SO SHELLY by Ty Roth
Random House: Delacorte Press
Released: February 8, 2011
Source: Princess Bookie ARC Tours
Page Count: 336
Rating: Didn't like it
High school junior John Keats has only tiptoes near the edge of the vortex that is Gordon Byron, schoolmate and literary prodigy. That is, until their mutual friend, Michelle "Shelly" Shelley, drowns in a sailing "accident."
After stealing Shelly's ashes from her memorial at Trinity High, Keats and Gordon set on a course for the small Lake Erie island where her body washed ashore, and where she wanted to be laid to rest. Granting her last wish would be Keats and Gordon's way of letting their friend have one final "so Shelly" romantic journey. As they make their way to Lake Erie, navigating obstacles and resisting temptations, Keats and Gordon flue together the shattered pieces of Shelly's and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her premature death.
Ty Roth plunges into uncharted waters as he cleverly transforms poets Keats, Byron, and Shelley into present-day high school students. Sometime tragic, always outrageous, So Shelly captures the indomitable spirit of Romanticism.
This book was really not my style. The blurb that I read when I signed up for the tour left out the last paragraph of the description above, so I was expecting something more high school-ish, not the incredibly disturbing and intense dissection of Shelly and Gordon's lives that it turned out to be. Honestly, the only reason I finished this book was because I wanted to know if the story could get any more depraved (... which it did).
Tough topics are one thing, but shock value for the sake of shock value - and allowing it because the person is artistic and/or has money - doesn't to anything for me. Those who are interested in the poets named above may be interested in this book. Otherwise, I personally wouldn't recommend it.