Shirley Marr.

Shirley Marr

Shirley Marr.  That’s the name that popped into my head the other day after I wrote my inspirational authors’ page on Jim Butcher about a week ago.  I figured I was thinking along the lines of which Australian author out there, who is not Melina Marchetta, Jaclyn Moriarty and John Marsden has inspired me with their writing?  An author, also, who is not Isobelle Carmody,  writer of possibly one of the most amazing sci-fi dystopian series ever, or Marianne de Pierreswho also wrote a series dystopian series that I love, and who is not Rebecca Lim (author of the Mercy series) and Justine Larbalestier.  

Shirley Marr.  That was the name that popped into my head.  Now, Marr is a relatively new author with two books under her belt and is currently working on another.

I don’t know if you lovely, lovely readers out there remember, about a month ago I posted a suggestive read of one of her books – Fury.  Now I absolutely, positively, crazily love this weird and whacky, light and dark, sane and insane book about a murder.  I was literally blown off my feet by it, I was that surprised.


But you know, Fury isn’t you’re everyday YA novel.  Rather, it’s like this:

  1. The story is about a girl murderer.
  2. Eliza Boans has a sense of humor.
  3. Eliza Boans is a murderer.
  4. Eliza Boans shouldn’t be likeable.
  5. The story is about a murder.
  6. This is insane!!!  Yet completely likeable, loveable (not in the cute, lovey-dovey way, but loveable in the omg-it’s-freaking-awesome-because-no-one-else-has-tried-to-do-it-before kind of way)

So, obviously it’s kinda a little bit special – if you get my meaning.  Shirley Marr has evidently got her own sweetly dark style to her works, that’s for sure.  It’s dark stuff, and light stuff, mixed in one.  While her second book was completely different to her first, the style was there — no, SHIRLEY MARR was there, written all over the cover, imprinting her words within its pages.  Yep.  Book two was darkness mixed with lightness, and a dislikeable likeable female protagonist.  It’s been described as (on goodreads under her profile) a paranormal love story for girls who don’t like paranormal love story.  And hell yeah!  It totally was!  It was freaky and kinda insane.  I loved – and sympathised – and hated the protagonist.  She was so whiny, so envious of her best friend, yet at the same time, everything she said was justified and she still loved her best friend just as much, which felt so realistic for me, I was like – omg, why are you so good Marr?  So it was kinda official at that point, that Marr is just as good as Richelle Mead, Sarah Dessen, Jim Butcher, and a whole bunch of other authors who can flawlessly create a different kind of main character per series.

by Shirley Marr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marr I envy you :). Again, you have captured me in another spellbinding story. While I loved Fury and was excessively enamored with its story and character, I realised how incredibly well developed Marr’s characters are. Amy Lee of Preloved is the same. She has her hates and loves, her intricacies and pet peeves. She was annoying and yet so very attractive as a sympathetic character. In the end, I really liked her character, even if I didn’t at first.

Preloved is not like Marr’s first novel. While yes, it was an emotional rollercoaster, Preloved is about a girl and her encounter with a ghost. It’s about her and her best friend, who she doesn’t always like. And it’s about her and her relationship with everyone else around her.

It might be a slow start, but it’s certainly not a boring start. It’s certainly a book worth reading. 🙂

Yeah, so that’s how I reviewed it when I first read Preloved.  It’s been a while then, but my opinion of Shirley Marr, Shirley Marr’s stories, and Shirley Marr’s writing has not changed.  It has a lasting impression and even if her characters are full of personality and can be a handful half the time, surely, surely that is a sign of an inspiring author?


(From Fury)

“I was thinking that if it really was my fault, if every reaction could be traced to an action before, then at the very beginning would be me at the canteen queue with my twenty-dollar note instead of my packed lunch. In turn I could blame my mother for not caring enough and maybe I could blame my father for making my mum stop caring. Maybe all this was supposed to happen. It had been happening all along. It was too hard to try and stop it now. In a twisted way, there was cold comfort in that.” 

“You don’t give your mum enough credit for raising you, Elle. Look at you. Teenage sweetheart with a sugar shell and strychnine centre. We might as well finish speaking the truth now.” 

(And from Preloved)

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

“If you’re hoping to party like it’s 1999 because Prince told you the world was going to end in 2000, then I’m sorry to disappoint you. We’re still here.” 

See?  Well, this is just a taste, but lol, totally, reading her books are like definitely worth it!  They’re short too, only about 300 pages long there abouts.  And I have to say, I’m looking forward to more works by Shirley Marr, afterall, she has become one of my favourite Australian authors, and I’m in total envy of her!  Oh and yes, if it’s something unusual within the YA sphere that is what you’re looking for, then Marr is it.  She’s certainly got a flair for the good, the dark and the fluffy – well maybe not fluffy per se, but something akin to it.


2 thoughts on “Shirley Marr.

    • Hmm yes, YA is not for every one and pretty predictable generally! But. Shirley Marr, her protagonists, despite the familiar YA girl with issues who is the star of the show, they have powerful voices, whiny, dislikeable, yet reasonable. And the plots…just when you figured it out.
      I suppose her books aren’t for everyone to like, they are quite different, but I liked them.

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