Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Book review - Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph

Tere’s biggest ambition is to be a radio dj. While classmates ignore her because of her shyness and her mother criticizes her constantly, Tere finds sanctuary by rocking out with her ipod in her bedroom. When her stepdad, who owns one of the biggest radio stations, gives her a chance as an intern, Tere knows she has to step up to the mark. As SLAM’s newest hit, Sweet T is hugely popular. By day, Tere is the quiet girl at school. No-one would have dreamt of her double-life. But things get complicated when SLAM hold a song writing contest. The prize? A date to the prom with Tere. Not only does the thought of revealing herself to her whole school terrify her, she also wishes that she was going with a certain someone else...

Shrinking Violet was a really sweet read. Tere is at the start of the book cripplingly shy, something I think a lot of people can relate to. While Tere’s shyness is more extreme than in anyone I know, it’s written in such a way that perfectly evokes the need to fit in and avoid attention.
The characters are possibly the best part of this story, surprisingly deep. Tere’s mum, who criticises and nags at her constantly, has a much more complex personality than it seems at first. She irritated me a lot by answering for Tere when people talked to her, ‘Oh, she’s shy.’ This is a sure-fire way to undermine anyone’s confidence! The radio staff were fun, especially Derek the sleazy dj who also is surprisingly developed.

As Tere’s confidence grows, she makes a couple more friends at school, including the guy she likes. The group dynamic between them is amusing and believable and the relationship between Gavin and Tere is sweet. Shrinking Violet is definitely predictable and I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreaking either, but sometimes the well worn path is the best one. It’s a delightful read, though fairly short, and had more depth than I was expecting. I’d say it’s probably the ultimate comfort read for anyone in high school/secondary school. Somehow Danielle Joseph brought to mind the emotions and feelings I had at secondary school, though I couldn’t put my finger on when or how. It seems just that she understands what’s important to people of that age – how everything in school matters, even when you know that soon you’ll leave forever and never see these people again. Shrinking Violet somehow captures this, making it more special.
Oh and again, BEAUTIFUL cover!

* I don't think it's being published in the UK at the moment, but it's available from Amazon.


  1. Great review, I'm really looking forward to reading this. Every review I've read has been positive so far!

  2. Amazing review, this sounds like a really good read. I don't think it's available in the Uk at the minute, I haven't seen it around.

  3. Great review - it really sounds like my kind of book! I'm adding it to my wishlist. Thank you!

  4. Great review! I love the cover too, and it sounds like my kind of reading. And there's so much I want to read right now! *sigh*

  5. I got my copy from Amazon UK Kate, I don't think it's publishing here at the moment.