My rating: 3 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by Leanne Hall via Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
‘This is Shyness’ was a novel that really, really intrigued me. Its blurb was different and the whole story just SOUNDED different. I couldn’t even pinpoint its genre other than young-adult – but that’s too general. It was one of those really special stories DESIGNED to make you an emotional wreck and leave you completely enchanted. Right from the beginning I suspected that I was gonna like it; no, LOVE IT!
The first chapter was quiet and atmospheric. I was expecting two, normal, young teenagers or even preteens, a boy and a girl, who are both diabetics (if you’ve read the blurb, you’ll understand my assumption). They meet by chance and decide to escape their hospital in order to explore the world around them since it’s so boring inside. I expected sadness, melancholy and poignancy to the extreme. So much that it would permeate the novel and would make me sob my eyes out until I’m nothing but a shell. What I got was:
Seventeen-year-old Wildgirl needs to forget; she needs to leave her home behind, even if it is just for a few hours. Together with a couple of colleagues she heads out to the Diabetic Hotel, a club full of something she can use to forget, and she is not going to let her age stop her. But upon arriving she sees eighteen-year-old Wolfboy who howls with grief and sadness upon their first meeting. The daring Wildgirl dares Wolfboy to show her around Shyness, a town where the sun never rises and it is forever dark. Where the Kidds run wild; the Dreamers forever sleep; and run down roads and street lights remain damaged and unrepaired. Where an outsider has no place to be and danger runs abound. Wolfboy cannot resist.
I liked the anonymity that Wildgirl’s and Wolfboy’s nicknames provide. It lets for the development of a bond and the most important thing for both of them: trust. Both have experienced a lot in their years and this one night together might just help to set them both on the path to happiness.
The two also had great chemistry but the best was their friendship. I liked the way they interacted and how Wolfboy took Wildgirl under his wing and Wildgirl made Wolfboy feel happiness again. Both had this unspoken comradeship that I really liked, whilst experiencing an attraction, and the fact that the two didn’t experience insta-love was also nice. The two seemed to grow and blossom into their deepening affection for each other.
All the characters were absolutely fantastic. There was great character development and great dynamics. I could get a grasp on who everyone was as soon as I read from their perspective or about them but what I liked most about this novel was that my opinion of these characters would change and evolve how I would see them in my mind’s eye.
The novel’s genre seemed like a cross between contemporary and fantasy. The contemporary came from the world that Wildgirl brought and the fantasy came from Wolfboy’s world. The two weaved seamlessly but it was a very new and strange union. I’ve read novels like this before and they have always left me puzzled and confused or completely disliking in the end.
Leanne Hall’s writing style is very good; she definitely knows her way around books and how to write them. First person narration. Gave that depth of perspective that’s really, ever so vital to these types of stories. Every alternate chapter is from Wildgirl point of view whilst the others are from Wolfboy.
The ending was so great! It wrapped up the story and the wonderful night-time adventure of Wolfboy and Wildgirl but it also left it open to future continuation and general the readers imagination. Unfortunately this wasn’t a novel that I loved but I do appreciate and admire Leanne Hall’s storytelling. I couldn’t seem to connect with Wildgirl or Wolfboy for some strange and inexplicable reason.
Congratulations to Leanne Hall on the publication of her enchanting debut novel!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!