Review: Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph

Title: Shrinking Violet
Author: Danielle Joseph
Publisher: MTVBooks
Pub. Date: 2009
Genre: YA
Main themes: Family, Music, Extreme Shyness, Love, Mother/Daughter Relationships
Pages: 292
Plot (from back cover):
“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…. “

Shrinking Violet was a fun and quick read that confronted some more serious issues.

I was impressed by Danielle Joseph’s ability to mix a fun, romantic plot line with the more serious plot lines of Shrinking Violet. Terre’s extreme shyness is not the normal type of shy, it almost seems to be a social phobia. Terre’s mom is also no picnic, her behavior is horrible and abusive. Despite both of these aspects of the novel, Shrinking Violet was still a “fun” read – Joseph found a way to intertwine these aspects without weighting the novel down!

I loved the romantic aspects of Shrinking Violet. Terre and Gavin’s relationship was so tenderly written. I felt that their story was predictable, but it didn’t matter because the emotions and interactions were so well written. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the contest to win Terre as a date to prom – it was comedic and something that was fun to imagine. It definitely helped balance the darker aspects of the novel.

Terre was a well written protagonist who overcomes her obstacles to achieve her own happy ending. Shrinking Violet may be one of those books were you know what is going to happen in the end, but you read it anyway because it is a great story.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 9
Characters: 9
Writing: 9
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 47/50 (A)

HELP SAVE SHRINKING VIOLET! Shrinking Violet, though it has only been on the shelf since May, is being backordered. I’m sure that many of you have heard about the ongoing contests to help save the book from this fate… Danielle Joseph is hosting a campaign on her LiveJournal to save her book, with the help of many bloggers and authors! If you are a fan of Shrinking Violet or a potential reader, do your part to help save the book (and possibly win some prizes)! Go here for more information!

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