Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

Lo has a serious obsessive/compulsive disorder which makes her an outsider, mostly at school and very often embarrassed and even immobilized by her rituals. They come in multiples of 3 with 27 being perfect. They include, tapping, repeating words and collecting "junk" in sets and rearranging them looking for the exact right order. Her compulsions apparently went into overdrive when the family lost her older brother. Lo is in AP classes and one boy is interested in her though she can't understand why. One of the popular girls also shows interest but possibly for Lo's smarts rather than Lo the person.
One way Lo spends her time is riding the bus, taking different stops each time, always some multiple of three. So it is that she stops at Neverland, a very run down area with strip joints and homeless "cities". She is considering where to look for more stuff to collect when shots ring out. She runs in terror and gets lost. A girl carrying onions to her mother's restaurant gets her back to the bus station. The following morning, Lo discovers that a girl, Sapphire, was gunned down just where she was standing. The news carried a description of several of her objects known to be missing and of her love of blue lipstick. The next time Lo goes out shopping for her collection its to a flea market where she discovers the objects described in the news, including a necklace that she buys and puts on and a metal butterfly. Lo is compelled to find out what happened to Sapphire, returning again and again to Neverland. She meets a boy known as Flynt there apparently a throw away kid who she cannot quite trust. She meets exotic dancers who sort of knew Sapphire and considers taking a job as a dancer in the same place as Sapphire. She meets a scary man who she runs from. And, she starts getting weird warnings, a dead cat on her door step, signs on her locker for instance. Yet, she cannot stop herself from searching for what happened to Sapphire. There are other murders. Lo tries to tell the cops what she suspects but they say Sapphire's case is closed. One cop believes differently. In the end Lo is nearly killed, learns about true love and about her brother who is gone. The obsessive stuff gets tiring to me but maybe thats the point. The mystery, well I suspected correctly where it was going but that doesn't mean everyone will and it is quite complex. Lo and Flynt are fairly complex characters but no others are. This is an ok story. JDW

No comments: