on February 28th 2017
Genres: New Adult
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
"Where you are is home..."
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.
☆.•*´¨`*••5 Star Review••*´¨`*•.☆
Emma Scott is the kind of writer whose brilliance with words just grabs you by the soul. She has never failed to affect me on a deeper level with one of her thought-provoking stories. The Butterfly Project is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish. A story of redemption, of learning to forgive the past in order to build a better future. A story that is so breathtakingly beautiful, I cried tears of wonderment.
“The book was an apology spread out over a hundred black and white pages, colored with tears and inked with regret; everything I didn’t do that day was embedded in the drawings, and my heroine’s rage-her merciless thirst for vengeance-was my only relief.”
Zelda has been touched by tragedy at a very young age. It has shaped her into someone who is filled with guilt and drowning in her pain. She has been broken, and finds meaning and purpose in her art. By filling the pages with her grief, she is able to live with the heartache, if only barely.
“I wanted to believe words had power. The power to change the past. To fix what was broken, To heal. By writing them down on paper, they could work some kind of magic on the reader.”
Beckett is an ex-con who is so remorseful for his crimes, he relegates himself to an utterly colorless existence. His punishment is to make himself numb to happiness. Guilt drives him to be and do better in hopes of making up for the past. To exercise his pain, he writes letters to the woman whose life he changed forever in the hopes of one day getting a response.
“The pain in his eyes when he’d spoken about it was bright an glassy. I’d seen that look before, in every mirror I’d ever looked into. I recognized the weight of guilt hanging around his neck, because I wore it too.”
A chance meeting between these two, sets them on a path that neither saw coming. Suddenly, the world is a little less lonely. They each understand what the other is going through. What starts out as an act of kindness, suddenly has the power to transform these two individuals. What they share is beautiful. To see these two let go of the past was wonderful and cathartic to experience.
“I called you feeling so goddamn lost, but your voice…It’s like a searchlight in the fog.”
This isn’t an over-the-top romance; the beauty is in the details, the understated elegance of each word and gesture these two share. Emma’s writing is like poetry, and I breathed in every word. There were so many poignant moments that gripped my heart. The Butterfly Project proves the transformative power of love. There is redemption and forgiveness to be found, and it all starts with a single act.
Once in a blue moon, the stars will align and a book will be everything you hoped for and more. I have been anticipating The Butterfly Project since the cover was revealed. I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle a book that could inspire such a cover, and I was right. I dragged out this reading experience for as long as I could because the story, with that cover, was more beautiful than I ever anticipated.
We first met Zelda in Emma Scott’s previous duet Full Tilt, so I was excited to see more of her. What we got was a beautiful nerd with a dream, who was carrying around more guilt and heartache than one person should ever know. Zelda moves from Las Vegas to New York City in hopes of making her graphic novel dreams come true. Unfortunately, what she encounters is the harsh reality of trying to actualize those dreams. That is until she meets Beckett Copeland and an idea forms in her head.
Beckett Copeland is a bike messenger by day, busboy by night, and all around an incredible man. He made a mistake and is paying for it everyday. But despite this, he truly is an extraordinary person. He, too, carries around guilt and pain, but what makes his character is his vulnerability. The insights into his mind show how the bonds of guilt are so powerful.
This is a story of two unlikely people, with more in common than they expect, managing to come together and form a bond of love and family. It also demonstrates how inspiration can come from the most unlikely source. Most of all, this is a story of love and forgiveness. The use of Zelda’s graphic novel that depicts the start of every part of the book, just underlines these powerful messages and for this reader, they managed to put pictures to the feelings I had. The beauty of this story left me speechless. When I reached the conclusion, and read those dreaded words “the end”, I simply wasn’t prepared to deal with a real world that does not include Zelda and Beckett.
This book is without a doubt one of my top-reads of 2017 because every reader should experience the quiet love story between these characters, but more importantly, the power and emotion with which Emma Scott writes. This book is a true testament to why she should be recognized as one of the best romance writers in the business right now. This book deserves nothing short of 6 stars since it blew me away with its quiet strength and powerful message.
“Where you are is home…”
“Why do you stay if it’s so hard to live here?” I asked.
Beckett took a drag from his cigarette, as if he were buying time before answering.
“Brooklyn, born and raised,” he said finally, still not looking at me. “Where else would I go anyway? Different city, same struggle.” He finally brought his gaze to mine. “So you’re getting out?”
“On the bus, tomorrow,” I said. “I can’t stay. I was here for a job interview—sort of—and it fell through.”
“What was the job?”
“You’ll think it’s stupid.”
“Yeah, I probably will.” His smile was dry.
I laughed a little. “Smartass. I draw graphic novels.”
He stared at me blankly.
“Long-form comic books that tell one continuous story,” I said.
“Like The Walking Dead?”
“Exactly. I have one mocked up and I came here to pitch it to a few publishers. They all rejected me. Well, one half-rejected me, but it doesn’t matter. I can’t stay in the city long enough to make any changes, and I wouldn’t know what changes to make if I could.”
Beckett studied the cigarette between his fingers. “Why can’t you stay?”
“Where do I start?” I ground out my cigarette under my boot heel. “My poor planning? My dwindling funds? The fact I was robbed today? Or that I was naively hopeful the publishers would adore my work and sign me on the spot? Take your pick.”
Beckett shook his head, his mouth turned down in his grimace. “Wait, go back. You were robbed?”
I nodded and waved away the last of the smoke, wishing my failure could be as easily dissipated. “I came here like a wide-eyed twit with a dream, and I crashed and burned.”
“You tried. That’s more than most people do.”
“Tried and failed.”
“So try again.”
“I wish,” I said, letting my gaze roam over the dingy back alley. “I feel like I’m so close to breaking through. That last publisher gave me some hope. If I could pull a few weeks out of my ass, I’d have a chance. But it’s impossible. I have to go back to Nevada.”
“You don’t have friends or family nearby?”
Yes, and only two hours by train.
“No,” I said, and decided I’d said enough to a total stranger. The last thing I needed was the terrible homesickness to well up again. I stood and brushed off the ass of my pants. “Anyway, it is what it is. Thanks for the smoke.”
“Were you hurt?”
I turned, glanced down at Beckett. “What?”
“You said you were robbed,” he said, his voice low, his eyes holding mine as if he were forcing himself to hear this. “Did they hurt you?”
“No, I… No. I wasn’t there. It was a break-in.”
He leaned against the wall and his sigh plumed out in front of him in the cold air. It sounded relieved. “I’m sorry, Zelda.”
I frowned. “Not your fault. Like I said, the city kicked my ass. The sooner I get the hell out of here, the better for
Beckett ground out his smoke and got to his feet. He was at least six-two, yet it didn’t feel imposing to stand in his shadow. It felt…
Safe. I feel safe with him.
“Do you know how to get back to wherever you’re staying?” he asked.
“The same way I got here, only in reverse,” I said, covering my unsettling thoughts with sarcasm.
Because that was safe for me.