Signs of Life by Selene Castrovilla {Review + Giveaway}

SignsOfLife_coverTitle: Signs of Life
Series: Rough Romance #2
Author : Selene Castrovilla
Genre : Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date : June 21st 2016
Goodreads  | Amazon US  | Barnes & Noble |


The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by and now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself—even though she’s gone. Joey talks about what is happening in the present while Dorothy describes what happened before— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it is too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story, which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?


I’m not exactly sure how to even begin talking about this book.  You see, MELT (back when I read it) was one of the most heartbreaking, most hopeful stories I’d read up until then.  And that was two years ago.  I’ve read so much more since then but after reading Signs Of Life, I’ve realised that Joey and Dorothy will probably always hold a special place in my heart.

Signs of Life picks up in the same same first person dual POV we saw in MELT.  Dorothy’s voice is now in verse, heartbreaking and hurtful, picking up exactly where we dropped off in MELT.  Joey’s voice—while still obviously healing—narrates the present, an ominous voice in the hollow life he now lives.  The way he speaks, the things he says, leads the reader to believe that something had happened—something big—and it’s clear that Joey is still reeling from it.  Of course, Dorothy’s POV is leading up to the big event and so there’s not too much time that the reader is kept in the dark.

Reading this book was painful.  Abuse and neglect and violence is reality; it happens and people live entire lives surrounded by it, but being confronted by it—if only by a book—was brutal.  Joey underwent a lot to get to the place he was in Signs Of Life but now that I’ve read the book entirely, I realise that he has a lot more to go through.  The book just constantly raised the question of how somethings were too broken to be mended, and for me that was the most challenging part.  I constantly oscillated between wanting Dorothy and Joey to be together and wanting them to stay far far away from each other for their own collective sakes.  It was tiring.  By the end of the book I was very, very emotionally exhausted, and I can hardly ever say that for a book.  Kudos to the writing that Selene Castrovilla has brought into this book because I dare you, reader, to escape this book without a tear-streaked face.  I dare you.

All this being said, I’m a bit disappointed.  After having read a masterpiece like MELT I was expecting more everything from Signs of Life.  Unfortunately, I felt like the first part of the book dragged, and the end was too rushed.  I didn’t get the time to deal with exactly what was happening to and with the characters, and that made me a bit frustrated.  If you are a type of reader that can deal with a slow beginning that spans almost 50% and can stick with characters until the end, then you’re obviously better than me.  But MELT and Signs of Life are beautiful books, without any doubt, I can definitely recommend this series to you regardless of your preferences in reading.




ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN One signed set of MELT and SIGN OF LIFE (US Only) and a $50 Gift Card to Amazon or Book Depository (International)

  • Contest is open to US only unless stated otherwise.
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SCastrovilla_2015 Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website:

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Tour Schedule:

June 20th – The Recipe Fairy

June 22nd – Dystopian Citzn

June 24th – Actin’ Up with Books

June 27th – Kidbits

June 29th – A Book and a Latte

July 2nd – The Quirky Reader

July 4th – Rhea’s Neon Journal

July 6th – Wandering Bark Books

July 8th – Worth Reading It?


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