Signs of Life

Finished Signs of Life by Selene Castrovilla.  I received a copy from the author for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

Okay, so I absolutely loved Melt (the first book in this series) and I was mostly really excited to read Signs of Life but also a little nervous. What if it wasn’t as good? What if the characters weren’t as great as I remembered them being? What if it didn’t feel as viscerally true as Melt did?

Well, if I were Joey, I’d have to snap my wrist with a rubber band for those thoughts.  Not only does this live up to Melt, it even surpasses it.

Melt is somewhat similar to The Wizard of Oz, but this book takes a new inspiration: As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner.  I haven’t read it so I know for a fact that you don’t need to know it at all to fall in love with this novel.

Unfortunately, I can’t really discuss specifics at all, because we don’t learn very much about what’s going on with Dorothy until later in the novel.  So here’s what I can tell you: Dorothy and Joey are currently not together, although they are all the other person can think about.  Dorothy’s chapters are mostly flashbacks, showing how the separation occurred.  Joey’s are sometimes present day and sometimes flashbacks.  In the present day, we learn how hard he’s working to improve his life (he’s taking college classes! and reading! And learning how to speak better—I love Joey so much) and it’s so clear how much of that is because of Dorothy’s impact on his life.  (I can’t call her Doll as he does; it feels too intimate.)

Best news: this is now apparently a trilogy.  And thank God, because that ending is a cliffhanger and a half.

Highly recommended.

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