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So Shelly

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  785 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Until now, high school junior, John Keats, has only tiptoed near the edges of the vortex that is schoolmate and literary prodigy, Gordon Byron. That is, until their mutual friend, Shelly, drowns in a sailing accident.

After stealing Shelly's ashes from her wake at Trinity Catholic High School, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie island where Shelly's body had wash
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.34  · 
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 ·  785 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok

just because you can knit a sweater for a chicken, doesn't mean you should.

just because you can write a YA novel about keats, byron, and some mash-up of percy and mary shelley set in modern times doesn't mean you should.

from the afterword:

just as it would be a mistake to study shakespeare's history plays for an understanding of the succession of english monarchs from the thirteenth through much of the sixteenth century, one should not read so shelly for its dogged adherence to historical accurac
You know, I'm not sure what scares me most: that this novel is a spot-on representation of teenagers today or that it might actually influence them. In what can only be called an insult to young adults the world over, Mr. Roth delivers a literary travesty. In fact, the author manages in one fell swoop to: disgrace the names of three beloved poets, murder any/all depth and seriousness to issues facing teens today, and create a cast of characters that are so vapid, annoying, unrealistic, and utter ...more
Kendare Blake
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to review SO SHELLY without using expletives. Because it's that effing good. But I'm going to try. Yes, it's a reimagining of the lives of the major romantic poets, Byron, Keats and a mishmash of Shelleys. Sometimes when reading it something happens and you think, "ooh! I wonder if that's historically accurate." It's fascinating, and the author explains the majority in an equally interesting afterword.

But that's not the thing about this book. Don't care about the romantic poets? Doesn
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Christie by: ATWT
Shelves: read-in-2010
So Shelly revolves around the lives of three character based off long dead poetic greats. Anticipating how John Keats, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelly might live and interact if they were teens living in modern day. Shelly is dead, and Keats and Gordon have swiped her ashes from her memorial service. Armed with an urn, a boom box, and an REM CD they set out to spread Shelly’s ashes in a location she chose before her passing. Along the way Gordon and Keats get to know each other better, and take us ...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing

My Cover Thoughts: When this book arrived in the mail I was intrigued because it shows a girl in a long white dress walking off a boat dock. The dock is rickety and looks like it is about to fall apart and the girl is going to fall through it. The girl looks like she is walking right into the water. After looking at the cover I knew I needed to read this book because I needed to know wether or not she walked into that water and drowned.

My Thoughts/Review: From the very beginning I knew I was no
Jay G
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube Channel:

2.5 Stars

This book is a loose retelling of three dead poets lives if they were teens in modern day society. Shelly has died and her final wish was for Keats and Gordon to spread her ashes on a beach while playing her REM CD from her old boom box. While travelling to the beach, Keats and Gordon get to know each other and reminisce on the times spent with Shelly.

I found all the characte
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
When I first saw the cover for So Shelly, I knew I wanted to read it even without knowing anything about it. Yes, I'm that superficial when it comes to gorgeous book covers. Sue me. :P

It wasn't until I stumbled upon an interview with author Ty Roth on Teens Read and Write that I actually took the time to read what the novel was about and realize the connection to literary legends, Percy and Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats.

You can't deny that a book like So Shelly leaves a lasting impre
Mar 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Many times I've been told I should write a book. I assume that the people who suggest this are thinking much along these lines. She teaches English so must know something about books. She knows a lot about a handful of authors. She loves literature and has an understanding of its mechanics. She manages to write pretty decent academic prose.

