Dorothy and Joey are back in book two of Selene Castrovilla's epic YA series, Rough Romance, and I couldn't be happier to reconnect with these characters. For our tour stop we are sharing my review and there is a tour-wide giveaway to enter. Have a great day!
SIGNS OF LIFE (Rough Romance #2) by Selene Castrovilla
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Expected Publication: June 21, 2016The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by and now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself—even though she’s gone. Joey talks about what is happening in the present while Dorothy describes what happened before— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it is too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story, which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?
Can love conquer all? That is one of the most timeless questions we see posed in many works of art from books to movies and more. Author Selene Castrovilla poses this question in the second book of her Rough Romance series, Signs of Life. In book one, Melt, readers met Dorothy and Joey. She has the traditional life-good family, normal upbringing, she's a good girl. Joey is the opposite-hard life, abusive father, he's quick tempered and labeled problematic, the typical 'bad boy.' When they meet, something happens between them and their story takes off. I loved the book.
When I read such an emotional and raw novel like Melt, I wonder if the author can repeat that volatile magic again and I am stoked to say Castrovilla has. Signs of Life has that same need to read as quickly as possible, the story simply hooks you with the incredibly strong voices of its narrators and the regular world falls to the wayside. Teens today have so much to deal with and the violence and abuse addressed in both books isn't candy coated. It is real. It is raw. And it is honest. The beauty of today's YA books--besides the tremendous volume of titles available to readers--the quality of subject matter is staggering. I hope this trend continues and includes even more diverse voices as well.
Signs of Life tackles tough issues many teens face today. I enjoyed how the author showed us what is going on in the present with Joey, now the strong one, and how Dorothy is stuck in what happened in the past. The juxtaposition makes for gripping reading and once again, their voices are unbelievably strong and authentic. I will admit here that Selene Castrovilla was the first author I ever contacted on Facebook to thank for writing a beautiful book. The book which touched me was Saved By The Music, a lovely, powerful story about love and acceptance with music. The novel reduced me to an emotional mess and left me amazed.
This author should be famous. Her books should be best sellers and taught in schools so teens can be exposed to other types of reading besides classics (or exposed to classics of tomorrow) and writers can see what a masterful and talented author can achieve with mere words on a page. So many times I equate my reading experience with riding a rollercoaster and that analogy is again evident when reading this series. The push and pull, the languid pace and the instant rush shaking the reader into turning each page quickly, THAT is what one goes through as we witness Dorothy and Joey's ongoing story. I can only imagine what the third book will put me through and I can hardly wait.
Cover comment: I heart these covers so much! The art perfectly reflects the mood of each book. The paint on the road with the jagged section symbolizes the journey the main characters endure. The hill, the lone tree in the distance, even the storm clouds brewing are all indicative of what is to come. The somberness of the scene, the nakedness of the land, and the burst of sunlight remind me of this book's couple and the journey which must be made.
Book source: I received a promotional copy in exchange for my brutally honest review.
MELT (Rough Romance #1) | Publication: November 6, 2014
Based on true events, MELT is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. MELT will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.
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?
Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website: www.SeleneCastrovilla.com.
There is a tour-wide giveaway of one (1) $25 Gift Card to Amazon OR Book Depository. Open INTL.