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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 happe 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.


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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 happe 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.

30 review for Melt My Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: bi mc, Black wlw li, side mlm characters CWs: biphobia & fatphobia (both challenged) Galley provided by publisher 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. On my blog. Rep: bi mc, Black wlw li, side mlm characters CWs: biphobia & fatphobia (both challenged) Galley provided by publisher 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alice Slater

    How can a book be both extremely cosy and also extremely the perfect holiday read? I loved this book, full of hot summer days and melting ice creams and romantic adventures and frosty pints. It’s like the first mouthful of a can of ice-cold coke. Cooling aloe on a sunburn. A dip in the sea on a baking hot day. Refreshing and delightful, full of small pleasures and big decisions, teen activism and fat girls and blossoming bisexuality. I LOVED IT.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Hephzibah

    The fat rep! The bi rep! The cover! I really enjoyed this book and I loved to read about a character like me (fat and bi and unsure about the world). I especially loved the conversation between Lily and Daisy, when Lily pointed out how fatphobic her sister's little comments are. If only more straight size people understood how harmful their little remarks can be! The fat rep! The bi rep! The cover! I really enjoyed this book and I loved to read about a character like me (fat and bi and unsure about the world). I especially loved the conversation between Lily and Daisy, when Lily pointed out how fatphobic her sister's little comments are. If only more straight size people understood how harmful their little remarks can be!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    My bloody god this is CUTE AF. This is full of light, love and sheer lushness. Lily is a glorious character and to be honest there’s a lot of me in her. I love the messages of body positivity, family and friendship in this. I just wanna hug them all so much. Cal is a GEM of a human and I’m so glad that Lily had him! God. I definitely want more from these... and now I want ice cream!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    It may only be August, but this is my book of the year. Heart warming, it made me laugh and cry and feel so much. I loved it and I know it’ll be a book I re-read many times.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Watkins

    I just want every homophobic, fatphobic, racist asshole to read this and then defend their views

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emmie Rose

    I was scared going into this book as I loved No Big Deal so much but honestly Bethany Rutter has done it again. Melt My Heart is an adorable coming of age story that is perfect for YA readers. It didn’t take long for me to love Lily Rose and how in love she is with her body. What I loved the most is that she’s unapologetically human and she has her own flaws. She’s struggling with the idea of going to university, leaving her best friend behind and the feeling that she will never be on the same le I was scared going into this book as I loved No Big Deal so much but honestly Bethany Rutter has done it again. Melt My Heart is an adorable coming of age story that is perfect for YA readers. It didn’t take long for me to love Lily Rose and how in love she is with her body. What I loved the most is that she’s unapologetically human and she has her own flaws. She’s struggling with the idea of going to university, leaving her best friend behind and the feeling that she will never be on the same level as her twin sister Daisy. Lily makes mistakes in this book and she is rightfully called out for them which helped her grow as a character. I found myself absolutely loving her friendship with Carrie and how creative she was! She had Lily’s back and helped her feel more comfortable in her own skin. Carrie is the best friend we all deserve. I also really liked Cal’s character and honestly, he was adorable and one of the most genuine male characters I’ve seen in YA for a while. The family dynamic was a big focus in this book and I loved how even when Lily and Daisy aren’t getting along they come together to support their mother, who is hands down one of the best characters in this book! Daisy and Lily are both trying to come to terms with the fact that they’ll be separated whilst also wanting to be their own person. I could sit here for hours telling you about this book but I want you to read this for yourself. I want you to follow Lily on her journey of balancing her summer, her fears for the future and her life in general. This book is so much more than about Lily’s weight. Melt My Heart is a story about family, friendship, coming to terms with who you are as a person and loving yourself no matter what. This is a book about body positivity that everyone needs to read! Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    SJ

    Do you know how nice it is to read a book with a fat protagonist? Do you know how nice it is to read a book with a fat protagonist who is happy with how they look and doesn't spend the entire book talking about their weight? (I'm looking at you Bridget Jones). Normalise fat bodies, normalise queer fat bodies and normalise all the ways that humans can exist and not just by measuring how they look 🙌 Melt My Heart is a gentle, fun, enjoyable summer read - a perfect bit of escapism in these (say it w Do you know how nice it is to read a book with a fat protagonist? Do you know how nice it is to read a book with a fat protagonist who is happy with how they look and doesn't spend the entire book talking about their weight? (I'm looking at you Bridget Jones). Normalise fat bodies, normalise queer fat bodies and normalise all the ways that humans can exist and not just by measuring how they look 🙌 Melt My Heart is a gentle, fun, enjoyable summer read - a perfect bit of escapism in these (say it with me) unprecedented times. I grew up in a seaside town and it felt reminiscent of my teenage years; I really related to Lily's anxiety about going away to university and feeling like she was making a big mistake. If you're looking for that perfect beach read, Melt My Heart is a great choice. And if you race through this and need more, Bethany's debut novel No Big Deal is also fantastic 👍

