Book Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
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 washed ashore and to where she wished to be returned. It would be one last “so Shelly” romantic quest. At least that’s what they think. As they navigate around the obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her tragic and premature end.
Enigmatic and complex as the hero’s life the story is inspired by, So Shelly marks a new phase in the “re-telling” line. So Shelly narrates what life could be in the lives of some of history’s biggest poets in an actual world if they were teenagers: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord byron and John Keats. A fascinating aspect from Ty Roth’s literary debut is that this author utilizes this complex gamma of characters already existent in history and events from their lives being part of the plot, adding a complex touch in their characterization. This allows the readers to know them by history “per se “, however it carries along a mystery aura. Roth is not opting for the simple line and the topics the novel involves are branded susceptible as dysfunctional relationships, obsession, sex, drugs, incest and others. This makes the story stand out in the fields it’s been worked at since without such elements the author cannot be loyal to his characters, for they are based in real complex characters. So Shelly’s premise is one of the most original and intriguing I’ve seen in a long time, certainly there is nothing similar in its market. Roth re-constructs re-telling with its debutant proposal. So Shelly, the story of some ancient literature heroes made new delivered by pure good literature engineering.
At the end of the book there are some author notes where he explains some of the narrative decisions in the story and some reference frames from the heroes who inspired So Shelly’s characters. Let it be mentioned that TY Roth is a fellow educator.