07 November 2011

Review: Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph

Title: Shrinking Violet
Author: Danielle Joseph
Publisher: MTV
Published: 5th May 2009
Source: Own Copy

High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class.
But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out - doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T - and to everyone's shock, she's a hit!
Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest -- and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize - Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare... - From Goodreads

When I was growing up I was a huge fan of the film Pump Up The Volume. If you are not familiar with this Christian Slater masterpiece, he is a shy guy who comes alive on his pirate radio station which causes havoc and rebellion amongst his peers. So when I was perusing the YA US import shelves at the bookstore across the road from my flat and read the back of this one, there was no question I was going to buy it. When I got home, before I had even properly taken my coat off, I was eagerly starting the book.

Teresa, or Tere as everyone knows her, Adams is shy. She is not just nervous in front of people but is scared every day that someone will as her a question as when she has to talk to someone it feels like there is a lump of peanut butter jamming her throat. The only time she is ever relaxed and herself is when she is alone in her room pretending to be a DJ for one of the programmes on her stepfather's radio station.

When one of the DJ's quits leaving an opening at the station, an unpredicted outburst from Tere has her helping out as an intern after school. A series of events culminates in Tere becoming her on air persona, Sweet T, and becoming the prize in a competition, win a prom date with Sweet T.

I loved the character of Tere. I thought she was sweet and funny. I could see that her shyness was not just something she had to get over it was actually a real problem for her. I thought she was a well written character and I actually felt myself being nervous for her at some points. I also really liked Tere's mother and stepfather. I thought they made a good pair even if Tere's mother pushes the mothering too far.

I have to say that I loved this story from beginning to end. My only tiny gripe with it would be that Tere does begin to stand up for herself a little towards the end. I wonder why does she find her voice now? How quickly standing up for herself turns from a crippling fear to something she can do when needed. Either way I felt happy at the end of the book and wonder why I never considered a career as a DJ!

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