Monday, April 16, 2018

Favourite Reads

Since I’ve started reading 99.5 % of all books as ebooks, m reading life has undergone huge changes.  The vast majority of books I read now are either self-published or published by small publishers.  Except for a few exceptions, I don’t read books published by the big publishers any longer.  The prices are just too high.  And I’ve found some pretty amazing authors by going the self-pub, small pub route.  I thought I’d share some of my favourite.

Up first is Emma Scott.  I have read some incredible books by her.  She writes the kind where you’re lucky you aren’t sobbing by the end.  But they always end up happy.  I read no other kind. 


The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott
Last year I read a great book by this author, How to Save a Live and for some unknown reason I didn’t read another one – until now.  This is a truly beautiful book about self-forgiveness and I was mesmerized with it.  There wasn’t a single paragraph, sentence or even word that I didn’t love.

The book opens with Zelda Rossi pretty much at her lowest.  She has moved from Vegas to NYC to try and sell a graphic novel she has penned and just received her latest rejection.  The last house to reject her at least gave her a crumb, they thought she had potential but needed to add ‘heart’ to her novel.  She had no idea what they meant as she had already poured her heart and soul into Mother, May I, the name of her graphic novel.  She was robbed at the hostel she’d been staying and was running low on funds but she didn’t want to give up and go back to Vegas.

She decides to have one last good meal and heads into a small Italian bistro.  But as she is of Italian heritage and the very smell of food reminds her of home and the nightmare she has lived with for years, she needs to escape and heads out the back.  It is there she meets Beckett Copeland, a busboy who offers her comfort and an escort back to the hostel.  Through a series of events they end up as roommates.  Beckett helps her find the heart of her novel and in the process they help each other to heal grievous wounds.


This story is exquisite.  It’s rare when I fall as deeply in love with both the heroine and the hero as I did with Zelda and Beckett.  I even adore their names.

Years earlier Zelda had been with her sister when her sister was kidnapped and subsequently murdered.  Zelda blamed herself for not saving her sister and she was forever changed.  She suffers from panic attacks and PTSD.  She suffers from nightmares years later.  She is even unable to go home for any length of time because the memories still haunt her.  Her graphic novel, about a woman from the future who goes back in time to eliminate child predators and change the future events, is a reflection of Zelda’s need for closure.  She’s such a wonderful and well-drawn character that we can’t help feeling the pain and loss she does.

And Beckett’s story is just a tragic.  He was raised by his grandfather and it was poor existence.  When his grandfather fell ill, Beckett participated in a home invasion and the homeowner ended up dying of a heart attack.  Beckett spent two years in prison for armed robbery but because he has such a huge heart, has never been able to forgive himself.  Prison wasn’t nearly enough.  He writes the most heart rendering letters to the widow, letting her know how deeply he regrets his part in the death of her husband.  He is so compassionate and that makes the whole situation even more tragic.  The author gives examples of his nature in a number of different ways including making sure a neighbor is always fed.  Because he has a prison record and on parole, his options are limited and he works part time as a busboy and his main job as a bike messenger.

Beckett and Zelda start off as friends but their relationship deepens into more than love and they become each other’s savior.

If you are a reader who needs to ‘feel’ a book to enjoy it to its fullest then The Butterfly Project is a book you need to read.  The connection and the need that Beckett and Zelda have for each other seeps gently into the read with every page.  They truly are two halves of a whole who it almost seems destined to meet and fill the holes made by tragedy in each other. They filled the loneliness they each felt and because they both experienced deep guilt, they ‘got’ each other more than most people.

The writing is also so vivid.  I could actually feel the cold and freezing weather that Beckett felt when he was biking around the city.  I also experienced his anguish that because of his record, he couldn’t be there at a time when Zelda really needed him.  And I could feel on Zelda’s side, the influence he had on her novel and how, with his help and input, it was raised to a whole new level.  And as her novel was so much more to her, his thoughts also helped her heal in a way she didn’t they she would ever be able to.

This is a book that is going to stay with me and a book that I’m going to need to read again – and again – and again.  I also rectified the lack of Ms. Scott’s books and stocked up as soon as I finished this one.


Outline: 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.

Grade: 5 out of 5


No comments: