MELT is a brutal love story, set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz. Sixteen year old “good girl” Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park – where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts.) There, she meets 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? And then there’s his family’s secret – about to be unleashed.
Miss Riki’s Review
Wow. The first word that comes to mind after reading this book is- powerful. That’s closely followed by gritty, honest, and real.
From page one we are introduced to Joey, written in a fractured prose that reflects his painful reality. He’s not a perfect guy by any means, as he copes with a painful home life with alcohol and fighting, but he’s honest and his story is heartbreaking. Despite his tough exterior, there’s a sweetness to his demeanor that Dorothy sees from the beginning. Dorothy comes from a life of privilege, yet she never comes across as entitled. There’s a wonderful sort of star-crossed lovers vibe to their story that really resonated with me. The dual POV with Joey’s scattered prose and Dorothy’s more straightforward voice of reason was brilliantly done.
The novel is set against the backdrop of Wizard of Oz, but is not a retelling in any way. The connections to the beloved classic are more metaphorical and thematic, but they help to shape the story.
Melt touches on some pretty mature topics, including alcoholism, abuse, and sex, but it treats them with the utmost of care. The narrative is compelling and dramatic, with deftly portrayed, flawed characters that readers will relate to. Their emotions are raw and their love for one another is undeniable. Selene Castrovilla has written a dark but rich portrayal of brokenness and hope.