Poetry in Modern Day

No, this is not a post with another poem by me. Although, I did promise you more writing, so if you guys want to hear it, then just let me know. No, this is a review of So Shelly by Ty Roth.

High school junior John Keats has only tiptoed 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 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 glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her premature death.

Even though the cover is amazing, when I first started this book, it was awful. I thought, this is YA fiction? Why? There didn’t seem to be a point to it at all. There were three characters, none of whom seemed particularly close to anyone else, despite their so-called friendship. There were a lot of inappropriate scenes, graphic/descriptive in style, and it all seemed to be about Gordon, not Shelly’s life or even Keats’s, though he was the narrator. However, once I read the last few chapters, it began to make sense. It was, after all, about life and death, as the author stated in the very beginning and restated at the end; it just didn’t seem that way until everything was tied up and over, which was entirely the author’s point, I believe. The book was written to teach a life lesson.

Still, I didn’t understand the whole book until I read the afterward, parts of which I think should have been part of a foreword instead. Given the choice, I would not reread this book, but honestly, I think it depends on the reader. If you can stand a lot of beating around the bush that’s not even suspenseful, is just fluff, then go right ahead and read it. Even in making his point, Roth belabors it so that you want to shout at him, “All right already! I get it! Get to the end!” especially because of some of the content.

**This book is for mature teens, due to language and explicit scenes that occupy most of the book.

Hopefully the next book I read will be more entertaining and less BLAH. Forever, the last book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, is up next for review.
~Yours Truly

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