In MELT by Selene Castrovilla, sixteen-year-old “good girl” Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park, where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts). Smart, perceptive and sensitive, she’s bored by her cliquey classmates. Then, she meets Joey, a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Joey numbs himself with a combination of drugs and alcohol, terrified of letting his secrets out or anyone else in. But everything changes when he meets Dorothy. For the first time, she makes him feel. Can their love survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his devastating family secret? MELT is written in dual first person, with Joey's words scattered on the page to reflect his broken state, and Dorothy’s orderly thoughts acting as the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip.
Oh, goodness, this book was beautiful!
In the beginning, I wasn't entirely sure about it, and
this was a little hard to read, but I'm glad I didn't give up!
Dorothy was amazing. She knew Joey's history, she knew what everyone said about him, but somehow, she saw through all that. I loved Joey, too. His story is heartbreaking and I want to kill a certain person who made his life a misery. The conflict and the climax were fantastic, too, the have-you-at-the-edge-of-your-seat gripping type.
There were probably dozens of metaphors in this book I missed, but I'm the type of person who flies over that stuff and gets into the plot and characters (both of which were fantastic).
The ending was written in perfection. It wasn't ideal, it wasn't exactly happy, but it was exquisite.
Who do I recommend this for?
This book is YA realistic fiction, dealing with serious social issues in the metaphorical background of The Wizard of Oz. I'm warning you not to dive into this book expecting a light, fluffy story with an Emerald City. This is a beautiful tale of hardship and hope, and you should try it out!
Thanks to Netgalley for a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.