And then there’s the romance… on the one hand, I commend it for communicating the coming-of-age nature of the story and Lily’s own journey to discover her sexuality, on the other hand though, this again felt very underdeveloped. Cal and Cassie were literally saints who never did anything wrong, and Lily’s feelings for Cassie came out of nowhere – it would have been better had the author been hinting throughout, but their relationship feels like two different things in the first half compared with the second.
Going in to this, I was hoping for a quick, fun, summery read, and while I do think it had those characteristics, I ended up feeling quite underwhelmed. As a protagonist Lily felt plausible and the conversations around body image would be brilliant in the hands of someone struggling with their own body, however that’s where I feel like this book’s accomplishments end.
I think what it boils down to is that Melt My Heart was just an incredibly bland book; the author made an attempt to discuss issues such as fat phobia and racism head-on and while I do think the book is empowering with regard to body image, everything else felt very superficial and two-dimensional. Throughout, Lily noticed xenophobic posters being put up in her town, but despite wanting to do something about it, we never really get an explanation as to where they came from or what it could mean for the town and therefore the issue is never really hashed out or resolved.
Title: Melt My Heart
Author: Bethany Rutter
TW: Homophobia, Fat Phobia, Racism, Xenophobia, Infidelity
“One summer to get my head around all the ways my life is going to change.”