Published on 06/11/2014
Genres: Abuse, Dark, Love & Romance, Realistic FIction, Young Adult
Source: Net Galley
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?
Joey Riley is the resident bad boy, drugs alcohol and constantly finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Or so the rumours would have you believe. But behind the troubled teen facade, Joey holds a secret, his family behind closed doors is the epitome of violence and abuse. His father makes a living of serving and protecting, but he staggers in each day smelling of whiskey and brandishing a gun to keep his family compliant. He lives his life in fear and without hope of rehabilitation. After all, they say you are your father’s son.
Dorothy is the quintessential good girl. Beautiful, wealthy and with two loving parents that care deeply for their daughter’s welfare and success. But moving from New York seems to have it’s advantages when she meets Joey, ignoring the stern warning from her only friend. Dorothy has never had a boyfriend, and despite their differences she and Joey fall into an easy and tentative relationship. But no matter how much she reassures him, Joey feels as though he’ll never be good enough for the girl who lives in her castle beyond her ivory gates. With Dorothy by his side, Joey begins to hope for more. A future where he isn’t afraid to be himself, to speak up or be more than just a town rumour.
But when his past and future collide, Joey will do anything to protect Dorothy. Including giving up hope. Maybe, just maybe he isn’t worthy of her after all.
Melt was a difficult book to review as it wasn’t at all what I expected. The synopsis stated that it was set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz, and apart from her namesake, that’s where it felt the similarities ended. The story is told in dual points of view, Dorothy and Joey, who are essentially polar opposites and cosmetically generic characters. She’s attracted to the bad boy, and he’s smitten with the new girl in town.
We didn’t speak, and yet we were communicating. Getting to know one another, without words. When you think about it, words don’t count for much anyway
Yes. Yes they do.
The entire premise of Melt is boy meets girl, but unlike the majority of young adult teen romances, melt covers brutal domestic violence. Joey is from an incredibly broken and and violent family. His father is an abusive alcoholic who greets the mother of his children each night with a pistol to her head in some sick game of power. Joey watches on, and even at seventeen, feels powerless against his father who is a well respected member of the police force. His father is frightening and not a typical character we see in young adult. He’s the looming dark presence in Joey’s life and the reason he himself has turned to substance abuse in the past. It was confronting and very raw, but author Selene Castrovilla handled the situation with incredible sensitivity and realism. It’s not for the faint of heart, and I think may upset readers who have been the victim of abuse or violence at the hands of a partner or family member.
Dorothy is the opposite. She is the typical wealthy white girl, who’s only pressure is that of pleasing her parents. Her parents are incredibly driven and expect her to excel academically, above all else. Although she doesn’t know about the abuse that Joey experiences at the hands of his father, she constant whinging was irritating. if the only issues you have is that your parents push you to excellence and don’t like your bad boy boyfriend, personally, you’re better off than most people. I wonder if that’s what is meant by ‘typical white girl problems’. No finger pointing, I can say that, I’m a typical white girl myself.
But where the storyline branches out is seeing Joey take on the role of the self conscious and self deprecating partner in the tender relationship, a role usually created for female characters in young adult. I enjoyed reading the role reversal, the majority of authors tend to create strong male characters when even ‘broken’, border on being testosterone charged thugs.
I felt as though both characters were only skin deep, but not sue to the lack of character development, but more so the length of the novel. I would have loved to have seen this one stretched out a little more. Fans of new adult will enjoy this one with the drama and intensity of their relationship.