Preloved by Shirley Marr
Publisher: Black Dog Books/Walker Books AUS
Pages: 272 (Paperback)
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.
I have to admit, Preloved truly surprised me. After finally getting a hold of Fury, I wasn’t entirely sure how Preloved and I would get along because Paranormal Romances with ghosts usually make me want to roll my eyes. However, in Preloved’s case it worked really well for me. In fact, there is something really special about Shirley Marr’s sophomore novel because while the blurb sounds strictly PNR, it gives off a very strong contemporary feel at the same time. I actually found myself enjoying Preloved more than Fury at times. You have your relatable characters, familiar setting, and a pinch of abnormal. What more could you ask for?
The 80’s was an interesting time in history. It taught us all to “kick off our Sunday shoes,” that anyone can become a “dirty dancer,” how we shouldn’t fear the “Thriller,” how it felt to feel “Like a Virgin, touched for the very first time,” and that you aren’t truly a boss until you can pull this number off in leg warmers:
Confession: I internally groaned when I saw this book had a heavy focus on the 80’s. I mean, it’s the 80’s! Mullets, leg-warmers, bad perms, leotards! Need I say more? Thankfully, it didn’t happen like that. Logan is a ghost from the 80’s who happens to show up after Amy, a very lonely girl, acquires an old locket. Except the locket wasn’t meant for her, but instead her beautiful, hipster, best-friend Rebecca, who Logan just happens to love. She initially sets out to help him connect with Rebecca, who bares a shocking resemblance to Logan’s old girlfriend, but it turns out to be much more than she bargained for.
If I were to describe Preloved in two words it would be sugary sweet. I love self-discovery novels. They have a way of reminding me of times when I was naive, innocent, and unsure of myself. Amy is the kind of protagonist that is entirely relatable because she’s a broken, teen girl searching for her identity in the world. I could easily connect and sympathize with her and not once did I grow impatient with her character. She’s the kind of main character that continues to grow on you as the novel progress until you realize it’s time to let her go, but your aren’t quite ready yet. The supporting cast fell a little short for me mainly because I just didn’t care for Rebecca and Nancy wasn’t around long enough for me to properly form an opinion. However, I did like both Logan and Amy’s mom, both important plot points on Amy’s every shifting graph.
The romance wasn’t something I was expecting to enjoy since it does contain a love triangle. But this one was unique since it was, but it wasn’t. While most of the novel Logan expresses interest only in Rebecca, she never felt like a real contender in the race for his heart. I didn’t feel the same “Oh, who are they gonna pick?” urge that I normally feel for say, a novel like Unearthy. But the relationship between Logan and Amy is one I couldn’t help but cheer for. The way he affectionately called her Ms. Matey and blushed in his ghostly form really was the icing on the cake.
So if you are on the market for a lighter Paranormal Romance that is fun, relaxing, and sugary sweet Preloved may be just what you’re looking for. And don’t worry, I promise there is none of this going on:
Aren’t you glad those days are over?