A review by thisismenow
The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison


I quite enjoyed The Butterfly Clues. It was an good, solid mystery, but, aside from a solid plot, the characters were really what drew me into the book.

Lo has some very serious issues with stealing, OCD and hoarding that seem to be at an all new high after her brother Oren's death the year before. Her mother is non-functioning and, while I think he's trying to hold it together, her father is often absent.

While wondering the streets during the late night hours while in Neverland, Lo is nearly shot by a stray bullet. She finds out later that on that same night a girl, Sapphire, was murdered. Then, when she discovers pieces of the girl's jewelry at the flee market, Lo feels drawn to find out who killed Sapphire.

Along the way, she meets a host of colorful characters who live in the run down area of Neverland. Among them is Flint. She feels drawn to him much in the same way she feels drawn to Sapphire, but as she meets danger at every corner, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who to trust.

The story had quite a few twists and turns along the way. I did also enjoy that, instead of the story focusing solely on the mystery of Sapphire's murder, there were several things happening with the plot, involving school and her home life. It helped to keep the story grounded in reality.

Also, I felt quite sympathetic to Lo's need to complete her rituals. It added an interesting layer to her character that I hadn't seen before in other books. I often felt frustrated right along with her when she had to stop and do something (sometimes several times if she messed up or lost count).

SpoilerMy only issue with this, though, is that I'd hoped that at some point her parents would do something to try to get her help. It was clearly something she had been doing for a very long time, and while I could understand her dad's frustrations with it, it seemed like it would be been more productive to actually seek some sort of help instead. That being said, I felt quite endeared to Flint because of his easy acceptance of Lo's rituals.

All in all, I thought it was a very solid novel with great characters and plot.