  9. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: alcohol abuse, fatphobia, fat shaming, homophobia, cheating. Well this was fucking adorable. I literally read it cover to cover in a couple of hours while watching Die Hard and I have zero regrets. Lily is a delightful character and I loved that this features a protagonist who's realising that going straight from high school to university isn't something she's ready for. It's a quiet story about realising who you are and what's important to you, and being comfortable with yours Trigger warnings: alcohol abuse, fatphobia, fat shaming, homophobia, cheating. Well this was fucking adorable. I literally read it cover to cover in a couple of hours while watching Die Hard and I have zero regrets. Lily is a delightful character and I loved that this features a protagonist who's realising that going straight from high school to university isn't something she's ready for. It's a quiet story about realising who you are and what's important to you, and being comfortable with yourself. And I loved it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)

    A fun YA read and I loved the fact it was partly about body positivity, so nice to see this being supported and included so much more especially in books for YA readers. I loved Lily, she was a great main character and I loved how she struggled when th her conundrum, worrying about and trying to maintain her relationships with everyone , it’s such a fun read but with lots of heart too. Fabulous read. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rae

    Maybe I was spoilt by reading No Big Deal first and how absolutely marvellous that was (still has a place on my top 10 list). But this one just seemed so flat in comparison! I loved that there was plus size appreciation, and that us chunky ladies can still rock people’s worlds, but I felt that there was so much missing here! I need a while to convey my thoughts...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Elaina

    I have complicated feelings about this book. On one hand the fat representation was excellent but on the other I really didn’t enjoy the story. I found myself getting easily distracted and bored while reading which I’m really sad about since I inhale read Rutter’s No Big Deal. The characters weren’t as fleshed out as I’d hoped. I feel as though a certain kind of reader that enjoys dipping their toes into a slice of life kind of story will enjoy this; but I wanted more development and by the end I have complicated feelings about this book. On one hand the fat representation was excellent but on the other I really didn’t enjoy the story. I found myself getting easily distracted and bored while reading which I’m really sad about since I inhale read Rutter’s No Big Deal. The characters weren’t as fleshed out as I’d hoped. I feel as though a certain kind of reader that enjoys dipping their toes into a slice of life kind of story will enjoy this; but I wanted more development and by the end I just felt like I still didn’t really know the main character. Nothing as such happened plot wise it was really just character centred and because I didn’t love the characters that made it hard for me to love this. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it, I think it’s a nice read especially for someone questioning their sexuality or if you’re in the transition period of your life after high school. I just didn’t gel well with it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I adored this book! Lovely queer representation and a really loveable cast of characters. It’s also a quietly political book which I didn’t expect but really appreciated. I can see myself re-reading this as a comfort read in future.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cooper

    adorable, summery, unputdownable delight that i got through so quickly! lots of ice cream and sea and cute houses and nice clothes. great fat representation ofc and i would highly highly recommend it for fat (and thin) teenage girls

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samantha-Louise

    I finished Melt My Heart after spending the last day of school on the Common like a teenager and this has all the ingredients of a modern British YA novel: a cute seaside setting, sibling love, female friendships, summer romance, artists, fashionistas, results day anxieties, anti-racism and a supportive mum. Lily is a confident fat protagonist who challenges her sister's careless comments and "well-meaning" assertion, "I don't see you as fat" which is incredibly empowering! The love story here is I finished Melt My Heart after spending the last day of school on the Common like a teenager and this has all the ingredients of a modern British YA novel: a cute seaside setting, sibling love, female friendships, summer romance, artists, fashionistas, results day anxieties, anti-racism and a supportive mum. Lily is a confident fat protagonist who challenges her sister's careless comments and "well-meaning" assertion, "I don't see you as fat" which is incredibly empowering! The love story here is adorable and it's great that Lily's body is never a source of conflict in the novel. The subplot of the bigotry of a small British town was really well written and particularly poignant in today's political climate. Yes it's a little light, but I think it's a great counterbalance to the stress of being a teenager right now. Such a joyful, body positive summer read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rosamund

