Source: ARC from Publisher
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: February 14th/12.
Synopsis courtesy of 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.
This is my first entry into the Debut Author Challenge and I want to thank Jennifer from Random House for sending me a copy of The Butterfly Clues because it was amazing!
Lo is the strongest vulnerable character I've ever had the pleasure of reading (and yes I see the oxymoron of this comment :) ). I felt a strong connection with this character as I have witnessed first hand how OCD can take control of ones life to the extreme, and it is because of this connection that I had very emotional reaction to certain scenes in this novel (I cried three times- I actually had to put the book down to splash some cold water on my face.) Ellison handled this illness with sincere realism and I appreciate her bringing this character into my life.
Don't get me wrong, while Lo has many Kryptonites (think I spelt that wrong), she is also a strong character that strives to do the right thing, (i.e. solving a murder- o yeah that's right there's a whole intense mystery to this story as well :), while dealing with her own personal demons.
I can't have a COMPLETE review without discussing the romance element. Lo has two boys vying for her affection: sweet and patient Jeremy or the fun and adventurous Flynt. I loved both these boys for very different reasons and I understood Lo's reactions to each suitor and her ultimate decision. There is one scene in this book that was so steamy it had my computer screening fogging up- but I'm not going to tell which guy, you'll just have to read and find out for yourself :).
The murder mystery in this book works well to set the stage for the plot of the story, but I feel it is the character development that truly made this a remarkable read for me :)
Be sure to get your hands on a copy of this book when it hits shelves mid-February!