Review: Melt by Selene Castrovilla

Posted December 3, 2014 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Melt by Selene CastrovillaMelt by Selene Castrovilla
Series: Rough Romance #1
Published by Last Syllable Books on 2014-11-06
Length: 280 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley

Based on true events, MELT is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. MELT will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.

MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for 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?

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?

My immediate reaction after reading this book: 

Seriously, like what the heck did I just read?!

Melt by Selene Castrovilla is a haunting, gruesome tale of abuse and first love set to the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy is the new girl in town, her parents are psychologists, and she’s an all around good girl. Joey is the “bad kid” who on a daily basis watches his dad physically and emotionally abuse his mom. When they meet, it’s like insta-love, but everything is working against them. Abusive dad, psychologist parents, Joey’s reputation…just to name a few.

So you know the expression about the train wreck? Yeah, you do. Well that’s this book. It’s like a train wreck and I just can’t look away. I had to keep reading. I struggled through it. Thankfully it’s short and I was able to finish it in one sitting because I’m not sure I could have handled the suspense or the insta-love, teenage angst much longer.

Dorothy is your all-around good girl, nice to everyone. When she meets Joey for the first time, there’s just something that draws her to him. It couldn’t be the bad boy vibe that he’s got sitting in the corner with all the others, could it? 🙄

Joey is your run of the mill bad boy, except he isn’t. He has a dad who literally comes home either already drunk or becomes drunk and beats up his mom in front of him every day. So he acts out, gets in trouble with the law, drinks and smokes, does all the things he shouldn’t be doing because that’s all he knows. He just wants an escape and he finds it in Dorothy. The problem, he tells Dorothy none of this…

The writing is superb. The dual perspective going back and forth between Dorothy and Joey took a bit of getting use to because the author writes in a conversational tone, but I felt this added to the story rather than distracted from it. There is intense drama and suspense when told from Joey’s perspective as we see through his eyes what happens at home. The author conveys the anxious and helpless feelings without the character having to state how he feels. However the insta-love connection between Joey and Dorothy I just wasn’t feeling. I felt like it was forced rather than developed naturally. She was his lifeline in a sense. Not a very healthy relationship at all!

Overall, the story was just okay for me. It was intense, graphic in the abuse scenes, and the characters (at least Dorothy) fell flat for me. I applaud the author for shining a light on abuse and its effects on home life. It was realistic and brought home the reality that not all “bad boys” are truly bad. The writing is what hooked me to the story itself, not the characters or even the plot. Like I stated earlier, it was a train wreck that I had to finish to see what happened. And the ending…

Yeah I have no words for it. It just ends…no closure…no explanations…no anything. Honestly, this isn’t a book I would recommend to people. I like to read feel good books or books that take me away from real life. This book…it just made me want to scream and cry and throw things. However, I know not everyone reads like I do 😉 If you enjoy contemporary, young adult literature that deals with social issues, give it a go. If you do, come back and tell me what you think.

About Selene Castrovilla

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 the contemporary YA novel Melt , a brutal love story based on true events. She is also 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, has received numerous accolades. She is also a contributing author to - a collaborative author blog. 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 for book excerpts and more information, and like her author page on Facebook for daily quotes and inspirations!

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