by Selene Castrovilla
Read: August 29, 2014
Published: November 6, 2014 by Last Syllable Books
Source: NetGalley (Thank you!)
Category: YA, contemporary, abuse, first love,
Book description: MELT is a brutal love story, set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz. Sixteen year old “good girl” Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park – where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts.) There, she meets Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? And then there’s his family's secret – about to be unleashed.
Told in dual first person, Joey's words are scattered on the page - reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason - until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?
MELT is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.
Melt is an emotional read that contains some powerful and heartbreaking themes, especially of child abuse and domestic violence. It is also based on a true story, which makes the story even more real. However, I felt like the author was in such a rush to get her story out and save her characters that I missed some of its impact. I wish she'd slowed down a bit and taken more time to build the story and let us get to know her characters better, especially in the way the romance developed. Dorothy and Joey's immediate connection and almost instant relationship went way too fast for me, affecting how well I connected to the story. I get insta-attraction. But for Dorothy and Joey to be drawn to each other from across a crowded Dunkin Donuts, the first time they laid eyes on each other, was hard for me to believe. As a result, it made the rest of the story a little unbelievable as well.
I really enjoyed Joey's stream of consciousness like narrative, and I felt like it fit the dire nature of his situation and how much he was falling a part because of it. However, I'm not sure why he used poor grammar in his inner monologue (like saying "he don't" instead of "he doesn't") when he spoke fine in Dorothy's POV. This book tries to make a comparison to The Wizard of Oz, but I didn't really get the connection. This is not a retelling, more it uses quotes and the idea of melting, but I honestly didn't think the Oz quotes added anything, and I'm not certain it works for a cover theme.
Despite all that, this story was compelling, and I read it in one sitting, which is a rare treat for me. I was rooting hard for these two to make it, and for Joey to survive all the mess life has thrown at him.
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone