5 out of 5 stars
Every now and then you stumble across a book that takes you completely by surprise. It grips you, takes you in and makes you feel happy and hopeful and warm inside. This is one of those books for me. I’ve heard of Emma Scott before, but I’d never read anything by her. This is the first of her books that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last.
The Butterfly Project follows Zelda and Beckett, both of whom have had difficult pasts. They are stuck in New York, trying to find some sort of peace from their history while also trying to make enough money to get by.
I’ll be honest, when I found out our main gal was called Zelda, there was definitely a raised eyebrow. I hate it when authors give their heroines bizarre, special names to compensate from their cardboard cutout personality. This totally isn’t the case here. Zelda is funny, and hardworking, and just wants to feel some closure after losing her sister. I loved how writing/drawing her graphic novel helped her to deal with her pain.
(Incidentally, I used to fancy Link from The Legend of Zelda. When Beckett first finds out Zelda’s name, he introduces himself as Link. And I most definitely fancy Beckett now. Major swoon)
Beckett made a massive mistake, which he is still paying for. It eats him up, and when we first meet him he feels like he doesn’t deserve happiness. He tries to lessen some of his guilt by giving leftover food to one of his hermit neighbours, giving money to homeless people, when he himself works so hard to just get by.
One of the things I love about The Butterfly Project is that it doesn’t follow the typical NA romance routine. Usually, you can guess what is going to happen in most YA/NA contemporary romances. Boy and girl fall in love, spend all their time together, then at the end of the book have a massive argument or misunderstanding where one of them leaves and they think their relationship is over. Then they obviously get back together and live happily ever after.
But Zelda and Beckett’s romance was slow burn. What started out as a living agreement turned into a friendship, and when they did get into a relationship they kept a hold of that friendship, which I really liked. They understood each other, and even though there were quite a lot of stressful events towards the end of the book, neither of them threw a hissy fit and walked out. They stuck by each other, even when they didn’t agree with what the other was saying. It was so beautiful.
So if you’re not already convinced by the idea of a swoon-worthy romance (and, guys, this book is hot) then lemme tell ya, the secondary characters in this? Fucking brilliant. They’re funny, and caring and it makes me wish that I had a friendship like in this book (and a Beckett would be nice too please).
*Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read this book*