Book Review: Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter

‘Melt My Heart’ is a young adult coming of age story by Bethany Rutter. It was published in 2020 and follows the story of Lily Rose, an eighteen year old girl striving to try something new every day in anticipation of leaving for university in September, miles away from her twin sister, Daisy.

Lily is a positive, creative, fat girl who works in an ice cream parlour with her best friend Cassie, who she met at their local college. The girls are inseparable but as the summer begins, so do new adventures in love, in the form of Cal, a gorgeous boy from New Zealand that works at the cinema, and also happens to be Daisy’s crush! Oops!

The story is personable and relatable, with a strong character voice. I loved being in Lily’s head as she made her way through the world. The mistakes she makes and how she chooses to handle them make her very three dimensional and compelling. I found myself feeling almost protective of her as she found made her way through what feels like a minefield of problems within such a short space of time.

I really enjoyed this book, primarily due to the positive outlook about fat bodies. I loved that despite feeling insecure at times, the overarching feelings that came from both Lily and Cassie as they encountered fatphobia was overwhelming love for themselves and their bodies, without feeling an obligation to force changes they didn’t need. My particular favourite moment was when, during the summer scorcher, they finish their shift at the ice cream parlour and proceed to go swimming in their underwear! It is such an impromptu and fun thing to do, a great way to show girls having fun regardless of their size and that wearing a bra and underwear isn’t much different to a bikini whether you’re a size six, sixteen or twenty six!

I absolutely adored this book and allowed the fast paced whirlwind of a summer, of that summer, when you feel like you’re waiting for the drop of a rollercoaster to come, to know what path your life will take and how much pressure you feel, to consume me. I cannot recommend this book enough, it’s an easy, engaging read that contains the melodrama of an eighteen year old catostophising everything – just as it should!

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