Review: This is Shyness by Leanne Hall

Publication Date: August 2nd, 2010
Text Publication
Format: Paperback, 272 pages

Goodreads Summary

A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget. 

In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel. She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night. 

But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless…dangerous. There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life.


MY TAKE: 4/5 Stars

I’ve been sitting here staring at my blinking cursor. You know it’s bad when you’re suffering from a mild case of ‘reviewer’s block’ (get it? heh). Maybe I shouldn’t blame myself per se, perhaps I should hold this book responsible for rendering me speechless, grasping for words to describe the mentally stimulating experience I just had.

The entire book happened in one night…or one day, depending on how you look at it. Shyness is a city in perpetual darkness and in most instances, lawless and timeless. It’s quite difficult to explain all the things that make this book unique. I can’t decide which I love more, the world of Shyness in itself or the characters. At first glance, this book can be classified as dystopian; set in the future where a city lay in all its derelict goodness. Normally, I’m big on asking the whys, when and what of a certain outcome in a book but I found myself accepting all the reasons why it was always nighttime in Shyness.

There were theories thrown in the book – most of them out of this world. And this was what made Shyness unique. From its peculiar and unforgettable characters, to a world lacking in daylight and adult supervision, Shyness had the ability to silence all the questions I’d normally ask.

Questions like:

Why the heck is the city over run by sugar-crazed kids and monkeys?

What the heck is Wolfboy? (A much hotter image of a changed Teen Wolf came to mind.)

How is it possible that the gargantuan sun chose not to rise in Shyness and yet a stone’s throw away, along the border, it chose to perch on the horizon like an egotistical fireball taunting the citizens of Shyness?

The characters of Wildgirl and Wolfboy were equally charming. They had me laughing and wishing for those nights when nothing else matters but to live for the moment. On the surface, these two were just two kids who have that instant attraction – out to see where the night was going to take them. But each one had agendas why they stayed together. These two played with me and teased me until they almost drove me insane. It took them forever to kiss even though they were fighting the urge to do so the entire night. And when the sublime moment finally happened, it left me wanting to write a note to the author demanding for a sequel. Honestly, it wasn’t enough. Well, this book isn’t enough. There has to be more.

First of all, I felt that Wildgirl was still a closed book. She never did tell Wolfboy the real reason why she wanted to forget or to run away. I learned more about Wolfboy than I did Wildgirl. Perhaps the author intended it – to make Wildgirl’s character hard to read.

Second of all, I wanted to know who Diana’s real father was. Although it was hinted that she had the most incredible blue eyes like Gram’s, perhaps, it didn’t make it conclusive that Diana was indeed, Wolfboy’s niece.

I thought the ending was rushed that didn’t give me reconciliation. I was sighing and smiling for the most part of the book, but the ending left me scowling and a bit dissatisfied.

In spite of that, I still think this was an amazing head-trip; totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s a well-written book that will make you fall in love with the world and its characters. Definitely, recommendable!

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