The Butterfly Clues is about Penelope “Lo” Marin, who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She has habits and rituals that she must do before entering a room, compulsions to steal things, superstitions that certain numbers are better than others. She finds herself in Neverland, a bad neighbourhood, when a murder happens right near her. She then becomes obsessed with the victim and finding out who killed her, all while attending a high school where she feels completely out of place. Her home life is a ghost of what it used to be after her brother died, with her mother in a comatose state of mourning and her father working too much and not tolerating her OCD rituals. Lo soon finds herself entangled in a larger mess than she intended, and unsure whether to trust the mysterious Flynt who makes his home anywhere and everywhere in Neverland.
I requested The Butterfly Clues off Netgalley a while back, and was about to give up on it because the PDF was too small to read on my Kobo and I hate zooming in and having to scroll back and forth. After hearing a few others say it’s quite good, I thought I’d give it another shot and read it on my new iPad. And I’m glad I did.
Ellison does a fantastic job at setting up the character of Lo with her compulsions. I felt like I was getting OCD by reading how she tap tap tap bananas before she enters any room. The constant repetition of her tapping and her inclination to multiples of 3 are so steadily ingrained in the reader that you begin to feel like you’re there with Lo, experiencing the same things she is. I’m curious as to Lo’s appearance actually, as there are mentions of her here and there, but never a really full picture. Especially in some of the situations she gets herself into, it’s perhaps a little unbelievable without maybe knowing more about how she looks to others. The story was well-paced and kept me guessing for quite a while on how it was going to turn out. There are twists that I didn’t see coming and were well placed & executed. All in all, The Butterfly Clues was a dark, yet entertaining read for any mystery-solving enthusiast!
Available in stores February 14, 2012.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5 stars)