by Leanne Hall
Read: January 19 - 20, 2015
Published: 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.