Yet I've always suspected these simple factors wouldn't be quite enough to write a (really) good novel. And if I ever need to offer proof as to why my litera
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I honestly went into this anticipating to either 1. hate it, 2. enjoy it for the schlocky high school AU cheese its premise is; and while it is as schlocky and trashy as anyone can anticipate out of a privileged high school YA novel, what makes So Shelly incredible as a book is its self-awareness and its criticisms of the genre it models and of the persons it has appropriated to fit its respective roles. Ty Roth clearly knows his Romantics beyond the superficial read-throughs of their works and ...more
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, ya
A fanfic in which Lord Byron, John Keats, and an amalgamation of Percy and Mary Shelley are teens with cellphones and ipods, living in the Midwest. At times I thought the story worked, but most of the time it didn't. How do you bring the second generation of Romantics to the present? To Ohio? In many respects Ty Roth was pretty faithful to the scandalous biographical details, especially involving Byron. Augusta, Claire, Caroline Lamb - they're all there. But the author couldn't get too smutty be ...more
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Things I liked about this book:
The cover -- it's gorgeous
The idea - the poets John Keats, Lord Byron and Shelley reborn as American teenagers.
The voice - as the narrator, Keats has a really powerful personality that shines through the text.

What I didn't like:
All the sex. This is YA, not some heavy duty bondage novel in an erotica line.
The focus on Byron and his sexual conquests and this in a book titled "So Shelley".

Overall, this book was a disappointment. Ty Roth can write well, but he should
Kristen Harvey
Why I read this: Cover lust really. I was like ooo pretty. And I really cannot resist a debut novel, for sure. :)

Plot: So, some of you may not know, but this basically throws the famous poets Keats, Shelley, and Byron into a high school setting and well, it makes for quite the interesting story. This book was exactly what I needed after drudging through some "typical" paranormal romance. Ty's writing is like poetry compared to what I've been reading lately and I probably am not the first to say
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book would make one heck of a life time movie. It was written beautifully. The characters were well describe and the plot... well the plot is not only graphic but destructive. It was a type of plot that pulls you in drowning you in the characters life and sorrows. I will do my best to write this review without revealing any spoilers. Bare with me, cause this is the first time I found myself loss for words.

I enjoyed this book even though for me was hard to read. I found myself shaking my hea
Dawn Vanniman
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ok, so if I had known this the book wouldn't have seemed so crazy to me! "If Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley were living adolescents today, how would their literary talents, notorious personas and known fates collide?"

I was warned that the story might squick me out. It did. This is most definitely for the older teens, if for teens at all. There's death, drugs, sex, rape, incest, abortion and a variety of other shadowy things gonig on.

To truly appreciate the book, yo
Oct 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog-tour
I thought this was a great concept. So Shelly is a story that is loosely based on the lives of poets, John Keats, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelley - with a modern-day twist. Told through the voice of a modern day John Keats - we learn of Gordon and his recently deceased BFF Shelly. The boys set out to complete Shelly's final wish of scattering her ashes in a desired location - while in the process getting to know each other better and through flashbacks reminiscing on the life of their friend Shell ...more
This was one book I was very interested in reading. I adore classic novels, and I have read some Byron, Keats, and both the Shelleys (the Shelly in the novel is based on both Mary and Percy). So when I heard about the concept and the idea of So Shelly I was immediatly hooked. I checked out the book from my local library, read some promotional things from the publisher -- Random House -- on the novel, and scoured around Ty Roth's website. I put it at the top of my to-read list and stayed up until ...more
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: age-ya, 2011, age-adult
I picked this up at the library because this places Byron, Shelley, and Keats in a modern high school, which reminded me of my friend Janina's work-in-progress.

Keats narrates this tale about the friendship between Gordon Byron, a studly, popular high school student, and Shelly (Michelle Shelly), a beautiful outcast. At the beginning of the story, Byron and Keats are attending Shelly's funeral and stealing the urn of her ashes for purposes yet unknown. Keats then takes us through the entire lengt
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 ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I love Romantic poetry. I have always thought that the lives of the Romantic poets would make a good soap opera, or at least a good dramatic novel. So Shelly is a young adult novel written in the spirit of the Romantics that deals with the main ideas of life and death. Instead of anticipating a reenactment of the Romantic poets' lives, just imagine their personalities and characteristics reincarnated in modern day teenagers. True, some of the background of those teenagers and poets are similar, ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, death, sex, friendship
I love this cover. John Keats and Gordon Byron have little in common. Keats is academic, sensitive and comes from modest means. Bryon is wealthy, suave and his charismatic charm seduces women in abundance. What Keats and Byron share is a friendship with Shelly, a loudspoken, determined, and fiesty young woman. Shelly drowns in a sailing "accident," and these two unlikely teens have been called upon to fulfill Shelly's last wishes. Their adventure begins when they steal Shelly's ashes from her me ...more
I wanted to love this one. I really did, and I liked it...but I didn't love it.

