At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes—like child abduction—before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change...
Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime.
Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness.
The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can—like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings—create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever.
**The Butterfly Project generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
5+++ "The heart of the story. Her heart." Stars
There's a some magic sprinkled throughout this story. That feeling you get when you a finish an epic love story, you know the one - where your reading heart and soul are filled with inspiration, joy, and a satisfaction that runs so deep you feel the story in your bones. Where a dopey smile plasters itself on your tear-streaked face and your partner says "uh oh, that must of been a good one". Yeah, that feeling. It's woven through every single page of The Butterfly Project. The feeling of hope in the midst of desperation. The feeling of calm in the eye of a storm. The feeling that everything will be right in the world even when it is so very not right. Emma Scott delivers an EPIC romance and she does so with brilliance and an understanding of the good within people that's inspiring.
With the utmost honesty and vulnerability, Emma Scott elevates romance to another level. She does it so well her stories are effortless. She does it by exploiting mistakes then turning them into the greatest strengths. She does it by slowly and precisely ingratiating you to the beautiful friendship her characters form. She does it by building implicit trust and sharing. This book reflects the raw nerves of human's souls aching to let go of their guilt, of their past and be recognized as the counterpoint in another as pure and forgivable, as WORTHY.
This gifted author makes you FEEL every word and every emotion. She makes you addicted to her characters. She makes you feel everything they feel. I read this book in one afternoon from start to finish. I didn't want to put it down. Not because it was so angsty I couldn't. Not because there's some big mystery in the plot I had to know the answer to. I couldn't put it down and didn't want to put it down because the writing was so flawless and the story so real and romantic for me I just simply didn't want to stop basking in the beauty of it. I've highlighted half of this book because everything FEELS so important and so crucial to the development of these two characters. And the worthiness I mentioned above that eventually blooms - my god, it's breathtaking.
Emma Scott feeds your romance reading soul not only with her glorious, evocative writing but these complexly unique characters too. Beckett Copeland shines as the one of the most unique NA heroes ever. Thoughtful, kind, and passionate yet trapped in a self-sabotaging train of misguided thoughts not allowing him to heal. He's a product of his own bad decision. That's what I love about him. He holds blame for a single choice like it's the weight of the world on his shoulders. He doesn't make excuses. His blunt honesty and openness despite his attempt at being concealed proves one of greatest character strengths - his willingness to share, his need for it. His deep level of passion for Zelda and how she makes him feel is hands down one the best feeling you get from the book. He supports her, cherishes her, and respects her as his very best friend. Beckett contests that this is Zelda's story because he doesn't feel he deserves any kind of happiness or hold interest in saving himself but for her, well Beckett, he'd do anything. He's an open book and he's a protector. I fell so deeply for Beckett even when he wasn't feeling for himself.
When Beckett meets the girl - Zelda Rossi has a dream she's willing to fight for despite being trapped in her own loneliness and guilt. With a tragic circumstance shaping her whole life she's on a plan to avenge her own young self. I loved her willingness to understand Beckett, to support him without judgment. She's fierce this girl although she doesn't realize it. She's unique. A wallflower type girl with the biggest heart that feels everything from her past weighing down on her life but despite it making it a priority to live and feel even when she doesn't realize she's doing it. She craves safety and love. She creates sunshine in peoples lives without ever realizing her own glow and capacity to shine. Zelda is my favorite kind of heroine. She doesn't make excuses, she carries a weight too she wants to keep concealed. But she never backs down. And the good she sees and is willing to accept from people is startling. I loved her so much; her attitude, her vulnerability, and her heart.
Meeting Beckett starts a trajectory of change in Zelda's life she never saw coming. Neither of them saw coming. The two together battle demons in a way that's so fulfilling and so romantic. Through friendship and trust they build the dream. The way Emma Scott weaves their gifts for art into the story resonates so much. Through the depictions of graphic novels and the construction of the craft we learn so much more and get a deeper look into their hearts. Scott unravels this story within a story in the most unique way. I loved the artistry and the interesting world she creates because of it.
The Butterfly Project proved to be an EPIC read for me. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I finished. I read the last 25% over again immediately. The beautiful prose and brilliant structure of the story, the unique character development and histories all perfectly executed to create a truly romantic, addicting story. It's vengeance of your own past self. It's reflection and understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses. It's friendship and kindness. It's an exploration of the human condition after tragedy, whether that tragedy was by choice or not, to heal, reflect, and strive for innate goodness. It's love and redemption. It's divine forgiveness and inner turmoil. The Butterfly Project embodies HEART and so much SOUL highlighting the best of all of us; it's a heady feeling when you finish this book. I highly recommend this story to everyone. It's a beautiful, unforgettable reading experience I'll cherish forever. Without question, one of my favorites of 2017.