Published: 28 February 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Category: Romance/New Adult/Contemporary
“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.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
An emotionally intense novel, the story of a graphic novel artist and an ex-con, their interaction, and the past encroaching on the present made for a somewhat sad, definitely tense New Adult novel.
The pacing was a bit slow for my liking, though I don’t think it would put off a lot of people. Fans of slow burn romances might even find a favorite book in this. As it was my first of this author’s books, I can’t verify whether the rest would be as nice as this one, but The Butterfly Project would have me entertaining the thought of reading more of her work.
If I had to choose which of the main characters I preferred, I would say Beckett. While Zelda had her graphic novel artistry going for her, something I admire because manga and comic books have been a big part of my life for a long time, Beckett’s voice and his perspective chapters felt more real to me. I looked forward to the camera lens coming from his eyes, even when it was something as simple as looking at his neighborhood in Brooklyn, his walk-up apartment, the other people in his building.
Roy, Beckett’s parole officer, was an awesome character that really warmed my heart. Usually in books I wouldn’t have seen his character as someone to like, but Emma Scott crafted a caring individual who trusts and does his job in an effective manner.
The location of this story was something I liked in The Butterfly Project. I live close enough to NYC to visit a few times a year and while I’m not intimately familiar with all of its landscape, the way Emma Scott described it made it feel like I was right there on the street with Zelda and Beckett. It was easy to picture the hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant where they first meet, the streets they walked to get Zelda back to her hostel early on in the book. It wasn’t a sanitized version of the city and I liked the atmosphere that was created.
The relationships formed, the ones that were broken and offered to the reader as insight into Zelda and Beckett’s character, these all came together and formed an interesting story that had dips and turns, pain and attachment, as in life. New Adult needs more books at the forefront and this could be one of them.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.