    Such a feel-good read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bex

    This was amazing. Really, truly amazing. Just... wow. Melt My Heart is about Lily Rose: artist and ice cream seller. She's just finished sixth form, she's going out with a Totally Hot Guy, and the summer stretches out ahead of her. Which all sounds good in theory... But in reality it's maybe not that simple. Her twin sister fell for Totally Hot Guy first, things keep getting weird with her best friend, and she thinks she might be the only person ever to not want to get the grades for university. This was amazing. Really, truly amazing. Just... wow. Melt My Heart is about Lily Rose: artist and ice cream seller. She's just finished sixth form, she's going out with a Totally Hot Guy, and the summer stretches out ahead of her. Which all sounds good in theory... But in reality it's maybe not that simple. Her twin sister fell for Totally Hot Guy first, things keep getting weird with her best friend, and she thinks she might be the only person ever to not want to get the grades for university. It's a rollercoaster of emotions for Lily Rose! This book kinda reminded me of Jordi Perez's English counterpart, which I loved. It's not just that the protagonist is queer and fat, but also the look at fashion and teen jobs, I think. I will take queer YA in any form, and I'm actually a really big fan of American novels, but it was also really refreshing, as a queer Brit, to read something with a context so familiar to me. I really loved Lily- but I loved her even more because she wasn't perfect. She screwed up, and people got annoyed at her, and that was all totally valid. Often, when people challenge or confront a protagonist, the reader is invited to be on the protagonists side. In Melt My Heart, however, whilst fully loving Lily, I wasn't always on her side in arguments: and that's what I want! I want to see protagonists challenged and allowed to grow, and Melt My Heart did that so well. I also reaally liked that all of the characters were made so three-dimensional; each of them had their own issues and problems, and even characters like Daisy, who were presented as being so together, had their own stuff going on. They all felt so human and real. In terms of representation, this book ticks some obvious boxes, but also some less obvious ones. Lily is a fat, bisexual woman, and both of these facets of her identity are really well explored throughout the book. I especially loved the bisexuality rep- although MMH is kind of a coming-out-story, it's also not really, because Lily's sexuality never feels like a big deal at all. Definitely, saying that she's bi doesn't feel like a spoiler, and that's the way it should be. Lily also shows the complex emotions that come with being fat in a fatphobic society: her own love for her body, but also the negativity she picks up from others, and the way that these intersect. And, at all times, the book is never just about Lily being fat, or Lily being bisexual: there's way more to the story than that! That's where the less obvious representation comes in too I think. This is a story about twins who love each other, but who are also each trying to be their own people. This is a story about not really knowing what you want to do with your life, when everyone around you seems pretty set. This is a story about navigating friendships and relationships, all at once. This is a story about small towns in England, with their unique experiences, and their flaws as well. There is SO MUCH going on in this book that isn't always portrayed elsewhere, and I adored it all. I will say- I am a white reviewer. There may well be issues with the portrayal of Cassie, and the racism/fascism part of the storyline, and in no way am I going to negate those. I did feel that the poster storyline ended maybe a little too hastily, and that Lily's actions at times could be seen as a bit White Saviour-y. I'm also really keen to read more reviews as they come, and see what other people, particularly those better placed to evaluate these aspects, have to say about it all. I do think the writing was a tiny bit clunky at times, particularly in regards to conversations. Having said that, I don't think the copy I read was fully formatted properly, so that didn't help! Overall- cannot wait to see this book out in the real world. Cannot wait for people to read it. I can see this really changing people's lives, and I know it will get into the hands of people who really need it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Althea

    Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in return for a review! The book follows our main character Lily who has always felt like she is in her twin sister, Daisy's, shadow - she's fat and has never received the same attention from other people her age that Daisy gets as she is seen as the 'less pretty' twin. She's hopefully heading off to Leeds after the Summer to do an art history degree but at the same time is scared to leave her best friend Cassie behind. One night, she meets Cal and the two instant Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in return for a review! The book follows our main character Lily who has always felt like she is in her twin sister, Daisy's, shadow - she's fat and has never received the same attention from other people her age that Daisy gets as she is seen as the 'less pretty' twin. She's hopefully heading off to Leeds after the Summer to do an art history degree but at the same time is scared to leave her best friend Cassie behind. One night, she meets Cal and the two instantly form a connection, but he also happens to be Daisy's crush, which complicates matters even more. I want to preface this review by saying that this book is absolutely adorable! It's set in a small seaside town where our main character works in a small ice cream stand by the beach, and as someone who lives near several seaside towns, it's not only an accurate depiction of this, but just the best Summer vibes, in my opinion! I absolutely loved Lily as our main character. She's a fat girl who is in love with her body and unapologetically proud of who she is, and as a fat woman myself, I wish I could've had this representation when I was growing up. Lily's passion for art was so lovely to see and her fears of painting people because it's like revealing your innermost feelings about them felt so real and relatable to me, even as a not arty person! Cassie, her best friend, was so much fun! She sews her own clothes from old scraps of fabric (we love a sustainable queen) and doodles the people who buy ice cream from her family's ice cream stand. Seeing their friendship grow through the book was so cute and I loved how they always rooted for each other! I also really loved Cal - he's one of the most genuinely kind and caring male characters I've read in a long time. The way he reassured Lily about her body and how he loved her was really something I needed to read and I'm so happy that young girls will finally get to be able to read it while they're growing up too. This didn't seem like a plot heavy book to me, which I really don't mind, I'm a character driven book kinda gal anyway, but the little plot twists (hello Señor Mango Sorbet!) had me audibly gasping! The complicated, yet healthy, family relationships in this book was also something I really loved - Lily and Daisy's mum was so sweet! Of course, the book deals with fatph obia, biphobia and xenophobia, which I think was dealt with very well. The fatphobia, for me, was quite difficult to read at times, but really showed how, what may seem like insignificant phrases to other people, can be really hurtful to fat people. Although, as a lesbian, I can't speak for the bi representation, I did love the slow burn friends to lovers romance. Saying that, although you could see hints of it before Lily realised her own feelings, the 'realisation' that she is bi and in love with her best friend felt very sudden to me. But, as a friends to lovers stan, I'm willing to let it slide! Overall, I really, really loved and appreciated this book and I'm so shocked by how underrated it is (cue me never shutting up about it again!). I cannot recommend it enough for a cute, Summer read that also deals with some hard hitting topics in an accessible and respectful way! Tw: homophobia, biphobia, fatphobia, xenophobia, racism

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is one of those books that looks right into you, sees your deepest fears, then brings them to the surface, polishes them off, and shows you there’s nothing to be scared about. Lily is happy. She’s got the whole summer ahead of her to spend with her best friend Cassie working at the ice cream stall before she goes off to uni in September. Until then, she’s going to make the most of the time she has with her twin Daisy, Cassie, her close family, and the little seaside town she grew up in and l This is one of those books that looks right into you, sees your deepest fears, then brings them to the surface, polishes them off, and shows you there’s nothing to be scared about. Lily is happy. She’s got the whole summer ahead of her to spend with her best friend Cassie working at the ice cream stall before she goes off to uni in September. Until then, she’s going to make the most of the time she has with her twin Daisy, Cassie, her close family, and the little seaside town she grew up in and loves. Because she doesn’t really want to go to uni at all. But she’s not thinking about that. She’s thinking about the cute guy from New Zealand, Cal, who is so into her. She’s thinking about how Daisy’s crush from the cinema is said cute guy from NZ. She’s thinking of why on earth does this hot guy like her over her much thinner, prettier sister? And she’s trying to figure out why she keeps trying to make Cassie jealous about her new thing going on with Cal. Bethany Rutters debut YA novel No Big Deal, released last summer, was one of my favourite reads. Rutter is able to so perfectly capture that feeling of being a teenager, of having body issues, and crush issues, and friend issues, and wrap them into one incredibly readable and lovable book. And she’s done it again. Melt My Heart has a fat character who is in no way ashamed of being fat. There is fatphobia from other characters, but that’s not the main thread of the story. Lily is such a well developed character that while she does have body issues – she’s a women in 2020, who doesn’t? – her fatness is not the be all and end all of her as a person. She’s aware that her negative thoughts about her body come from external sources and are what society pressures her to think about it, she is an artist, she’s a sister, a daughter, a friend, a crush. She’s such a full character and she’s so fun. She’s the kind of girl I would have adored to have as my bestie when I was eighteen. So let’s get to Cassie. Not only do I love Cassie because she is also an amazing friend – she’s thoughtful, and kind, and supportive – she’s Lily’s biggest cheerleader. But their relationship is so fun and cute but also majorly realistic. The language they use and way they act is portrayed so well. It’s how I talk with my friends, it’s how I see other people talk with their friends, it’s how I hear Bethany talk with her pal and business partner Alice Slater on their book podcast What Page Are You On? It’s just so well written. And you know what I said at the beginning? About this book seeing your fears and making you know it’s alright? I am a fat girl, and so many of Lily’s thoughts and experiences hit me so hard in the feels. I’m also bi, and that feeling of not knowing if it’s okay, if people are going to have something to say, of dismissal and ruining friendships and ah! This book is just so well written and encompasses so much. So, essentially what I’m saying is go out and buy this book and revel in it’s beauty and fall in love with Lily and Cassie and let it melt your heart!

