Friday, March 23, 2012

The Butterfly Clues

Title: The Butterfly Clues

Author: Kate Ellison

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: 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.

Review: Penelope has lost her brother, her mother is an empty shell, her father works all the time, and people at school thinks she's weird because of all her tics. She feels the urge to steal things to add to her collection, and her parents just don't understand. I loved this book. I'm usually a fantasy-fiction kind of girl, but there's been a recent influx of really good realistic fiction books. This one had mystery, romance, family problems, and an awesome yet troubled main character. Yes, I included romance on that list, and yes, I have said before that I can't stand romance. But there are some books where it can be okay, good even. Prepare for more realistic fiction books in the future.

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