“The bouncer looks down from his concrete stoop with bloodhound eyes. He’s worked too many nights in a row. I push my shoulders back in my too-tight t-shirt. This is up to me and the motivational power of my two best assets…”
I remember reading these words, from THIS IS SHYNESS by Leanne Hall, to a class of Year 10 students one day. Their reaction was priceless: they weren’t sure what this ‘YA’ thing was, but it sounded pretty good (even talking about ‘assets’! Lol), and maybe the teacher standing in front of them reading aloud wasn’t a total loss…
THIS IS SHYNESS won over my students, just like it won me over. The story of the rebellious Wildgirl, and her one night stand with the off-kilter, magical suburb of Shyness, ‘where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy’, certainly won over the judges of the Text Prize when it was first published in 2010. Seven years later, the book still sparkles and shudders with the frisson of late-night parties, rollicks with comic-book adventures, and glows in the heat of Wildgirl and Wolfboy’s romance.
Leanne Hall, the author of SHYNESS, has since gone on to write the sequel, QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, and the newly-acclaimed IRIS AND THE TIGER. She has a long history working in the book industry, and knows the YA-landscape inside and out. Leanne will be spilling her secrets to us in an interview later this month.
I hope you enjoy THIS IS SHYNESS in bookclub for October 2017, and may all your parties be reckless, magical ones!