Melt by Selene Castrovilla
Expected Publication: November 6th 2014
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
Raw. Gritty. Painful. Heartbreaking.
Melt is a beautifully written story about two teenagers, Joey and Dorothy, with painful pasts and horrible presents and no hope for a pleasant future. Although set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz, it deals with the very, very real issue of abuse and neglect that teens today face, all over the world.
Joey has a bad reputation and we meet him quite early in the book. His inner voice is painful to read in some places and absolutely heartbreaking in others. The fact that it’s written in broken, verse form makes it all too real. He’s had a tough childhood and that shows in the way that his hurt is all too tangible around him.
Joey forms an almost immediate connect with Dorothy, the one girl that doesn’t judge him based on physical attributes and the rumors that go around about him. With her, he finds a kind of peace he’s never experienced; the kind that lulls him into a sense of security.
Dorothy’s influence on Joey is astounding—the way she can calm him down when he’s angry, the fact that her very presence is some sort of morphine to him. It’s amazing to read but I just ended up feeling terrible. His life turns to hell after she’s gone.
Dorothy’s life isn’t picture perfect too. While her family maintains an outer façade, she’s just as unwilling to leave Joey’s presence and go back home as he is.
There are these books, sometimes, that make you realize that there is a lot more malice in the world than you know and that not everything is as it seems. I’ve tried so hard to protect myself, to forget what I read in Melt, but it’s so, so difficult to ignore.
About 60% into the book, you realize how bad the condition is in Joey’s house. There were so many things that I thought he could have done to escape the situation he was in, but it all comes down to this: sometimes you’re in a really shitty situation in life and you don’t know any better. Joey didn’t know any better. And while I feel sorry for him, what hurts my heart more was that he’s based on a real person and I hope that this real guy—whoever and wherever he is—has found peace.
Joey and Dorothy have a beautiful relationship and I absolutely adored them both when they were together. It was wonderful to witness the coming together of two battered souls and every time they did, they healed a little more.
It was only fitting that Dorothy stopped him from doing something that had the potential of ruining his life.
The end—while not a surprise—was very painful to witness. Although it was technically a happy ending, I’d categorize it as more of a hopeful ending.
Exceptionally realistic and touching, Melt is a kind of book that will stay with me for a long time.
As long as you don’t take this for a literal Wizard of Oz retelling and remember to keep an open mind, this book has the power to shake you.
One winner will receive a signed ARC of MELT and $25 Amazon or B&N gift card (US/CA only).
Three winners will receive an ebook copy (international).
About the Author:
Selene Castrovilla is an award-winning teen and children’s author who believes that through all trends, humanity remains at the core of literature. She is the author of Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door, teen novels originally published by WestSide Books and now available digitally through ASD Publishing. Her third children’s book with Calkins Creek Books, Revolutionary Friends, was released in April 2013. She is also a contributing author to UncommonYA. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons. Visit her website www.SeleneCastrovilla.com for book excerpts and more information!
*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review*