Melt by Selene Castronova: Review


This review was originally published on 1/5/15.

*I was given an ARC of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

So I must admit, when going through my galley site (NetGalley) I very seldom read an entire description before clicking the “request” button. I love such a vast and varied selection of stories that I nine times out of ten genuinely enjoy reading whatever it is that I’m approved and graced with reading. Melt had very intriguing cover art. After becoming slightly obsessed in high school with abandoned theme parks, castles, and other odd places I spent an entire evening with my best friend, Amy, looking at the most creepy pictures of an abandoned theme park based ENTIRELY on The Wizard of Oz. The theatre geek in me freaked, and I’ve often thought that I would like to visit the perpetually eerie state of the park. (You can read all about it and see pictures HERE and HERE)

So when I made the connection between the cracked and decayed yellow brick road of the park with the cover art, I knew I HAD to get my hands on Melt. About a year ago I purchased and read Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige and genuinely enjoyed the visit back to the land of Oz after Dorothy went back to Kansas. The take on a retelling/revisiting of one of my favorite stories with the fast paced thrill, murder, and excellent writing had me instantly hooked. I’ve since had multiple students fall just as in love with DMD as I did, and I was sincerely hoping that Melt would differentiate from this already well done title.

I was immediately in love with the fact that right off the bat, as a reader, I knew that this book was not going to be in any way a retelling of my childhood favorite. Differentiations in point of view make me oh-so-happy. I adore seeing the shifts in vision and interpretations that swapping characters provides, and after reading Melt it obviously could not have been told any other way. The “insta-love” was something that I did not enjoy at first. Honestly dreading the fact that I had a nagging feeling of “boy meets girl there’s the story” and wanting to abandon the book for predictability alone. Then, right as I’m about to put the ARC down—I kind of fell in love with Joey. His story alone is reason enough to read this book when it hits shelves. Abuse, emotional turmoil, and the fact that in the beginning Joey’s chapters were written in verse spoke to my heart. The ending, was possibly the most anticlimactic ending to a story I’ve read since…well…ever. I was left with so many questions, so much heartache for Joey and Dorothy, but above all I was left with disappointment. I really starting resonating with the characters, and they deserved a better ending.

I’m giving this one 2/5 and here’s why….


  • Dual POV throughout the story.
  • Joey being so adorable and wonderful.
  • Feeling somewhat haunted after reading. I’d find myself putting the book down and an hour later returning to my kindle to re-read and analyze several times!
  • Joey having some chapters in verse.
  • This, “We didn’t speak, and yet we were communicating. Getting to know each other, without words. When you think about it, words don’t count for much anyway. It’s the intentions behind them that count.”

Not so into:

  • Dorothy’s story line aside from Joey. He was her most redeeming quality.
  • The fact that Joey’s verse chapters just ended, they
  • Weird snippets of The Wizard of Oz that were inserted into the story. Sometimes they clicked, other times they made absolutely NO sense.

Definitely a book for more mature YA readers in my classroom, handling domestic violence and households that are haunting in a horrid way–be sure to hand this one off to someone who can handle the heavy stuff!



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