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This Is Shyness

(This Is Shyness #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,347 ratings  ·  174 reviews
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 Ch
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 2nd 2010 by Text
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  1,347 ratings  ·  174 reviews

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Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
this book is charming as balls.

to me, there's a hairsbreadth difference between "charming" and "trying too damn hard to be charming." i have no patience for cutesy or twee, but i appreciate "cute" more than most adults. the distinction is a personal one, by which i mean "specific to me" and not "private," and it's inconsistent - i never know what my response will be to things like this book, which is a quirky adventure/love story with a fantasy/dystopian angle.

but it totally worked for me. and
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jo by: Reynje
Think of every single cliché in young adult fiction you can.
Go on.
Just do it.
Write them down if you want.
It’s OK, I’ll wait.

*twiddles thumbs*

This book defies all of them.

I understand in saying that this book defies all clichés is in itself also a cliché because it’s what reviewers tend to say when they can’t really be bothered writing a real review but they want to make it sound like they loved it and keep everyone happy but in reality they wanted to fling it out of the window and then go
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
“How could I not love a book about a secret suburb somewhere near Collingwood and Fitzroy, where the sun never comes up, and sugar-addicted kids and creepy monkeys roam around abandoned housing commission flats?” – That’s how Lili Wilkinson sums up This is Shyness on her blog. I could not agree more with that quote.

The experience of reading This is Shyness is much like having a lucid dream, like delving into some part of your consciousness that exists between waking and sleeping, where the line
Emily May
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok

2.5 - sadly not for me.

The bizarre goodreads summary of this book combined with numerous (mostly positive) reviews left me feeling intrigued, excited and just a little bit apprehensive about starting This is Shyness. I can deal with a certain type and level of weirdness, Margo Lanagan is one writer of the bizarre that I can appreciate a lot, but in this novel the strangeness just felt a little ridiculous. I couldn't connect with the characters and, after the initial surprise at this very str
Can this review be more of a warning? I'm not sure This is Shyness is for everybody.
To be honest, I don't think I've read anything like This is Shyness before and it's pretty difficult to give it a label. I'm going to play safe and tell you that, maybe, the only sure label is YA?

But let me give you a brief synopsis to give you an idea.
In an alternate or future world - I'm not sure - similar to ours, a strange dark area has descended on the city (or neighboorhood, still not sure) of Panwood. It'
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 (o
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Arlene by: Street Corner Bookers - Aussie Tour - Nic
Rating Clarification
Overall writing style: 4 stars
Storyline – first half: 2 stars
Storyline – second half: 3 stars

Well, this story was definitely a head trip. I’m not quite sure how I would categorize it. I guess it’s a hybrid between dystopic and fantasy??? Maybe a bit of a freakish dream??? I’m still reeling in my mental spin, but I do have to say I was entertained.

Overall, I have to admit Aussie writers have a flawless ability to capture you and take you on a journey that feels vivid and engag
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Someone looking for a unique urban fantasy
Favourite Quote: 'There are changes that creep up on you slowly, and then there are sudden changes that rip your apart, so that you don't know who you are anymore.'

This Is Shyness is delightfully different. I have been thinking for days now, how I am going to review this totally unexpected, completely original but brilliant book.

First of all the world of Shyness is so unique. It is like the rest of world is normal and this one little suburb is covered in constant darkness and full of unexplaina
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved it.
Nick Cave came on the radio just as I was finishing. Felt rather apt....

When I was about halfway through this book, I decided that I wasn't going to review it. Not because it was bad or boring or anything. Very much the opposite, in fact. I don't review every book I read, mainly because if I write a review, I want to make sure I have something interesting to say about the book. And with This is Shyness, I just felt that is was so unusual and interesting that there wasn't anything I cou
A few years ago, I watched a delightfully odd Japanese movie that followed a normal young couple until the girl turned into a chair. (A quick Google search of "Japanese movie where a girl turned into a chair" tells me the movie was Tokyo! Their exclamation.)

