published: 23rd July 2020
Lily Rose is used to people paying attention to her gorgeous twin sister, Daisy. But even though Lily loves her own fat body, she can’t shake the idea that no one would ever choose her over Daisy – not when they could have the thin twin.
That is, until she meets Cal, the gorgeous, sweet guy from New Zealand who can’t seem to stay away. The gorgeous, sweet guy who also happens to be Daisy’s summer crush. Lily can’t seem to figure out why she isn’t as into him as she should be. She should be head-over-heels in love, not missing time at the ice-cream shack with her life-long best friend, Cassie. Not wondering what Cassie is getting up to with Cal’s friend Jack, or what she’s thinking about when they’re alone . . .
With university threatening to tear Cassie and Lily apart at the end of summer, trying to keep Cal a secret from Daisy and a growing right-wing threat disturbing the usual quiet of their pleasant seaside town, Lily’s summer is set to be far from relaxing.
Melt My Heart is a hilarious and inspiring coming-of-age YA novel from Bethany Rutter: influencer, editor and a fierce UK voice in the debate around body positivity.
Galley provided by publisher
CWs: biphobia & fatphobia (both challenged)
Melt My Heart was probably one of my most anticipated releases in 2020. You see, UKYA is easily still lagging behind the States when it comes to a push for diversity, so this was an exciting prospect. And this is not to say it’s not a good book – there were myriad things I enjoyed about it – but it is to say that I, perhaps, did not enjoy it so much as I expected to.
The novel follows Lily Rose during the summer following her A-levels, as she waits for results and decides what she does (or does not) want to do with her life. In this time, she meets a boy who she likes, gets into some frank discussions with her twin sister, and realises she’s in love with her best friend.
I think what I liked about this book the most was the main character. Her arc throughout the book is great and one that I think you can easily sympathise with. It’s also a different viewpoint on the question of going to university than a lot of books (which, I think, is always welcome). And it shows that, if you make a decision you are later not comfortable with, you do not have to force yourself through it.
The second best thing about this book is the way in which Lily Rose comes to realise she is in love with her best friend. It’s one of those ones where you, the reader, can see it coming, you know she is in love, but she is oblivious to it. But when she finally realises? It’s beautiful.
Perhaps the only thing I liked less about this book is that the romance does feel a little bland, for want of a better word. I don’t quite know how to describe it, really. It was cute and everything, as you would expect from friends to lovers, but it was just somewhat dry. (I also read the main character as experiencing comphet with the male love interest to be honest. Though, I think that might just be another aspect of the romance(s) seeming a little bland really.)
So overall, this was a cute friends to lovers YA contemporary. It was just also a little…plain.