  20. 4 out of 5

    CherryCarrot

    Melt My Heart tells the story of a summer in the life of 18-year-old Lily, who isn't sure she really wants to go to university, is trying to figure out her identity, and is dealing with how she and the world see her size. The things I liked: Lily's insecurities about going to university felt realistic, and overall she was a relatable character. The friendship between her and Cassie was sweet. Things I didn't like: Not an awful lot happened in the book. And as there's quite a lot of repetition (we' Melt My Heart tells the story of a summer in the life of 18-year-old Lily, who isn't sure she really wants to go to university, is trying to figure out her identity, and is dealing with how she and the world see her size. The things I liked: Lily's insecurities about going to university felt realistic, and overall she was a relatable character. The friendship between her and Cassie was sweet. Things I didn't like: Not an awful lot happened in the book. And as there's quite a lot of repetition (we're told multiple times that Lily is fat and happy with it - I get the picture!, we're reminded again and again of her university fears, a lot of her angst in general feels like we already read it a few pages ago), this lack of plot shows. Now, plot-light books are fine if the characters are deep and intriguing, but - and I felt the same about Bethany Rutter's previous book, No Big Deal - the characters come away feeling kinda sketchy even though there's been pages to develop them. I don't feel I left knowing much more about Lily than the basics - her fears, her interest in art, her family - and the same goes for the other characters. Lily's twin sister Daisy in particular felt underdeveloped, and her conflict with Lily quite muted - I enjoyed the scene where they rowed, and would have liked to have seen more focus on this and perhaps less on Lily's romance with Cal, which could have had less page time than it got and had the same effect. I felt a missed opportunity to add some depth were the homophobic, racist posters Lily notices cropping up around town. There's not much more to the posters subplot other than they exist, and they anger Lily to the extent that she and Cassie make some counter posters. That's it. I felt instead we could have seen more of the girls' interest in activism deepening, and that being another thing that drew them together, and helped them figure themselves out. I'm all for angry girls making a stand and I felt we got teased with something interesting here and instead presented with something kinda limp. The other thing I didn't like is the messaging in MMH feels like it has been copy-pasted straight out of an advisory manual for teenagers - it's rams you over the head (fat is OK! homophobia bad! prejudice bad! xenophobia bad!) and while I don't disagree with any of this but the way in which the characters spoke and thought about these things simply sounded so unnatural. It took me away from the story, rather than feeling natural for the characters. The section where Lily overhears two men making derogatory comments about Daisy and her football team really does not sound like a teenage girl's thoughts. While this is all positive messaging, its handling was so crude. I had similar feelings about NBD, and wish the author could find a way to get her point across in a way that felt more natural, and, at times, got in the way of the story. In conclusion: Melt My Heart is a sweet enough friendship and love story, but for me was very superficial.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love love loved this book! I *finally* read No Big Deal at the beginning of the month and really enjoyed it but Melt My Heart just knocked it out of the park for me! Melt My Heart centres on Lily Rose who is spending her last summer before university working with her best friend on an ice cream stall in her hometown of Weston. As many students know the summer between A Levels and university is full of possibilities so Lily sets out to try at least one new thing every day over summer. With her b I love love loved this book! I *finally* read No Big Deal at the beginning of the month and really enjoyed it but Melt My Heart just knocked it out of the park for me! Melt My Heart centres on Lily Rose who is spending her last summer before university working with her best friend on an ice cream stall in her hometown of Weston. As many students know the summer between A Levels and university is full of possibilities so Lily sets out to try at least one new thing every day over summer. With her best friend Cassie by her side she is unstoppable but as with Rutter’s wonderfully crafted leads, Lily ends up trying more new things than she bargained for which strains her relationship with not only her best friend but her twin sister Daisy and new beau Cal. As with No Big Deal, Rutter explores a lot of contemporary themes within this story but it slots together so beautifully and really reflects the diverse society we live in today. I am a big fan of the amount of body positivity in this story and Lily and Cassie are a brilliant duo who ooze confidence no matter what size you are. Alongside this the pressures and extremities of fatphobic views are also explored and reflect the stresses that many young girls feel as a result of our commonly discriminatory society. Rutter also excellently documents Lily’s exploration of her own sexuality and builds the romance between her and Cal and her growing feelings towards Cassie with care and poignancy. I particularly adored the team work of the three towards their anti-hate project, as it felt like a heart-warming scene showcasing the strength and diversity of the leading cast together. The characters, the story, the setting and most importantly the inclusivity are what make this wonderful feel good summer story a five star read for me that I did not want to end! Rutter has a talent for capturing authentic voices and making sure that everyone is reflected in her writing, I urge you to pick up this book if you haven’t already!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeni Skelland

