Monday, January 26, 2015

This is Shyness by Leanne Hall

This is Shyness
by Leanne Hall
Read: January 19 - 20, 2015
March 17, 2015 by Text 
Source: Edelweiss (TY Text!)
Category: YA, Aussie, just one night, 

Series: This is Shyness #1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

A captivating novel told from the points of view of two unforgettable characters. In the suburb of Shyness, the sun doesn't rise. Wolfboy meets a stranger called Wildgirl, who dares him to be her guide through the endless night. There are things that can only be said in the dark.This is Shyness was shortlisted for a number of major Australian literary awards and named a Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book.


This is Shyness is a book that is very hard to categorize, and I don't want to loose the magic of the journey by explaining it too much. But you should know this book contains a whole lot of strangeness. It also takes place in one night. 

I love the way this book begins like a typical contemporary with one of our narrators having a bad day at school and going out with work friends to forget about it. She ends up in a pub called The Diabetic and sees a hot guy across the room. He notices her back. Then he howls at her and tells her his name is Wolfboy - she says he can call her Wildgirl. It's here you realize this isn't going to be a typical story at all. Wolfboy and Wildgirl follow a weird and wonderful path through a town where it is always night. But amidst all the absurdity, readers begin to see that these are flawed characters with real-life problems after all. 

"It's time to wind this up before someone comes a long and sees us. Two people dressed in black can fly under the radar if they're careful. Five people, including three flamboyantly dressed pirates - that's a different matter."

Another favorite things about this story are Wolfboy and Wildgirl's voices. They are unique, but also filled with longings and insecurities. I highlighted so many passages that were poignant or that amused me. In many ways this is a journey of self discovery for both of them. As they traverse the dark streets of Shyness where regular rules don't apply, they gain perspective on their own lives. This book doesn't solve their problems, but it changes their points of view a little bit, which is often even more important. As both Wolfboy and Wildgirl experience something that is different from their insulated lives - finding opportunities to fear and wish and be brave - they begin to see that maybe there's more out there for them than they thought. 

"There's one thing I can't accuse him of, and that's being all alpha and macho. He was listening when I said we had to be a team. And right now this team member needs to go up to the roof to clear her mind."

This story is also a romance, and I love the growing bond between Wolfboy and Wilgirl. They have an instant attraction, which I totally think is real, by the way. But the slower connection of trust and honesty that they build over the course of the night, is what is lovely to watch. 

This book wasn't long enough (thankfully there's a sequel!). I wanted to spend more time in Shyness, and find out why it's covered in darkness and more about the nefarious activities of certain parties. But I also love the way this book ends in the morning without answering every question or solving every problem. It makes the night stand out even more vividly. 

Love Triangle Factor: NONE

Cliffhanger Scale: Low - the sequel Queen of the Night is currently published in Australia. 

 I've already read the sequel Queen of the Night, which is just as spectacular. Don't miss this Aussie duet! 

*All quotes taken from the advanced e-version of the book I received from Text Publishing via Edelweiss, Copyright Leanne Hall. 


  1. I've never heard of this book before, Lauren, but I'm adding this to my TBR. I love the sound of the budding relationship between the two characters. And I love that it's so unconventional but it tackles some great issues. I need to try this one out for sure.
    Lovely review, Lauren!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Lauren! It's such an under-rated Aussie novel but it's so impressive, particularly in its characterizations but also in its creativity. I want another book, honesty, even after QUEEN OF THE NIGHT. I also just want to live in those covers because they're waaay too beautiful. And reading your review brought back so many swoon-worthy memories of Wolfboy! *sigh* Lovely review, dear, and I can't wait to read your thoughts on QUEEN OF THE NIGHT!

  3. I actually bought a copy of this book a year or two ago from Fishpond, as I'd heard so many amazing things about it from Aussie readers, I actually saw a copy of it in the bookstore the other day, so I'm glad that its finally receiving the recognition that it deserves to receive. I still haven't read my copy yet, but the way you describe the uniqueness of the book it makes me want to pick up my copy straight away. I think it may have to be one of my reads for next month for sure!

  4. Amazing review Lauren. <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed this book :D It looks so cute. Yay for no triangle. <3 But.. it takes place in one day? I'm not sure I would enjoy that :p I need more romance than you get from one day, lol :) But I'm glad it worked for you. Thank you for sharing about this book sweetie. <3

  5. Oooh, this one sounds interesting. I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the heads-up!

  6. Wonderful review, Lauren! This is one of those books I don't think I could ever have reviewed, because it's just so *strange* and people really just need to read it to understand it. :P But you put everything so perfectly. I like what you say about Wolfboy and Wildgirl's voices - Wolfboy's I was especially fond of because he is so insecure, and that just made me want to hug him.
    I'm glad you finally got around to reading these two, girl, and putting them out there. They are definitely underrated.

  7. Oh, I absolutely agree with regards to the difference in point of views! O.O Sometimes they are more life-changing than "quick solutions" and stuff like that. This book seems like a really good one, and I don't know why I haven't requested it yet. Hopefully it's still on EG! >.<

    Faye at The Social Potato

  8. I've been wanting to read this book for SOOOOOO LONG and I cannot believe we'll all get a chance to read it soon! I always eyed this book hoping that one day the day would come but it's here and I had no idea it was and I am so excited! I am so happy to see you enjoyed this book so much, Lauren and I have NO DOUBT I will too. :')

    Fantastic review!! :D

    I cannot wait to meet these lovely characters!!! *flails*

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  9. This one isn't even on my radar, but you have piqued my interest! And I usually do love Aussie authors…why is that? Agree that insta-attraction is believable (that happens all the time, right?) but glad to hear the trust and honesty builds in a nice way. Great review! ~Pam

  10. This sounds a little...literary, Lauren. And I'm a pretty shallow reader. Odd, literary books don't always work for me. But i'm really curious. Is it because it's an Aussie book that I haven't heard anything about it but your review?


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