By: Melanie | November 29, 2014 | (30) Comments

Review: Preloved by Shirley MarrPreloved by Shirley Marr
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, YA
Pages: 272
Source: Gifted
Goodreads | Purchase

If you had a second chance at love, would you do it all over again?

Amy has enough to deal with for one lifetime. A superstitious Chinese mother. A best friend whose mood changes as dramatically as her hair colour. A reputation for being strange. The last thing she needs is to be haunted by someone only she can see.

Logan is a ghost from the Eighties. He could be dangerous. He's certainly annoying.

He might also be Amy's dream boy.

stickers-my-review (1)

“There is no ending to this story because, as I’ve realised, stories don’t have endings, only beginnings.”

Amy hasn’t had the easiest life. She lives with her superstitious single Chinese mother with barely enough money to feed themselves. Her ‘best friend’, Rebecca doesn’t exactly help either; her mood changes as rapidly as her hair colour. Rebecca seems to attract all the boys, and Amy has always just been that nameless girl who follows Rebecca around at school. Yet, when Amy finds and opens a locket in the middle of nowhere, her life seems to look a little brighter. Because who pops out of the locket is a ghost boy named Logan, who died in 1988; and despite the weirdness of it all, Amy and Logan have more in common than they thought and find comfort with each other’s company.

What makes this book so much fun are the pop-culture references. The school Amy attends, Middlemore High School, likes to have dress up days in the middle of the week, and the theme they had most recently was the eighties. So Rebecca dresses up as Kylie Minogue (and of course a bunch of the guys dressed up has Jason Donovan, seeing as they are oh-so in love with Rebecca), and Amy dresses as Princess Buttercup from The Princess Bride. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? I wish my school would have such random dress up days. Because one of the main characters is from the eighties (Logan), we are introduced to a lot of the slang back then, as well as the music–and even the ads that used to play on the TV back in those days. It just made this book even more engaging.

Amy is such a brilliant character. She’s different, a little strange but such a fun character to read about. She’s never thought much of herself, and being stuck with Rebecca who apparently looks beautiful doesn’t help either. She’s not even an Asian stereotype, and sometimes she worries that her mother wishes she was just like Nancy, who is basically THE Asian stereotype. I didn’t like Rebecca at all, for that matter. She’s so up herself–she knows she’s beautiful and tries to act superior from everyone else, and that is one of my biggest pet peeves ever so MUCH RAGE TO YOU, REBECCA. But, that didn’t shake my love for this book at all, because it was probably the author’s intention to do that.

Guys, we have a mother who is actually present in the book. HURRAH! I absolutely loved Amy’s mother. She wasn’t treated as some plot device in the story, and gosh, she’s such a sweet and intelligent mother. No shame in saying that she was one of my favourite characters in the book. Amy’s mother is quite important here, and I really appreciate the author for creating such a realistic dynamic between the two. EXTRA POINTS FOR YOU, MS. MARR!

In all, if you love the eighties, you’ll love this book. If you love pop-culture references, you’ll love this book. If you love Aussie YA, you’ll love this book. I’M 99.99% SURE EVERYONE WILL ENJOY THIS BOOK. NOW GO GET YERSELVES AT COPY.

BUT. Before you leave, here’s a little something for all those who have read the book.

~Thank you Shirley Marr for gifting me this copy~

4.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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30 Responses to Review: Preloved by Shirley Marr

  1. Kelly says:

    I love that cover, absolutely adore it!

    You honestly had me at ghost popping out of a locket. I’m a child of the 80’s and love retro books that reference my era. Sometimes I feels like I’m the only one laughing that can understand the sass. But this sounds brilliant. And HOORAY for a parent that doesn’t leave their teen to their own devices either.

    Adding this one to my TBR list now. Brilliant review Mel, absolutely adored it! <3
    Kelly recently posted…The Bookish Best Of… Romance WankersMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I love it too, Kels!

      Yes, I’m sure that you’ll love this one thoroughly then, because there’s so many references–some that i admittedly didn’t really get. I’m so glad that you’ve added this to the TBR, it’s totally worth it ^.^

  2. Melliane says:

    I didn’t really know about this one but it sounds so interesting and different and you made me curious now! I love a good story like that!
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #120My Profile

  3. Oh man. Look at all the good stuff I’m missing by not reading my copy? You’ve sold me, Mel. 🙂
    Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 129My Profile

  4. Lexa Cain says:

    This book sounds like a lot of fun, and I love the diversity angle. Thanks for the review! 🙂
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Cleaning & FreebieMy Profile

  5. I AM SO SO GLAD YOU LIKE THIS BOOK BECAUSE HUZZAH IT’S ONE OF MY TOP FAVOURITES. I mean, what can possibly go wrong with epic Princess Bride references?! This book is built on the best movie eeeeever. And Logan. Oh Logan is just adorable. I could totally hug this book. It’s my favourite Shirley Marr read. I just wish she had more books. x)
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Guest Post: Characters vs Me by Amanda @ Book BadgerMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yes this one is definitely going down as one of my top faves of 2014! This book was just too fantastic YES THE PRINCESS BRIDE REFERENCES. THEY WERE THE BEEEEEST.

  6. Okay, yes. Adding this to my TBR NOW, because it sounds FANTASTIC. I remember seeing this featured on one of Cait’s posts earlier this year, so I don’t know how it’s not already on my Goodreads TBR, but there you go. Thanks for a wonderful review, Mel! Glad you enjoyed this one, too. 🙂
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  7. This sounds quite cute. I lived the ’80s, so it’s cool to see a book pay homage to that decade. I haven’t really come across that many, at least in YA…
    La Coccinelle recently posted…Weekly Recap – November 23-29, 2014My Profile

  8. Amber Elise says:

    OMG I just realized how rare it is for parents to be in a novel if they aren’t physically/emotionally abusing the MC (in most contemporary novels at least). Ah, that realization just hurt my head.

    This one sounds adorable, and for some reason it reminds me of Susie Q.

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  9. I WANT MY CLOTHES OFF!!! I went around saying that for weeks after I read Preloved, I hadn’t thought about that ad since I was little 🙂

    Glad you loved this!!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  10. Aw, fun! I was born in 1990…but I do know a bit about the 80’s, so I think I’d really enjoy all the references.
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  11. Bennari H. says:

    Oh that is such an awesome cover. I’ve never heard of Shirley Marr before but I just checked her out on Goodreads and wow, looks like I’ve been hiding under a rock O__O Awesome review Mel, I so want to read this now.

  12. OMG I don’t think I could deal with all those pop culture references! THAT IS JUST TOO MUCH AWESOME.


    This sounds like a fabulous read and you don’t give out 4.5 stars often so I’ve got to check this one out 🙂

  13. Amelia K says:

    Meeeeeel aren’t her books brilliant? I love love loved Fury, which was her first book I believe, and I still have yet to read this one but from what I hear, it’s just a good. I’m really glad you enjoyed these!

    Great review ^_^

  14. This book sounds totally familiar, but I can’t remember whether I’ve read it all not! I like all the pop culture references that I could probably relate to, and the struggles of an asian teen. Definitely relatable for us here! Great review Mel <3

  15. Rebecca says:

    “In all, if you love the eighties, you’ll love this book. If you love pop-culture references, you’ll love this book. If you love Aussie YA, you’ll love this book. I’M 99.99% SURE EVERYONE WILL ENJOY THIS BOOK. NOW GO GET YERSELVES AT COPY.”

    *bumps up TBR* I am reading this – SOON.

    Amazing review!
    Rebecca recently posted…Top Ten Books I’m Anticipating In 2015My Profile

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