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter . Oooooh where to begin. This book is bloody brilliant. I read it in two big chunks because the characters and writing were so delightful. . Lily and her twin sister Daisy have one last summer at home before they are due to set off to different unis. It's a daunting prospect for Lily who will miss her home, her safety net and her best pal Cassie. She decides to do a new thing each day of summer. This leads to romance, to standing up and being an active ally, and to so Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter . Oooooh where to begin. This book is bloody brilliant. I read it in two big chunks because the characters and writing were so delightful. . Lily and her twin sister Daisy have one last summer at home before they are due to set off to different unis. It's a daunting prospect for Lily who will miss her home, her safety net and her best pal Cassie. She decides to do a new thing each day of summer. This leads to romance, to standing up and being an active ally, and to some home truths. . It is also a very queer book. The queerness is a slow build, but when it hits it's true and joyous. I've not seen bi representation like this before in a novel and I LOVED it. . . ~~ semi spoilers below ~~ . . I loved that when Lily came out, she was met with 100% love and understanding from her mum and sister, and also from the boy she'd been dating all summer. THIS is the positive rep we love to see. There is obviously a place for books that navigate the all too real experiences of coming out which involve trauma and homophobia, but it's also great to have media that models how the world could and should be. Schitts Creek is another great example of this. . I also loved that Bethany very clearly and openly spoke about the book's queer representation before the book was released. It wasn't used as a twist or a quirky plot device. 👏

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alice Moon

    An easy summer read! It wasn't as I thought would be. I expected a girl who doesn't see herself beautiful. But she meets the perfect boy and he makes her to understand that being beautiful doesn't mean being skinny. Happy ending. Oh and somewhere in this image you can find her best friend. I know it sounds like a cliche. But for me it's better than the actual story. I don't want to sound harsh. The book started good. I used to feel "invisible" as Lily when I was in high school. So of course I wan An easy summer read! It wasn't as I thought would be. I expected a girl who doesn't see herself beautiful. But she meets the perfect boy and he makes her to understand that being beautiful doesn't mean being skinny. Happy ending. Oh and somewhere in this image you can find her best friend. I know it sounds like a cliche. But for me it's better than the actual story. I don't want to sound harsh. The book started good. I used to feel "invisible" as Lily when I was in high school. So of course I wanted to find more about this character and how she will evolve till the end. The perfect boy appeared on stage. She won his heart. At this moment all I wanted was her to understand that she was beautiful and that a boy can love her. But nope! Everything changed 180°. What she really understood was that she was bi. This wasn't the problem for me. The real problem was the way she found out. She met the boy and in 5 seconds she knew she was bi. And then every discussion with her best friend sounded vapid. I don't want to say more about this book. I will let you decide for yourself if the story is good or not. Thank you NetGalley for this eArc in exchange for an honest.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Iwona

    Sadly this one i enjoyed less than "no big deal". It was still a good book, i loved the bisexual fat female rep. But there was some things that didnt work for me. 1. Dialogues - i feel like sometimes they just weren't realstic. Most authors usually tries too hard to soud like teens, but i think Rutter was just not trying at all and sometimes i felt like i was reading a conversation between two elderly ladies rather two eighteen year-old girls. 2. Although i loved the concept of fat rep i really am Sadly this one i enjoyed less than "no big deal". It was still a good book, i loved the bisexual fat female rep. But there was some things that didnt work for me. 1. Dialogues - i feel like sometimes they just weren't realstic. Most authors usually tries too hard to soud like teens, but i think Rutter was just not trying at all and sometimes i felt like i was reading a conversation between two elderly ladies rather two eighteen year-old girls. 2. Although i loved the concept of fat rep i really am sick of seeing fat girls hating themselves in books/movies. Lily was saying that she loved her body and she was okay with it but at the same time she was like "oh why Cal likes me when i'm so fat, nobody likes fat people". Like girl, chill. You can write fat character who actually likes and accepts themselves. And i guess it could be great if Lily started to ACTUALLY love her body at the end of the book but she kinda didnt? 3. I think the bi rep was great. Lily has a crush both on a boy and a girl. I think it could have been discussed more but i still really liked it. 4. I think the ending was very cute. No complains about it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    tessie

