Category: Relationships

I was drawn to this new young adult novel for several reasons:

To begin with, the cover caught my eye.  It’s true that you should never judge a book by it’s cover, however a well-constructed and designed book cover will always lead browsers to pick it up and at least read the back.  A good start in getting read!

Secondly, I was intrigued by the concept for the story – that the characters of three of the best known romantic poets of the early 19th century should be transposed into contemporary high school students.

Also, Ty Roth was a new name to me (turns out So Shelly is his debut novel) and it’s good to read authors who are either new to you or new to being published.

I enjoyed this novel very much, though initially I was skeptical about whether I would stick with it when I thought the whole novel was going to consist of teenage angst about death and dying.  However, Roth neither sensationalises nor dwells on this topic even though it is one of the main components of the story.  John Keats is our narrator who intersperses the tale of his friend Shelly, whose funeral is the opening scene for the book, with the task given to him and Byron by their deceased friend.  Keats and Byron have been charged with the task of appropriating Shelly’s ashes and scattering them at the scene of her death – and so this relatively unlikely premise begins.

There were sections of this novel that, while entertaining seemed superfluous to the main story, until I read the afterword in which Roth explains how he cleverly weaved real-life events into the plot and setting for each character.

Overall, a very polished debut.  I will look out for further novels by Ty Roth. Give So Shelly a read and see if you find it as satisfying as I did.


I do like a good Katie Fforde.  If you’re in need of a good romance where the women are down-to-earth and someone you can identify with who end of with their ‘handsome prince’ then you can’t go past FfordeRestoring Grace does what other books by Fforde does, and that it to give you the warm fuzzies, much as curling up with a hot chocolate and a good mushy movie does.

In Restoring Grace two very different young women with two very different sets of problems meet and through friendship, sharing and a fair bit of back-bone in the end realise their potential.  Most of Fforde’s books have this theme running through them.  There are no surprises, but that isn’t the reason you read them.  Be warned, they are addictive!

To check out the full list of books written by Katie Fforde and the opportunity to read the first chapters check out her website.

Highly recommended, satisfying fluff.

I was really taken with David Nicholl’s screenplay, adapted from his novel Starter for Ten and have also enjoyed his work on the scripts for the movie And When did you Last See Your Father as well as the Shakespeare Retold: Much Ado about Nothing so I was intrigued enough to give his novel One Day a try.

This has also now been adapted to the big screen, which I will no doubt have to see.  The premise of One Day is following the development of a friendship between two people, Emma and Dexter,  with a snapshot of them both on the same day over the course of 20 years, beginning as they both graduate from university in Scotland in 1988.

I developed a love-hate relationship with this book.  On one hand I was really taken with it and the quirkyness of the plot, but on the other hand I was frustrated by “will they, won’t they” turmoil.  However, that said, this has more to do with me and my expectations than it does with David Nicholls’ well-written novel.  If you like character-driven stories with believeable actions and reactions then I would confidently recommend it to you. I am about to head to my local public library to get a copy of Starter for Ten. 

For more on  David Nicholls take a look at his website

I particularly like Emma Morley’s mix tape!