I have limited knowledge about the Young Adult genre commonly referred to as YA.  A friend recently raved on about a YA book titled RIPPED: JACK THE RIPPER TIME TRAVEL THRILLER by Shelly Dickson Carr. My friend is no young adult and I was amazed she could even remember the title.... but this book is a realistic slice (maybe a bad word choice..) of historical fiction geared for any age.

So if you're up for something new and different, YA or "faux" YA, give RIPPED a whirl. Sounds like you won't be disappointed, no matter where you fall in the age spectrum.

Reviewers labeled RIPPED a combo of fantasy, mystery and romance combined with a mesmerizing narrative. Some readers felt they were literally shrouded in London a good way.

Shelley Dickson Clark just emailed the latest info:

Ripped won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal for best first book. It won two silver medal awards: one for best mystery/suspense and the other for Best New Voice!
We are in process of selling rights in Japan to a major publishing company there. They are going to sell it in two volumes. :-)​​
​Very Exciting!!!

The review below was submitted by an adult male reader. You may be surprised by his commentary....

"I have to admit to being more than a little surprised by RIPPED. Having won a paperback copy on GoodReads I departed from the usual genres which I surround myself with into the realm of YA. I'm not a YA fan, I've never been a YA fan...not even when I was a YA but there's something about RIPPED that is very different.

Perhaps it's the wonderful artwork laced through the novel, perhaps it's the heavy use of rhyming slang or maybe even the effort the author goes to in order to create narrative device restrictions that mesh two genres with very particular, very different codes and conventions together. Whatever it is, it works.

There's a lot made in other reviews about the historical inaccuracies of the novel which don't interest me. If you're going to go to the bother to highlight these in a "time travel" novel then chances are you were never going to be pleased.

So many YA novels are populated with young girls who are insecure, thinly characterised and find self worth through the eyes of others but what Shelly Dickson Carr has crafted is not just an intelligent and interesting piece of fiction but one with some educational value.

Many readers with ripper knowledge will probably roll their eyes at that last statement but if it introduces a new generation to a fascinating time in history then it's done more for education than anything either in the YA genre. Thoroughly entertaining, thought provoking and addictive reading."


Shelly Dickson Carr was ten years old when she read He Wouldn't Kill Patience, the classic mystery by her grandfather, John Dickson Carr. Since then she's been hooked on the genre and thinking about the mystery she'd one day write. Ripped is her first novel.

The idea for RIPPED came while on a scouting trip. As a board member for the Huntington Theater in Boston, Shelly has traveled frequently to London with theater members in search of interesting new plays.

While in London, the author began researching the mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper, one of the greatest unsolved murder cases in history. Dickson Carr tethers her fantastic fiction to meticulously researched facts, everything from fashion to architecture to 1888 police practices.

Shelly's fascination with the nineteenth century started as a young girl, in a rambling Victorian house in Mamaroneck, New York. Her British mother, an author and bibliophile, filled every room in the house with floor-to-ceiling book shelves. Leather-bound classics abounded. Her friends called it the library house. In third grade Shelly read all the Just So Stories by Kipling --because she could reach them on the lower shelves.

A founding member of The Masterpiece Trust that enabled Downton Abbey to be aired on PBS, and a supporter of Masterpiece Mystery's Sherlock, the author has a deep love of all things British.

She has three daughters and lives with her husband, their youngest daughter, and their bulldog Becket on Beacon Hill in Boston. Shelly has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College, and an undergraduate degree in education.

When not reading or writing or working on community arts projects, Shelly, aka Michelle Karol, likes to spend time with her horse Tucker. She also loves to ski and travel with her husband. (Shelly-- her girlhood knickname is the only name her grandfather knew her by, she adopted "Michelle" sometime during her college years)




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