    Melt My Heart is a fun sapphic romance with a slice of life story that lots of readers would enjoy but didn’t hold my attention. I found myself easily bored and distracted while reading this, and wasn’t sure if it was a me thing or a book thing. This book beautifully shows someone questioning her sexuality and at the transition period of the end of secondary school, making the most of a fun summer - a great set up. The downfall of this book is that this is a character focused book and very littl Melt My Heart is a fun sapphic romance with a slice of life story that lots of readers would enjoy but didn’t hold my attention. I found myself easily bored and distracted while reading this, and wasn’t sure if it was a me thing or a book thing. This book beautifully shows someone questioning her sexuality and at the transition period of the end of secondary school, making the most of a fun summer - a great set up. The downfall of this book is that this is a character focused book and very little in terms of plot happens. These kinds of books are very consistently my favourite stories but the problem with Melt My Heart was that the characters weren’t fleshed out enough to justify it being character driven. I didn’t dislike it necessarily - at the heart of it was an important story juggling discovery of a sexual identity, anxiety about the future and body confidence. There just wasn’t strong enough writing to go along with it. thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange of an honest review rep: bi mc, Black wlw li, mlm side characters

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Elizabeth

    Another absolute banger from Bethany! Her writing is so warm and joyful, and it makes for a cosy, light-hearted read that still hits on some important and real issues. It's perfectly observed, and her depiction of a small seaside town felt so real to me. It was at once incredibly modern and incredibly nostalgic, which feels like the perfect combination for a summer read. The characters are all absolute gems and Bethany does a perfect job of allowing their flaws and insecurities to play out on th Another absolute banger from Bethany! Her writing is so warm and joyful, and it makes for a cosy, light-hearted read that still hits on some important and real issues. It's perfectly observed, and her depiction of a small seaside town felt so real to me. It was at once incredibly modern and incredibly nostalgic, which feels like the perfect combination for a summer read. The characters are all absolute gems and Bethany does a perfect job of allowing their flaws and insecurities to play out on the page, without taking away from the fact that they are fundamentally good people, which feels like a more meaningful and real way for conflict to happen than for one side to be good and one to be evil. Melt My Heart captures so perfectly the confusion and messiness of being a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, that heady, brilliant, difficult summer before University, weaving in beautiful storylines about first love and dating, fat acceptance and body positivity, and friendship. P.S. Can I have a book about Cal next, please? What a babe. 

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eve beinguniquebooks

    Lily is spending her last summer before university very busy, between hanging out with best friend Cassie and working at the ice cream stand together, she falls for Cal, who just happens to be her twin sister Daisys crush. However when she starts to get feelings like not wanting to go to university and crushing on her friend, things get complicated can she solve all her summer dilemmas? Bethany always writes great body positive fiction and this one was as usual fabulous again. Lily faces a lot and Lily is spending her last summer before university very busy, between hanging out with best friend Cassie and working at the ice cream stand together, she falls for Cal, who just happens to be her twin sister Daisys crush. However when she starts to get feelings like not wanting to go to university and crushing on her friend, things get complicated can she solve all her summer dilemmas? Bethany always writes great body positive fiction and this one was as usual fabulous again. Lily faces a lot and the relationship with her boyfriend shows how a lot of girls can feel about why a boy likes them despite their looks as we see her compare herself to her twin a lot throughout the book. The sisters relationship was very realistic as they face years apart at uni separately and struggle to adapt to the thought. Overall it was a serious but still fab positive read! Many thanks to publishers for allowing me to review this book for them!

