Skip to main content

So Shelly

So Shelly is a YA novel that imagines the famous poets Keats, Byron, and Shelley into present-day high school students, written by Ty Roth.

High school Junior John Keats met Shelly while working on the school newspaper. A poet, but a shy and agonizing one, he couldn't help but be entranced by her energetic spirit. That's also where he met Gordon Byron, already a published and lauded author of a best-selling YA book. He doesn't care for the arrogant, good-looking jerk - but Shelly has been friends with him since she was very young.

When Shelly dies by drowning in a sailing accident, Gordon and Keats can't help but be thrown together by their mutual grief. They steal Shelly's ashes, per her mysterious instructions before dying, and try to make it to Lake Erie where she wished to be scattered while her favorite song played.

In the meantime, Keats reflects back on his short but memorable time with Shelly - and the night she got drunk and told him almost every detail of Gordon's life. Gordon fills in the blanks. And they realize that might be what Shelly wanted...

So Shelly is surprisingly, scandalously sexual as we are briefed on Gordon's exploits. It was honestly quite a bit more than I personally prefer or expected! Now, it is vibrantly voiced by the less bold Keats and has an interesting tone - never boring - but so off-puttingly male-oriented and lascivious that I never could really come to like So Shelly at all.

The novel felt much more suited to the adult genre, and even then not a particular one that I would seek out. There is a determinedly uncomfortable and unrelatable quality to the novel that is strangely artistic and would appeal to certain tastes most certainly, I'm sure, but for me was not necessarily likable.

As it continued, I felt it became monotonous, seeming to focus on outrageous exploits, touching only occasionally on deeper issues, but never grounding the novel in reality. Thing is, I could clearly see Ty Roth's writing talent and could appreciate the understated reimagining of these romantic poet icons as modern teenagers, but So Shelly is definitely just not my type of book.

The afterword was enlightening and interesting, in which Ty Roth explains the correlation to his characters to fact and rumor involving these historical figures. I had no idea how crazy and, I'm sorry to say, gross all these poets were! It was rather fascinating to see how closely he portrayed the events in So Shelly to this information, and as I said earlier I am sure there are many readers who love to delve into the darker, more depraved mindset of these characters.

Sadly that is just not me.

*Want some free books? Click here to enter my contest to win TWO books!!! Plus, there's gonna be TWO winners, so your chances are even better!!! Don't miss out, click here before July 5th!!! :)


Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.


When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Interview with Joanna Philbin!

Today we have an extra special guest! Joanna Philbin, author of The Daughters series, is here to tell us about the fourth and (*sniff*) final book in the series - The Daughters Join the Party - as well as answer some other questions!

Welcome to the Bibliophile Support Group, Joanna! We're happy to have you!

So, for anybody who hasn't read the first three books in The Daughters series (read my reviews here: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, The Daughters Take the Stage) can you give everybody a general idea of what they're about?

Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are best friends who are normal fourteen year-old girls in almost every way. Except for one: each girl has a parent who is incredibly famous. And her parent’s fame complicates her life in a big way. Lizzie’s mom is a supermodel, but Lizzie isn’t what most people would call “beautiful” – in fact, she’s what most people might call “unusual-looking.” How do you deal with having a supermodel mother when you don’t …

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:

Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!