in all, The Butterfly Clues is a thrilling, suspenseful read with a lot of action that I enjoyed and recommend to anyone who is craving a nice mystery YA. This book is a debut novel by Kate Ellison, and I look forward to reading more by her in the future.