"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

In the beginning of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison, we meet Penelope (Lo) Marin as she is stealing a lawn ornament because it is beautiful and she gives in to her obsession to "have" it. We are also introduced to Lo's counting and verbal rituals. We learn that these rituals and her obsessive thinking that keeps Lo marginalized in school and lonely in life. As the story unfolds we discover that her brother has recently died and his death has sent everyone in the family into a tail spin. When Lo learns about the murder of a girl she feels compelled to learn all she can about the girl and help uncover her murderer. The process puts her in harms way but also helps her uncover information about her brother.

I read this book with a great deal of positive anticipation.  There are very few really good mysteries for young adults and this book seemed like it would help fill the gap.  Though it was interesting, I had a hard time relating to any of the characters or feeling that caught up in the who-done-it aspect of the story.  Even the tense moments were so short lived that they barely caused a bit of anxiety. Lo's obsessive-compulsive mannerisms were more interesting to me than the actual mystery.  I was also very irritated with Lo's parents who were completely incapable at parenting or even making an attempt at understanding their daughter and her disorder. It would be so refreshing to have characters whose parents were thoughtful, helpful, and loving instead of distant, messed-up, and incompetent.

Student readers have liked this book. Maybe the things that irritated me about it aren't the things that teens notice.  Whatever it is, this book will remain a "top-shelver" when school resumes in September.

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