Throughout June, GeekMom celebrates Pride Month with lots of LGBTQ content. Follow the Pride Month tag to find all the content in one space (including LGBTQ content from previous years) and keep checking back for more throughout the month. Today’s book review is Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan.
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Trigger Warnings: Emotional Abuse, abandonment.
In Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan, we follow Fallon, a queer high school senior whose mother runs a gourmet ice cream truck. Last summer, Fallon hooked up with her childhood best friend Chloe, but the very next day, Chloe ignored Fallon and left for college. Now it’s been a year since the two spoke, Chloe is back in town, and Fallon is doing her very best to ignore her, however, that’s trickier than it should be given that Chloe’s mother co-owns the ice cream truck business and both girls are employees.
To make matters worse, the girls’ mothers both need to travel to Texas to give a presentation to some venture capitalists in the hopes of massively expanding their business, right at the same time that the truck needs to attend some annual food festivals that are the events keeping the business in the black. Fallon can’t possibly work the festivals alone and her mom is desperate, meaning that Fallon will have to spend a week cooped up with Chloe as the two take a road trip in the truck and cover the events. In such close proximity, tensions are bound to rise but will Fallon be able to keep her cool even when surrounded by ice cream?
I absolutely loved the premise of Melt With You but found the book to be something of a letdown. Personally, I didn’t find either Fallon or Chloe to be especially likable and I didn’t feel like there was any chemistry between the two at all. Fallon comes across as petulant and immature with Chloe toeing the line of becoming a manic pixie dream girl and the ending feels fairly ludicrous the second you try to apply any sort of logic to it. Another point I really didn’t like was the big reveal close to the ending. While I could understand the motivations of those characters and recognized that they acted with the best of intentions, their actions were nothing short of manipulative and, although this concern was addressed, the ending made it feel as if they were right to have done what they did all along.
All that being said, there were some cute romantic moments here. I loved the road trip taking in weird roadside attractions like the Jurassic Adventures dinosaur park and the Forgotten Animal Forest, and the women who manage the campsite Fallon and Chloe stay at one night ended up being two of my favorite characters, even if one of them does collect sinister, creepy dolls. I also loved the detail that went into the ice cream business, especially the names of the flavors which included things like I’ll Never Let Dough, The Malt in Our Stars, and Beauty and the Feast.
Sadly, none of this was enough to push Melt with You into my list of top queer romances and it ended up being merely OK. It wasn’t a standout for me, but if you love ice cream and hot summer road trips through the American countryside then give this one a taste.
GeekMom received a copy of this title for review purposes.