Teresa Adams lives in constant fear of being asked to speak out loud in class. Her interactions with others are difficult and often painful. In fact, Tere is so shy that most teachers have given up on calling on her altogether. Tere prefers to hide out in her bedroom, pretending to be a DJ for Miami’s hottest radio station, the SLAM 92.7. Through a stroke of luck, Tere gets her chance to DJ and blossoms under the guise of her alter ego – Sweet T. Meanwhile, she is forced to participate in a group oral presentation project with new crush Gavin, who just happens to love Sweet T and her radio show. How long can Tere keep her radio persona a secret from Gavin and everyone else? And could Sweet T actually help her overcome the shyness in her life and land her the guy of her dreams?
Shrinking Violet is a beautifully written and memorable debut novel that is both humorous and extremely touching. It's a story about a girl who struggles with a commonly misunderstood problem – debilitating shyness. While most people are probably not as shy as Tere, we’ve all had instances where we feel self-conscious or lack confidence in our opinions. As someone who has struggled with shyness all my life, I was really able to connect with Tere and feel all her insecurities and doubts as if they were my own. I loved the way she lived out her dream, despite the sheer terror of taking those first courageous leaps. Gavin, the cute boy she crushes on was my other favorite character. He appreciated her for who she truly was – both her shy self AND the spunky girl deep down inside. I also loved the personalities inhabiting the radio station. Their characters were quirky and a lot of fun, especially the chest hair baring, aging DJ Derek and Pop Tart, the front desk receptionist with the heart of gold.
I thought radio was the perfect venue to transport Tere out of her crippling shyness. Being a DJ means not having to worry about body image and self confidence issues. It's all about the music and the voice. It wasn’t an overnight transformation or one that happened without the support of some great people in her life too. This aspect helped make the story much more realistic for me. And really, what better way for Tere to come out of her shell than to talk about something she was already truly passionate about- her love of great music!
Shrinking Violet is about a girl who chases down a dream despite all the obstacles in her way and comes out a triumphant winner on the other side. Shy girls will be cheering for Tere everywhere. I’d recommend this book for anyone who loves music and is looking for a fun, romantic read with a positive underlying message!