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. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
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 could say that could do it justice. It would be impossible to explain so I should just say READ IT and let it be brilliant and interesting for new people to discover and appreciate it's brilliance and interesting-ness.
But then I finished it and I thought what the heck, I might as well attempt to write an interesting review because, like I said, it is a brilliant book and brilliant books deserve to be shouted about. So, how do I explain this This is Shyness - a (possibly) paranormal book in contemporary clothing? That's about as close as I can get I'm afraid. Although, then again, if you're going into it looking for a paranormal read, I don't think you'll find what you went out looking for. BUT you might be pleasantly surprised...
On the face of it, this book contains more than a few YA cliches - slightly gobby girl who doesn't quite fit in, a moody and mysterious fellow with a PAST, an on-foot miniature road trip...yet, it is so much more than this. This is packed full of awe-inspiring ideas and images and the two main characters are convincing teens yet completely out there all at once.
For me , there were a few lapses where my attention waned, especially at the point when their journey takes a different turn, but there are more than a few genuinely creepy and slightly horrifying moments as the story gathers pace again. As much as I loved Wildgirl and Wolfboy, I wish I'd had just a bit more of an emotional connection with them, but this will come in the sequel, yes? YES!
So if you want YA with traditional elements yet is like nothing you have ever read before, then yes, believe it folks, there is such a book (it's this one, in case you're wondering).
So was that an interesting enough review?
Oh well, I've written it now, so there.
(and thank you to Jo for lending me her copy...ages ago. And apologies to her also for not reading it for a criminally long time)