Review No.89 – This Is Shyness

This is Shyness – Leanne Hall

Text Publishing, 2010

It is the night they both go looking for forgetfulness, and find each other. The only names they give are Wolfboy and Wildgirl. He comes from the mysterious corner of the city called Shyness, where the night never goes away; she wants to lose herself, and if that means following a stranger into the deep dark woods of an abandoned suburb, why not? But even with a guide, Shyness is full of dangers that the daylight can’t touch – and no one who goes in comes out quite the same.

This is Shyness is Leanne Hall’s first novel, a YA urban fantasy that is an improbably cohesive combination between dreamlike enigma and raw, hard reality. She makes no attempt to explain her world; you have to step inside and accept it for what it is, which I liked. Wildgirl and Wolfboy are flawed enough to be believable, but well intentioned enough to be likeable. Hall returns to Shyness with a sequel, Queen of the Night.