Melt (The Rough Romance Trilogy)

Selene Castrovilla
Set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz, this tale is both a chilling story of abuse and a timeless romance. 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 secret which is about to be unleashed. 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? Drawing from true events, this brutal love story will hit like a punch in the face and is sure to reach into the soul of every reader.


Reviewed: 2017-06-13

** spoiler alert ** Shallow teenagers are shallow.

Dorothy is a clean-cut, well-to-do teen from The City who has just moved to The Burbs. Joey is from a family that looks decent from the outside, but bad things happen behind closed doors. When they meet, it is pure physical attraction. He is buff, but has a bad reputation for drinking and brawling. She is beautiful like a porcelain doll.

This book is pure fantasy. Dorothy literally says she wants to change Joey and make him better. Joey literally says he never wants Dorothy to change, and he's afraid he'll break her. And guess what? Joey changes! But it happens so quickly and without comment from Joey's POV that it seems magically unrealistic.

The descriptions of the domestic abuse are brutal and tough to read -- they seem so random and gratuitous, which may be true of an abusive household, but I suppose one can't know unless one has suffered through something.

Suffering, sex, angst, lust. There aren't really any scenes where Joey and Dorothy express true joy at anything. They never joke around or make each other laugh and feel good (except sexy good). They almost have a scene of pure joy when they visit the Monet Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but they mess it up by turning it into a makeout session.

Joey's POV is expressed in a sort of disjointed stream-of-consciousness fashion, which is actually quite effective at showing his pain and reluctance to be open with anyone, and for that I have added one star.

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@aemostrom completed #melttheroughroma... on 2017-05-16
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