Review: This is Shyness – Leanne Hall.

Synopsis from Goodreads.

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 Review.

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 outside and spit on it… while scowling at random, inanimate objects.

Actually, as I’m skimming through my notes I’ve realised that every single one of my points and examples on how this book isn’t like all the other books and how it is as far away from cliché as something really far away from something else, all I’ve used is cliché things that reviewers tend to say when they can’t actually be bothered writing a real review but what to make it sound like they loved it….you get the gist.
So I’m just going to go with it. In the immortal words of Tim Gunn, I’m going to make it work. I’m going to reclaim those clichés.

Jo Explains How THIS IS SHYNESS Defies All Cliches By Using Lots Of Them.

This book is like nothing that has ever been written before.
Whimsical. Magical. Mental. Mysterious. Fantastical. Intriguing. Surreal. ALL THE ADJECTIVES.
I’ve read strange books and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. For me, this one definitely worked. I devoured it like I imagine a Kidd would devour a bag of Tangfastic Haribo.
And when I say ‘a Kidd’ I mean me.

This book isn’t the typical ‘When girl meets boy’.
It’s when Wildgirl meets Wolfboy. The difference is subtle but it’s there…and it’s sexy.

This book will take you to places you’ve never been before.
I would like to build a duvet fort in Ms Hall’s imagination and stay there forever and ever and only allow people I like to join me. I loved Shyness because it was incredible.
And the best thing about it was that it felt real.
You may be thinking “Um, how did it feel real? Where have you ever been where there is no sun and plagues of delinquent kids roam the street?”
And to that, I answer: Manchester.

I know a few people are suggesting that this book is Urban Fantasy, but I’ve never really read any UF so I can’t add anything to that. All I know is that this book smudges the boundaries of genre. The best way I can describe the setting of the world that Ms Hall created with Shyness is that it’s contemporary…with a bolt of electricity running through its heart.

“There’s a rhythm to Shyness, but it takes a while to feel it.”

There were times when I felt like I could’ve done with a map of Shyness but, to be honest, I was more than happy to get lost.

The heroine is different, kooky and feisty.
Wildgirl, I think I love you. You snort when you laugh. You go bright red when you’re embarrassed. You like to go on adventures. You’re fearless. You’re hilarious. You steal hearts. You have messy handwriting. You fancy boys who look like wolves.
Woman, if you get out of my mind long enough we should be best friends.

The hero is strong, tortured and has a past.
Now normally, this is the cliché is the one that makes me the most angry. I hate it when heroes are lumbered with a past because usually it means that they are boring and have no personality and the author needed something to hide that fact.
Wolfboy is the exception to this rule.

“In my panic I forget myself and do what I do best: I howl.”


But then again, Wolfboy is the exception to any rule.
He was the perfect mix of the messed-up kid (who gets nervous around girls, awwww) on a mission to find answers to questions he’s been avoiding for a long time that you just want to protect and cuddle and the sexy guy with a quiff and tight trousers who you would be willing to follow wherever he led.
Is there a better combination?

”I’ve got no idea whether the air of danger around Wolfboy is just part of a fashion statement or the real thing.”

It’s the real thing, baby.

The love story is fresh and compelling.
Roll up, roll up… but don’t come too close for what you’re about to hear may shock you, so people with heart defects please approach with caution.
Because within the pages of This is Shyness we have the most strangest and freakiest things you will ever have experienced in literature:

Love interests who actually talk to each other and have a genuine connection with each other based on their personalities, fears, thoughts and desires.


And, that’s not all! It’s not forced, cringey, annoying, simpering, dangerous orrrrr illegal either!

This book won’t be for everyone.
I know this book won’t be for everyone because it’s weird and hardly anything is explained. So if you like every single thing explained and get angry if it’s not, then I couldn’t recommend this book to you.
This is a book where you should definitely leave your disbelief at the door because if you start thinking about it too much, your head will implode. Literally.
It’s best to approach this book with an open mind and… well, just go with it and experience Shyness.

The fantastic Noelle made her own playlist for This is Shyness and Queen of the Night (the sequel) and I felt left out, so I got involved too.

We Still Got the Taste Dancin’ on Our Tongues by Wild Beasts.

“Darling, the spirit is kicking.
Don’t be fooled by the moonshine, it’s tricking.”

For me, this song perfectly captures the “smash and grab” feel of Wolfboy and Wildgirl’s story. All about being reckless but having no regrets, just unforgettable memories.

However, there was one part of this book that I wasn’t sure about. It’s right at the end when Wildgirl says that Wolfboys are the best kissers.
Now, I’m not entirely convinced but as I am a girl who likes to have all the facts, I will conduct a highly scientific experiment and kiss him until I am able to confirm that this is a true fact.
Taking one for the team.

Speaking of Wolfboy, I read this book with wonderful Maree and she suggested that we should each share pictures of how we pictured Wolfboy.
I wish there was a song that perfectly matched with my feelings for Wolfboy so you could listen to it while you look at my suggestions.
Oh wait, there is.

Potential Wolfboy Fitties [PWFs]

Alex Turner.
My Ultimate Wolfboy (UW) is Alex Turner.

Look at his Urban Cowboy Quiff (UCQ)!
But if he’s busy, I have Wolfboy Back-Ups (WBUs).

Darren Criss.

Gaspard Ulliel.

Ed Westwick.

So, if anyone needs me I will be conducting my highly scientific science experiment…. For science.


Seriously though, this book makes me want to have the adventure of a life time and howl at the dark sky above me.

Unfortunately, this books is only available in Australia, BUT you can get it from Text Publishing (Free Shipping!)

17 thoughts on “Review: This is Shyness – Leanne Hall.

  1. Oh Jo! I absolutely loved your review, you’re so right, this book is different from all the other YA out there.

    I think Gaspard Ulliel would make a fantastic Wildboy ;) Thanks for introducing us!

  2. All those beautiful boys. I might have paused and stared (for five minutes, not that I counted) but SO PRETTY, MY EYES ARE HAPPY…oops, sorry, got carried away. Ahem. Anyway, fantastic review, really. Now I’m dying to read This is Shyness. Dying!

  3. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve tried so many times to get into this book and failed. After ALL the wonderful reviews I’ve seen lately, I’m pretty sure I should give it another try.

    And Gaspard Ulliel… *gasps* VERY convincing.

  4. Love, love, love this review Jo!! I’ve heard so many mixed things about this one, so I wasn’t sure. And then you have to go and add Alex Turner and Ed Westwick into the mix! Alex, well who can resist his dark and broody crooning?!! Ed Westwick, he is just wrong in all the right ways!

  5. Pingback: Playlists, quiffs and other stuff « The Long Blinks

  6. Pingback: A Day in the Life of Leanne Hall. « weartheoldcoat

  7. This is the best review.
    Thank you for breaking down the reasons why I loved this book into an nice ordered list, because I felt so freaking frazzled when I wrote my own review that it came out sounding all academic and terrible.
    PPS: Wildgirl is basically the eponymous feisty heroine. She felt more outgoing and sure of herself to me because she was also unsure of herself and self-conscious, but she didn’t let that stop her. I LOVED that.
    PPS: I haven’t read the sequel yet. I am a bad person.

    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of THIS IS SHYNESS by Leanne Hall

  8. Pingback: This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall « Maree's Musings

  9. Pingback: Review: Queen of the Night (Shyness #2) – Leanne Hall « weartheoldcoat

  10. Pingback: This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall | The Unfinished Bookshelf

  11. Pingback: Back to Blogging. | weartheoldcoat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s