  28. 4 out of 5

    ashortbooklover

    Firstly, I have to say that Rutter crafts amazing, very believable teenage characters that I never struggle to engage with and just utterly fall in love with. Her books are just filled with gorgeous romance and thought-provoking discussion of incredibly relevant issues for myself and my peers. She has such a gift for bottling the sunshine-soaked feeling of summer love in this feel-good YA contemporary about love, family and finding yourself & your path. The setting was just perfect for me, in tha Firstly, I have to say that Rutter crafts amazing, very believable teenage characters that I never struggle to engage with and just utterly fall in love with. Her books are just filled with gorgeous romance and thought-provoking discussion of incredibly relevant issues for myself and my peers. She has such a gift for bottling the sunshine-soaked feeling of summer love in this feel-good YA contemporary about love, family and finding yourself & your path. The setting was just perfect for me, in that it’s set in the summer after A Levels, with that mix of endless possibilities, limitations and conflicting ideas. That stretch of time often feels infinite and Rutter explores the effect this has on Lily really well. She’s not entirely sure where she wants her future to go and a lot of the story revolves around her being able to find her own path. She’s also majorly impacted by the constant comparisons between her and her twin sister Daisy and the hurtful words Daisy sometimes uses towards her. Melt My Heart is very character-driven, showing how Lily moves beyond her sister’s shadow and into her authentic, true self. Mixed with this is a beautiful exploration of identity and sexuality, which meant so much to me and will do for so many other readers out there. Rutter ensures that while her discovering her sexuality is hugely significant, it is just one part of her, rather than the sole focus of her character. This is also reflected with her being plus size, as the effect that fatphobic society has on her is discussed, but she is not just relegated to the role of being the ‘big girl’. These are just facets of her brilliant, talented and effervescent self. Melt My Heart is a feel good, heart-warming story of finding your identity, family and love from an impactful author to watch.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia Gammon

    This is Lily's summer of new things. It's her last summer in the lovely seaside town she grew up in before she leaves for university in the autumn and, although she should be excited, she can't quite bring herself to be. She's spending the summer working with her best friend, Cassie, at Cassie's parent's ice cream stand; doing one new thing every day to prepare herself for the shock of moving away; and she's met a cute boy, Cal, who for once actually likes her rather than her twin sister, Daisy. This is Lily's summer of new things. It's her last summer in the lovely seaside town she grew up in before she leaves for university in the autumn and, although she should be excited, she can't quite bring herself to be. She's spending the summer working with her best friend, Cassie, at Cassie's parent's ice cream stand; doing one new thing every day to prepare herself for the shock of moving away; and she's met a cute boy, Cal, who for once actually likes her rather than her twin sister, Daisy. But that's exactly what starts to cause problems. How can Lily tell Daisy that she's dating Daisy's crush? And why isn't she as into Cal as she should be? On top of that, results day is looming, and with it the end of the summer and the biggest new thing, leaving behind Lily's beloved home, the streets of which are being covered in hateful anonymous posters; Daisy, who isn't happy that they'll be attending different universities; and Cassie, the only person Lily ever really wants to spend her time with. Then, of course, there's the fact that Lily is keeping a secret. One much more important than dating Cal. She's not actually sure she wants to go to university at all. Melt My Heart is a story of self-discovery. Over the course of one summer Lily is confronted with a lot of truths to face and decisions of how she will deal with them, and although these choices may overwhelm Lily, the narrative doesn't feel bloated or overly complicated. Each piece of Lily's summer weaves together to show the ultimate lesson she must learn, that she needs to trust her own feelings. Readers who enjoy coming of age stories will find a lot to love in watching Lily grapple with both the new things she chooses and the ones that surprise her, and although the ending seems to come quickly, it is anything but unsatisfying. As with the protagonist of Rutter's last book, No Big Deal, Lily is fat, and although she has insecurities related to that, which are exacerbated by her skinny twin sister, Daisy, making comments she doesn't always realise are hurtful, Lily never considers losing the weight, and the narrative never suggests that she should. The only thing Lily needs to change is to trust herself more, and once she does, she finds rewards that any reader will agree she deserves. This is an ideal book for teen readers who are still discovering themselves, as that is exactly who Lily is, confident in some ways, but still growing in many others. Once again, Bethany Rutter has created a protagonist who feels like a real teenager, with all the confusion, pain, and joy that entails. An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley for review. All opinions expressed are the reviewer's own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    This is such a sweet story, all about a girl who is pretty stressed out and not confident of what she’s doing, and how she moves forward over the course of one summer. It’s a little too angsty for my taste, but it really is a lovely story and very well written. I like the fact that as well as the main character development theme, there’s also other strands in there about racism and homophobia, and about being truthful and true to yourself. I love the diverse characters. And I love the way the wh This is such a sweet story, all about a girl who is pretty stressed out and not confident of what she’s doing, and how she moves forward over the course of one summer. It’s a little too angsty for my taste, but it really is a lovely story and very well written. I like the fact that as well as the main character development theme, there’s also other strands in there about racism and homophobia, and about being truthful and true to yourself. I love the diverse characters. And I love the way the whole thing is just done in a gentle, subtle way. Oh, and I love the cover, it’s cute and bold all at the same time. I can’t really say much more without revealing important plot points, but if you love some gentle romance, character development, diverse characters and don’t mind a little angst, then this is the book for you. I was given a free copy of this book, my opinions are my own.

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