Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Melt by Selene Castrovilla

Date read-May 16, 2014
Date published-November 6, 2014 

Dorothy is a new comer to Highland Park, where all the cool kids congregate Muchkinland (a.k.a. Dunkin Donuts). There, she meets Joey, the resident ‘bad boy’ who everyone fears and stays away from. But Dorothy is not deterred by his bad rep, for she sees a wounded person, from the pain of abuse and battling his own demons. Both have an instant connection and their love is not just tested by peer pressure, but of Joey’s home life and a devastating encounter threatens to tear them apart.
 The story is told through a dual perspective, with Joey’s voice as gritty and heartbreaking as anything I’ve ever read. There is a slight variation to “The Wizard of Oz”, but I hardly found any of it in the book. Dorothy’s sweetness balances out Joey’s sharp prose. Some of you might have heard about Selene’s other novels, including “Saved by the Music” and “The Girl Next Door”, a novel that is also heartbreaking. However, you take that novel and ratchet up a billion volts, and that’s enough to not only break hearts but haunt them as well. I re-read the novel twice, which I was not able to put down. The writing is a sucker punch to the very heart and maybe some readers might not have the heart to continue. That will serve as a challenge since the story itself will grip the reader until the last page.

 Selene Castrovilla is indeed a writer worth watching for (the blurb from Jacqueline Woodson on the cover). And “Melt” is a story that is worthy of comparison to Ellen Hopkins. I cannot highly recommend this novel enough.