When straight-laced 16-year-old Dorothy meets rough-edged 17-year-old Joey at a Dunkin’ Donuts in her new home of Highland Park, her friend Amy warns her to keep her distance. But she can’t ignore the fact that she and Joey are drawn to each other. She’s a stereotypical “good girl”; her parents, both successful professionals, regularly quiz her on her whereabouts and watch for truancy. Joey, on the other hand, is a quintessential lost soul: a paradoxical, convoluted figure whose violent past has left him with literal scars. He’s also physically intimidating, with a reputation to match, but it’s a façade that masks his sensitive, traumatized interior. Joey’s father, a police officer who beats his family, is another obstacle to his happiness, and as Dorothy does her utmost to save Joey from a life of alcoholism and nihilism, his father stands in the way, a perpetual source of danger. Joey and Dorothy must find their way as they struggle with doubt and fear for their lives. The story is told from Joey’s and Dorothy’s first-person points of view, alternating between snappy prose and jagged, sharp-edged poetry that evokes the terror of violence and the ecstasy of infatuation. The author sugarcoats nothing in this tale of adolescence and anxiety, nor does she paint its characters with a broad brush. Dorothy and Joey’s plight is both an inner and an outer struggle, a reckoning with a cold world, and a psychological drama about the stakes of truth-telling that ends with a gratifying act of mercy.
A fresh, emotionally complex bildungsroman of young American love that looks long and hard at violence, and at what can overcome it. — Kirkus Review
- (Rough Romance #1)
- Age: Young Adult
- Publisher: Last Syllable Books
- Release Date: 11/06/2014
- Number of Pages: 328
- ISBN-10: 0991626109
- ISBN-13: 978-0991626109
- Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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?
MELT is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.