Author: Selene Castrovilla
Series: Rough Romance, #1
Format: eARC, provided by
publishers via Netgalley.
My rating: 4.5 / 5
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?
-- As seen on Goodreads
Melt took me by completely by surprise! I love out of the box books like this – it becomes a reading experience rather than just a story. The first chapter throws you right into things, and really shows that it’s not going to be a light and fluffy read. Just to avoid confusion, this book is NOT a Wizard of Oz retelling. The only similarity I could see was the name of the main character (Dorothy), some quotes within the book, and a yellow brick road on the cover.
The story, and much of the plot, revolves around our two main characters, Dorothy and Joey. They meet by chance right at the beginning of the book in a diner, and personally, I don’t class this as an insta-love story. There was lots of insta-attraction (which is completely natural), but the progressing into love comes much, much later on. People are drawn to each other in real life without any apparent explanation, and I think this was captured really well here. I don’t want to say much about the story, as I think it’s best to go in without knowing a whole lot about it and just experience it first-hand.
The book is written in the first person, alternating between the main characters point-of-views. I loved the way the book was written, but in particular, I LOVED how Joey’s POV was handled. I thought it captured his fear, anxiety, intensity, worry and pain so well, and you could feel the tension radiating from the pages. I loved how so much was captured with so few words, and the verse-style formatting adds so much to the atmosphere. It did take me a couple of chapters to get used to the flow of the story, but once I did, I was completely hooked for the rest of the book.
In general, I liked all the characters, but Joey was by far my favourite. He’s had one hell of a rough life, and seeing his story unfold throughout the book was both heart-wrenching and breath-taking. I loved how his narration style added an entirely different layer to his personality. I loved being able to see his emotions shift just by watching the length of each line on the screen. I’ve never read anything like it before, and I LOVED it.
In complete contrast, I absolutely HATED Joey’s father’s guts! Oh my goodness, he is one vile person! He really is the epitome of a house devil and a street angel. While I absolutely hate his guts, he’s a very well portrayed character. He evoked so many different emotions from me, and most of them ranged from pure loathing to extreme rage.
I wasn’t expecting to become as invested with the outcome as I did. The ending was incredible, and I felt every single emotion the characters were going through. Once the book ended, I was left reeling and I still don’t know how to fully process it. I’m so glad to see that there is a sequel on the way, and I can’t wait to find out what happened after the final chapter!
*I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This didn't influence my opinion in any way.*