There is no human-to-chair transformation in This is Shyness, but it reminded me of Tokyo! in that it starts off like a typical YA story, with an underage girl trying to sneak into a bar with some friends who then spots a broody, hot guy at t
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.5 Stars

The human race is constantly trying to describe love and attraction, summing it up to be an un-explainable draw to a certain person or thing. I like to think simpler and call it love at first sight. Maybe it can only happen with people, maybe it can't happen with books, but that's what happened with me. The moment I laid my eyes on the cover of This is Shyness, I felt it - that draw. Since then, I've been trying like crazy to get my hands on this book. You have no idea how diffi
This is Shyness has everything the fitting book description offers and probably more: Seventeen-years-old Nia has left her usual habitat, a trailer-park-area of a large city, to spend the night partying and drinking with her co-workers in nearby Shyness. Her mom's driver's licence and a too tight shirt with a boldly-lettered "Wildgirl" on it shove her past the bouncer of the "Diabetic Hotel", where she drowns her drink too quickly, has to fend of slimy Nick's advances, and lets her eyes be drawn ...more
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Holy Sweet Mother of dubs-tee-eff. I'm still wrapping my thoughts around this one. Here's what I've come up with: the Brothers Grimm meet up with Pablo Picasso during his Blue Period for a drink. They decide it's going to be a GREAT idea to make a Before Sunrise martini with a younger lad and lassie splashed with the Neverending Story and shaken with the surrealism of a dream.

You with me?

On second thought, I am not really sure if it's possible to adequately define This Is Shyness. Leanne Hall ha
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya
This book is crazy bacon with a side of crazy eggs, covered in crazy sauce. And it tastes AWESOME. Like swallow without chewing, got words lodged in your throat, awesome.

See, one day in Shyness the sun went down and forgot to rise again. Except across the border the sun still has a full time job, what with the rising and setting and stuff. Seems like Shyness sacked the sun and employed the moon on a full time basis. Then there is a guy who howls and a Wildgirl. Sugar crazed kidds and tarsiers. A
Clare Cannon
Sep 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
This is not a shocking book, but it is extremely confused. Maybe it's 'only a story', but it's not a very helpful one, particularly for the age group it is aimed at. It’s based on the inconstancy and weakness of teens who try to appear tough but are really just hiding their own weakness, who want what’s bad because it will help them to block out their problems, but who then regret the consequences – which are unrealistically small – and who somehow come out ok at the end because this is a story, ...more
I had expectations up to the moon for This is Shyness--all of the gushing reviews and the unique, awesome synopsis, and just look at that cover? It was pretty much one of my favorite books the second I fell in love with the holding hands and smudgy lights. (The cover, believe it or not, is even better when I actually get to hold the book. Call me shallow but I love a quirky, artsy cover.)

Then when I finally got around to ordering it, it was an enormous pain but I still had a bad case of gottaha
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Long has paled that sunny sky: Echoes fade and memories die.
--Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

A fallen suburb where the sun never rises, a boy who howls, a girl who wants to escape if just for one night, shady people, shady places, shady pasts. Um, heck yes. Do any of you visualize scenes of books while you’re reading them? I often do and while I was reading This Is Shyness, my visualization was in the neo-noir, graphic novel style a la Sin City. I saw desaturated black and white scene
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

(this book blew my mind away)

At first it seems like it is a night out like any other night out and two teenagers are drinking with friends at the Diabetic Hotel.

She: Wildgirl, from the other side of town, beautiful and dressed to impress, out with her work colleagues to forget her problems at home and at school.

He: Wolfboy, a local, super hot and yet low-key, waiting for this friends to arrive just like he does almost every night, trying to forget how
Joy (joyous reads)
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie
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 tim
Stuti Rai
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh... this book is so damn weird. Like a really weird fairy tale with lots of crazy characters, googly eyes and a pink ukulele.

This is Shyness, ensconced in eternal darkness because the sun has decided to take a break. A tourist, named Wildgirl, sits in a bar('The Diabetic'), bemoaning her life. A few ways from her sits a local, Wolfboy. Their gazes clash; he howls, she falls, and we have a fun, strange ride on the Far-fetched Express.

