Published by Self-Published on February 28th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
"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.
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.
I liked this story about perseverance, acceptance, and forgiveness. You have two people burdened with guilt: one who is desperate for a chance at redemption; the other who accepts his life of hardship as penance. Zelda and Beckett are quite similar. In addition to living under a cloud of regret, they are both completely broke (and broken) and basically alone in NYC. After a chance meeting, they decide to join forces in a mutually beneficial financial arrangement.
Zelda pours her grief, remorse, and creativity into creating a graphic novel that she is determined to get published. It is so inventive of Emma Scott to allow the reader to experience Zelda’s character growth throughout the novel’s creation process. I loved her tenacity and optimism, even in the face of great pain. I particularly enjoyed her struggles early on in the book when she first arrives in NYC.
Beckett can’t seem to shake his demons and is merely going through the motions of being alive. He is such a truly decent man, and I just wanted to hug him throughout the entire story. With Zelda in his life, he begins to see a brighter existence. Beckett is stubborn, though, and feels she deserves someone who has more to offer. I appreciated the bond they form and the slow burn of their relationship. Although, honestly, I found it difficult to understand why Zelda so desperately tries to deny her attraction to Beckett. This leads me to my main issue with the book.
Let me preface this by saying I’m a card carrying angst ho, but the tension has to come from a logical, emotional place. It’s one of the things I’ve come to enjoy about Emma Scott’s work. Fundamentally, in this case, I just couldn’t understand the degree of guilt that Zelda carries for such a long period of time. I felt like I must be missing something. Why resist Beckett? Why the dramatic reactions to the mere mention of family?
There are aspects of the story that are sometimes depressing, but mostly sweet and inspirational. I found The Butterfly Project to be an engaging story with a powerful message and an enjoyable variety of characters. I’m sure it will resonate with a lot of readers.
Recommended for fans of:
**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**