Courtney's Reviews > So Shelly

So Shelly by Ty Roth
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's review
May 15, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: young-adult-literature, rite-of-passage, high-school-drama
Read from May 15 to 17, 2011

If a reader is looking for a book that has it all, this is the one. It's full of consensual incest (brother/sister, cousins), molestation, reckless and crude sexual acts, incestuous rape, porn, and enough sexual experimentation to make me wonder if some of those acts are even possible. Oddly, that wouldn't have annoyed me so much if there was a point. Somewhere within all of this, there was supposed to be a plot. I've finished the book, and I still haven't found it. As a result, I feel like the author simply threw in as much taboo material as possible in hopes that it would carry the entire novel, which is simply poor writing and poor taste. He needs to give his readers (young adult, especially) more credit.

I picked up this book because 1.) I love Byron, Keats, and Shelly, 2.) I found the teenage twist advertised on the book jacket clever, and 3.) it seemed like the plot would have a lot of fun allusions that would keep it moving. Well, the only thing from the book jacket that was true was 1.) Shelly drowns and 2.) Byron and Keats fulfill her last wish by spreading her ashes. Otherwise, this is a book about Gordon Byron, his narcissism and sociopathic tendencies, and his sexual conquests. That's about it. And, those three characteristics are presented so randomly that I found myself wondering on multiple occassions what the point of the story was.

Would I suggest this novel to someone? No. I'm pretty open-minded, and I couldn't even find redeeming value in it. The basic premise of the story is a great idea, but it gets overshadowed with Keats' hidden attraction to Byron as well as the fact that the reader doesn't feel any connection to the three characters - Keats, Byron, and Shelly.
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Reading Progress

05/16/2011 page 249
82.0% "At times, this book leaves me speechless...not in a good way..."

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