Before I talk about Selene's YA books, allow me to let my Hamilton fangirl out. Because she wrote a children's book about the Marquis de Lafayette and Washington, and all I can really envision is Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson and HISTORY! YES!
Thank you for letting me get that out of my system.
Selene's YA books cover fairly darker themes: domestic violence, addiction, the basest aspects of humanity, and the ability to recover. She aims to write about the "who" in her stories and the "why." Which honestly makes for some pretty interesting reading. And the fact that she can see these little insights into humanity is pretty surprising considering she seems like a peace-loving "tries to see the best in the world" type of person. Yay complexity!
*Book summaries taken from Goodreads.
(Book 1 of the Rough Romance series)
Based on true events, MELT is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. MELT will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.
MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism?
Told in dual first person, Joey’s words are scattered on the page – reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?
Signs of Life
(Book 2 of the Rough Romance series)
The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by and now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself —even though she’s gone. Joey talks about what is happening in the present while Dorothy describes what happened before— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it is too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?
And we can't go without giving a shout out to her aforementioned children's book.
In this riveting story about an important friendship, Selene Castrovilla introduces young readers to the tender side of George Washington when he meets the youthful Marquis de Lafayette during the Revolutionary War. Lafayette has come to America to offer his services to the patriotic cause. Inexperienced but dedicated, he is a much-needed ally and not only earns a military position with the Continental Army but also Washington’s respect and admiration. This lively picture book presents the human side of history, revealing the bond between two famous Revolutionary figures. Both the author and illustrator worked with experts and primary sources to represent both patriots and the war accurately and fairly.
Selene is on Facebook and Twitter and will also be at YA Fest 2017 if you want to chat her up in person :)