Sunday 1 August 2021

Book Review - Melt


Title: Melt

Author: Ele Fountain 

Publisher: ‎ Pushkin Children's Books 

Release Date: 29 April 2021

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1782692881



Yutu lives in a remote, Arctic village with his elderly grandmother. Their traditional way of life is threatened by the changing snow and ice, which melts faster every year.
Bea is trying to adapt to yet another new school. Worse still, her father’s new job takes up any spare time, and his behaviour becomes odd and secretive. On a trip she hopes will fix things, their fates take a drastic turn and Bea's life becomes entwined with Yutu's in a way she could never have imagined.
Together, they are locked in a desperate race for survival.

My Review

I started my summer holidays off with this book, we will be using this book during the first week of term with our new year 7's (11-12year olds), so I needed to read this so that I can help plan some lessons based on it.

I was worried that the book would be really preachy and overly factual but I was very pleased to find that it was actually a really nice story based around 2 different yet likeable characters and their struggles with fitting in and finding purpose. There is some mention and focus on the fact that the ice is melting and therefore people's way of life is changing, but it was presented as more of a challenge that our characters faced within their lives and those around them, and I never felt like I was being moaned at or coerced into donating to something. It was handled subtly but still with meaning.

The story starts with alternating narrative, the chapters alternate between Yutu and Bea. Yutu lives in a small, remote village in the arctic, his parents died when he was a child and he has been brought up by his grandma. She is very over-protective and never seems to want Yutu to do anything. He goes to school, he studies and he helps round the house. But Yutu has dreams, if he studies hard enough he may be able to get into a college and leave his tiny town. But his determination to prove himself often gets him into trouble.

Bea has moved to another new school, her father's job means they move around a lot, and this is at least the tenth or twelfth move. Immediately she feels like she doesn't fit in, she somehow upsets the popular girls and suddenly life is miserable. On top of that, her father starts to act strange and she feels like she is being pushed away by everyone. Then her father invites her on a flight for a job, but when they get ambushed, Bea has to run and try to find help, that's when she meets Yutu.

After that all the chapters are narrated by Bea, i did miss Yutu's voice a bit, but it definitely made it easier to follow, having to focus on just one point of view.

I found the book very easy to read and follow, I liked the main characters and I felt myself getting invested in their story, I wanted to know what would happen and if they would survive. The book is not very long and I had finished in just over 2 hours. It was creative, moving and different and I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.  


My Rating


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