I loved the Romantic Poets and this was an interesting way to spin the lives of historical figures (John Keats, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley) into modern times. Their transformation into three high school students was just amazing and very well done.
So Shelly definitely brings back the spirit of Romanticism. The characters were well describe and the plot... well the plot is not only graphic but destructive (and a bit
Kelly Bryson
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: blech
This book mingled the lives of the poets of Romanticism--Keats, Byron and Shelley--and remade them into modern-day highschool students. The writing was good, but I never wanted to know that much about their lives. Lots of abuse, mainly of the sexual sort, and every variety of that.

Please understand that this is a personal reaction, not literary criticism. I am sure that there will be many readers who have no problem with the actions and situations depicted in this book, but I'm not one of them.
Jun 02, 2011 rated it liked it
The story was interesting, and there was some great potential, but an overall lack of connection really plagued it from being a great read. All of the incest, frank looks at sex, and the writing set it up for something literary - and indeed, I'd say fans of literary fiction may possibly enjoy this more - but it ultimately felt disconnected. Keats as a narrator doesn't have much emotional purchase behind the story. Byron is an utter douche canoe that you hate and you hate hating him, too. Shelly ...more
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
I just did not like the melodramatic mood that this was written with. And I'm sorry but if the creative reproductions of some of literature's famous poets are going to be portrayed in some overly dramatic sulky way, I don't think I'm going to enjoy this.

Mary Lindsey
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a smart and evocative book. Not for you if you want a fluffy read (which I sometimes want), but perfect if you are ready to dig into a well-written, well-researched, inventive book that doesn't shy away from tough stuff. Well done! ...more
Anna Kay
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: elizabeth
So I'm just gonna get this out of the way right now. This entire book felt familiar to me because of a song by a band called Better than Ezra entitled "A Lifetime." Lyrics go like this:

Allie woke up 8AM
Graduation day.
Got into a car,
And crashed along the way.

When we arrived late to the wake,
Stole the urn while they
Looked away,
And drove to the beach
'Cause I knew you'd want it
That way.

And you were standing
On the hood of the car
Singing out loud
When the sun came up.

And I know I wasn't right,
But it f
Colette Whitney
From my blog

Romantic poets have regaled readers with their enchanting words for ages. But I think that some of their most intriguing stories are the ones they don't tell- the ones about the lives that these poets led outside of their poetry.

Ty Roth’s novel, So Shelly, takes the lives of the Shelley, Byron and Keats and recreates them as modern day teenagers living on the shores of Lake Erie.

Narrated by one John Keats, a quietly talented writer preocc
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wish there was a 1.5 star option. I saw this in the library and remembered it was an option that I considered when I won a free book a while back, so I picked it up. Cool cover (though I think the lettering was trying to play off another Roth's current popularity), the use of Romantic poets Byron, Shelley, and Keats sounded interesting, and the prologue was well written; I checked it out.

The first third was relatively interesting--in fact, the prologue has the two best lines I've read in a nov
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it

I just wrote like five paragraphs of a review for this book and my computer decided to jump to another website so you can imagine how pissed off I am right now...I refuse to try and rewrite all of that again. So I'm going to keep this short....

The book was beautifully written, but, took me a very long time to complete, not because it was bad but because it was one of those books that I had to keep going back and re-reading parts when I'd put the book down and pick it back up at a later date to k
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I felt many different things throughout this book. After the first few chapters, I was thinking this book was about Gordon, not Shelly! About half way through, I was thinking that this book wasn't what I thought it would be. I was expecting more action. I was expecting the two boys to have to work harder to make sense of Shelly's death. It was too easy. And then in the end, I was thinking that it really was a decent book and the ending was perfect. There were many interesting things going on in ...more
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