Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: So Shelly - Ty Roth

WherI got it: Princess Bookie's Around the World Tours
Rating: 4.5 stars 

Cover Rating: 5 stars (I love the colors and the dress the model is wearing. The font is also fantastic.)
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 325 p.

Byron and Keats are thrown together by the death of their mutual friend Shelly. Byron and Keats have never exchanged much by way of greeting and hanging out, the only thing they feel they have in common is Shelly. She has bestowed upon them the duty of stealing her ashes from her wake and bringing them to her favorite place to scatter them while playing her favorite songs. On their journey Keats and Byron recount the many memories of Shelly that they have. Interspersed through their journey Keats pens down relevant stories to help grow the characters of Byron and Shelly. This whole novel was "written" by Keats as he looks back at this journey with a boy he never really knew, except through Shelly's adoring tales of him.

This was a very interesting book. It was neat seeing Byron's misdeeds translated into the 21st century. I especially love that Byron wrote a bestselling vampire novel, which was aptly titled after a supernatural poem that he actually penned, Manfred. A vampire novel is very swoon-worthy right now, which better sets up Byron as a girl-crazed sex bomb. Ty Roth did a most excellent job penning a romantic novel about three romantics. Shelly was completely and hopelessly tragic and never saw any of the good that came from her outbursts of protest, or writing. She was certainly an entertaining character in this novel though, even though we never actually get to hear from her, she is so alive in Byron and Keats stories, that you almost forget that she has been dead this whole novel. Keats was perfectly aloof which I imagine the real Keats often was. He was very obsessed with his writing and seemed to only want to be a well-known writer. I thoroughly appreciated how much research and knowledge must have gone into penning this novel. Though as Ty Roth said of his novel; "...one should not read So Shelly for its dogged adherence to historical accuracy. Like Shakespeare, I would never let historical facts get in the way of telling a good story.". I still found there to be quite a few accuracy in reading this novel, and it really helped these old poets come to life. They seemed much more realistic, thrown into our modern day setting. Though still brooding teenagers, they brooded in a way we can all understand. If you are a fan of lyrical writing, romantic poets, teen angst, tryst and revolutions then make sure you pick this one up.

First Line:
"Most of us like to believe that we are born to do great things, maybe even be famous."

Favorite Line:
"I vaguely heard my name, but it failed to stimulate any kind of synaptic reaction or verbal response from inside the syrupy morass of my muted consciousness."  

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