Well, this book isn't for everyone. It's quite u
Wow. Mind = jumbled.

I'll string together a few words until I can make sense of this book.

Weird. Cool. Fun. Quirky. Unique. Odd. Confusing.

That's about as good as my thoughts are gonna get right now. Haha.

Kids don't do drugs!

BUT if you have never taken LSD and want to know what it feels like..reading This is Shyness is the closest you'll ever get to the experience!

(And no. It is not the kind of book like Trainspotting or We children from Bahnhof zoo )

There is something magical, lyrical and totally psychedelic about it, that makes a review an impossible task. How to describe it?
It reads like a normal story but it is definitely not.

The story opens with a girl (Wildgirl) in a bar.
A boy (Wolfboy)
I really enjoyed this unique love story. Two teens meet in a world very different from ours. Both of them are running from secrets, but together they are braver and learn to face their fears. There is also plenty of danger so the story is fast-paced, with all the action taking place in just one night. I thought this was a cut above your usual YA romance. It deserves to be widely read and there is plenty for teens to like and identify with.
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
I keep thinking I'll go back to this, but to be honest, every other book on my shelf seems more interesting right now. I'm not saying this story isn't worth reading, but isn't for me. I just can't form any kind of connection with the characters. ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a weird and wonderful book! I have no idea how to talk about it. But I fell in love with Wolfboy and Wildgirl and Shyness and all it's strangeness.

Review to come.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
She meets him in the suburb of Shyness, at the Diabetic Hotel. He’s a hairy cowboy, all swagger and intensity. He howls upon meeting her, and calls himself ‘Wolfboy’. The words emblazoned across her chest earn her the nickname ‘Wildgirl’.

They have one night together, in the suburb of Shyness where it’s darkness all the time, and the sun hasn’t made an appearance in three years.

Sometimes, one night is all you need.

Leanne Hall won the Text Prize in 2009 for her debut young adult novel, ‘This is S
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it

Couple the unresolved moments and the simplicity of telling in All I Ever Wanted with the oddness of Burn Bright, less the latter's more steam punk feel, then throw in some tarsiers. That's right... tarsiers!


And you just might get a feel of how richly imaginative, yet definitely odd THIS IS SHYNESS was. I’m still weighing odd versus good though. So, odd? Or, good? Good? Odd? Both?

This was insanely surreal. Him guiding her through his side of things, I wasn’t certain if I was to take
Foz Meadows
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Three things:

1. This is not the story you think it is.

2. That's a good thing. Go with it.

3. Also, there are monkeys.

This is one helluva graceful book. In human form, it would be a dancer - not a self-conscious, over-muscled, underfed prima donna, but someone who moves for the joy of it, so that everything else flows outwards from that passion. Jointly narrated by its protagonists, Wolfboy and Wildgirl, the events of This is Shyness all take place in a single, significant night, in a suburb where
ellie k
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A quirky, original, well-written novel by a new Australian author … what could possibly go wrong?

This is Shyness is good. Very good. But it has one big, looming fault that spent the last half of the book dancing around in my peripheral vision, cackling madly to itself.

The first half – or near-half – of the book is about these two people, Wolfboy and Wildgirl. They are strangers but go on an adventure through a suburb where the sun never rises. It’s very metaphorical, yet not obnoxious; the quirk
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
This Is Shyness is different, different as in unique as in you haven’t read anything like it. This books holds elements of contemporary set in a fantasy world of a world that is somewhat dystopian. You can’t genre-fy this darling! And you wouldn’t want to after you read it. Shyness deserves its own genre called “Where The Sun Don’t Shine.” This is the type of book where you have to focus entirely on as you follow the perspectives of Wolfboy and Wildgirl (of course they're not their real names) t ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Leanne Hall is an author of young adult and children’s fiction. Her debut novel, This Is Shyness, won the Text Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Writing, and was followed by a sequel, Queen of the Night. Her novel for younger readers, Iris and the Tiger, won the Patricia

Other books in the series

This Is Shyness (2 books)
  • Queen of the Night (This is Shyness, #2)

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