Nomes's Reviews > This is Shyness

This is Shyness by Leanne Hall
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's review
Oct 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-ya, crushing-on-the-writing, faves-of-2010, i-own, 2010, alternating-m-f-pov, kick-arsery-abounds, you-make-me-smile, kindle
Read from October 14 to 17, 2010

whoah - this was stunning and different and unexpected and just - wow.

I had no idea what to expect from this book and now it's hard to tell you all what to expect. In some ways, it's perfect going into it with no idea, but here's a small taste...

This is Shyness reads like a contemporary novel but there are fantastical elements.

Such as: the suburb of Shyness itself. It is a place where one day, the sun went down, and it hasn't ever risen again. It's in permanent night-time, but right next door (over the border) - the sun's still doing it's usual thing.

It's still set in our world, with mobile phones and school and India and everywhere else. But it feels different.

The novel takes place over one night.

There's are sugar-crazed kidds and tarsier's (wild monkey-type creatures)

It alternates between the POV of wolfboy (enigmatic, charming in an off-beat way, and hot ) and Wildgirl (fiesty, whimsical, a Girl You Will Absolutely Love) . Wolfboy and Wildgirl meet in a bar at night and end up wandering through the streets of Shyness and you never quite know just who they are going to bump into next.

Really these points still don't give any indication what to expect - but you should expect that you have never read anything like this book before.

It felt like a dream, reading this

One of those gorgeous dreams where everything is slightly different but you believe your dream world to be the truth.

One of those dreams that when you wake up you hold onto it hard, not wanting to leave the magical dream behind, wanting to savour the taste and sound and feel and essence of it.
Like some dreams, it's occasionally a little bit dark and creepy and some parts don't make absolute sense as it's all unfolding.

This is a dream you want to be a part of. And it's the kind of dream you won't ever forget.

I couldn't put this book down - it's a classic example of a book transporting you to another place and time.

It's also a writer's dream: prose that slips and slides over you in the most evocative of ways.
Descriptions and feelings nailed in a few well-chosen words.
Even the nondescript characters and locations are given their own distinct vibe.

Recommended: This is Shyness is a brilliant novel unlike any I have ever read before. Charming and fantastical, in some places, even cute - yet also gritty and scarily-feral in parts. It's a book for dreamers: imaginative and haunting and completely unexpected. Yay for novels that blow my mind while still making me grin.
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Quotes Nomes Liked

Leanne Hall
“We’re going bowling?’ I can’t keep the disappointment of of my voice. Bowling is not badass.”
Leanne Hall, This is Shyness

Leanne Hall
“They envy your youth. You two are like exotic creatures from the land of the young.’
I’ve never understood all that these-are-the-best-years-of-your-life crap. If this is as good as it gets then I might as well quit now. Let me get to the shimmery oasis of adulthood.”
Leanne Hall, This is Shyness

Leanne Hall
“People grow couches and bikes and concrete in their front gardens instead of roses.”
Leanne Hall, This is Shyness

Reading Progress

10/14 page 87
32.0% "only intended to read one chapter but got completely sucked in" 3 comments
01/31 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Romy (new) - added it

Romy I've seen This is Shyness before but after reading the blurb I decided to pass, now reading your review I must give this book a try, thanks Nomes!

message 2: by oliviasbooks (last edited Oct 21, 2010 12:59AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

oliviasbooks And this is STILL NOT AVAIABLE here in Europe. Not even via Leanne, do something! I want to buy your book.

message 3: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic Amazing review! I am going to have order this immediately. I haven't seen it in stores.

Nomes I loved this one (as you can tell) it's really completely different though - just stunning.

My library has it - maybe yours does too? It won the Text Publishing Prize which means most libraries should get it in. I have seen it around in my independent book store though.

@ Olivia: so annoying how hard it can be to get Aussie YA overseas :(

message 5: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic Thanks Nomes. I don't use the library much (I really should). I think it would be one of those books I would want to keep anyway :)

Nomes @ Nic - yeah, I like keeping books too. I just did a swap for this one with Holly (even though I'd already read it - I got my own copy in the mail today :)

message 7: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic I need to start to swap books. I have too many but I just dont want to let go :)

Nomes I was like that too. Now I just hold on to my 5 star books and one's I think I'll re-read. Holly and I have swapped twice now - and each time it's been 5 books. So cool having a parcel of 5 new books arrive. plus I don't feel so bad about ordering a book knowing I can pass it on and get another book out of it (well, theoretically...)

Where do you order your books from?

Janina Really liked your review, Nomes.
Olivia, I'm with you. I can't believe all those Australian books aren't available over here. Why???

message 10: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic @ Nomes - Mostly bookstore and the occassional TBD. I just love going to the bookstore and looking at all the really pretty books :)

message 11: by Tom (new) - added it

Tom Bensley I really liked your review, just so you know.

Nomes thanks mate :)

message 13: by Jade (new) - added it

Jade I've heard a few people rave about this one. I'm going to have to check it out.

Arlene Gah! Another one we can't get here. This sounds amazing Nomes!

Nomes it is amazing. very unique and fun and surprising :)

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