Book Review: Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter

“My name is Lily Rose and I don’t really know who I am, but I know I’m not a runner.

And anyway, there are other, less humiliating ways to push me out of my comfort zone”

I absolutely love Bethany’s writing. Her stories are so real, complex and brilliant and I cannot get enough of them. Melt My Heart has gorgeous, summery vibes and there’s not a face mask or a sniff of social distancing in sight – I’m pretty jealous to be honest.

It follows Lily Rose as she is preparing to go to university. She’s starting to have some serious doubts about her choices, and determines to try something new every day to ease her into the changes that are coming. She starts with running, which doesn’t go so well, but other choices that take her out of her comfort zone and open her to new experiences work much better. I enjoyed seeing what new things Lily would try. I loved seeing her working out who she is as a person in her own right.

Cal, a guy she meets at the pub, is one of the new things Lily tries: a boyfriend. The romance in this book is brilliant. I don’t want to say too much about it because * spoilers * but it is everything and it warmed the cockles of my little frozen heart. Cal is such a canny bloke, I adore him. He’s kind, open, so chilled out about everything, and looks after Lily even when she’s being a drunk mess – I have a lot of time for Cal. Lily has to work through a lot of feelings about herself and those around her whilst she is with Cal, which is one of my favourite bits of the story.

For so much of her life she has been compared to her twin sister Daisy. Daisy knows who she is and what she wants. Daisy is the skinny twin, whilst Lily is fat. Lily is happy with her body, and I love how Bethany writes about this, but however happy she is with herself, she’s aware of what others around her think of her body and they often have a lot to say about it, her sister included. Daisy talks a lot about food, eating and body image, and it’s something Lily finds quite hurtful. It’s one of many things driving a wedge between the two, especially when it leads to Daisy thinking she is the prettier and more desirable twin, but Lily is the one who gets a boyfriend. The strain in this sibling relationship was one of the most interesting things about the book for me. I loved seeing how they navigated their differences and how they managed the fact they are both changing and growing apart. As we are inside Lily’s head, it is a while before we hear Daisy’s side of the situation, and when we do, it definitely made me look back on the earlier parts of their story differently.

The other big relationship in Lily’s life is her best friend Cassie. They have such a great friendship; they support each other, they lift each other up, it’s just gorgeous (it made me miss my friends a lot). They’re pretty much each other’s only friend and they spend all their time together, working in an ice cream van (Cassie’s family business) which sounds like a great summer job, going to the pub, visiting the beach. Cassie helps Lily to think of new things to try and encourages her to try new things. Things are a bit awkward but Lily puts that down to her leaving imminently and Cassie staying behind. There’s more to it than Lily leaving, and I am obsessed with it.

Lily at the end of the book is so different to Lily at the start, and I loved seeing how she developed and grew as she learned more about herself and those around her.

This is such an awesome book, and definitely one to read if you want a great story and a joy filled, summery read.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter

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  1. I read this as part of the huge stack I needed to read for work at the end of last year. I’m not really a contemporary fan but I could see how good it was if you are if that makes sense?! Like it’s definitely one I’ll be recommending to people in work and I totally agree about Cal!

    Liked by 1 person

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