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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shrinking Violet

Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph (May 5th 2009--MTV)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary:“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...”

Review: Another MTV book. Another amazing read. What I figure out why I happened to love MTV’s books were the fact that they tell a story that almost everyone—girl, boy, teen, or adult—can relate to. Teresa Adams is a shy girl when you first meet her but later blossoms into someone who takes action and can speak her mind. I can definitely, 100 percent, relate to this! I know some of you may be laughing at this but this is quite true.

As many of you may have figured this out but English is my second language. I grew up speaking a Chinese dialect that impaired my speech when I learned English at an early age (stupid tones!). Later in the years, my accent completely disappeared but my speech still has some issues. To be frank, I stuttered. My parents would always yell and scold at me, telling me to stop it. I was embarrassed of myself. In school, at home, even with my closet friends, I try to say as little as possible to prevent this issue of mine when I was younger. Nowadays my stuttering has almost fully disappeared (like around 98%) but it tends to pop up if I am too excited or nervous. (This is why I am always so stressed about oral presentations Laura). Conveying my thoughts through words I can deal with, with a simple click I can erase my errors. Vlogging, however, is something that terrifies me.

So not only is Shrinking Violet a cute and fun read, but it is something that I can connect with on a whole new level. Granted it was predictable (I figured out almost everything from the beginning) but reading it unfold is heart-pounding. So what if you know who’s who, it is the person executes the sequences that make the scenes stand out. Danielle still delivered for me.

I loved the premise of the book because I, too, am a huge of music. I am always scurrying around trying to find some unseen artists because they tend to hold the true beauty. After every chapter there are parts where Sweet T comes to the surface and talks as if on the radio. At first it was a bit disjointed but later on I felt it fell into place. It showcased a bit more of Tere’s sassier side, her more outspoken side.

The tone was smooth and soothing, heck I almost took a nap when I first read it! And that is not a bad thing (ask Sharon or Laura as to why napping is not my favorite thing to do in the world)! The writing style was simplistic but still carried a deeper undertone once you finished reading. You know what they say—simplicity is key. Just write what is needed and the rest will fall in place.

Overall: I need to get a finished copy of this book (read an ARC). Danielle Joseph delivered a wonderful debut book that I have no doubt that she will get far in this business.

Cover: N/A
Stupid MTV ARCs with their lime green covers


  1. I want my copy to come in the mail already. *shakes fist at B&N*

    Also, Danielle is such a great name.

  2. Whoa, I thought Shrinking Violet was pub'd by Simon & Schuster. Then again, maybe that's just Canada, bec pretty sure MTV is American. ;) haha, do they really have lime green covers on the ARCs?! wow.

    Definitely looking forward to getting a copy of this - I'm kind of shy too. And haha, what a coinkydink, technically my first language was Chinese as well (up till the time I was four, anyway). I love music too, sometimes the obscure stuff, sometimes just the basic mainstream stuff.

    Awesome review!

  3. That's cool that you can relate to the plot--that makes books really special. And I've been dying to get a copy of this, too. I love how unique and fun it sounds. Great review! (:

  4. I love this cover and can't wait to read this! Very amazing review - I stumble with words and get lost with what I'm saying too! I'm sure other people think I'm crazy :D Don't even get me started on mental math (I'm terrible!)

    After such a great review, I'm a little surprised that it got a 3.5. What kept it from being a 4 or higher?

  5. Thanks for the review. I'm so excited to read this one but my copy won't arrive anytime soon. I agree with you about MTV books. They simply rock.

  6. This sounds great. So, can you still speak the Chinese dialect now? I know someone who only spoke French for their first few years, then moved back to England and forgot all of their French.

  7. Oooh yeah I want to read this one. So, share with us what kinds of music you like!

  8. Great review. I have to read this!

  9. Great review, Yan =].
    P.S.MTV is a division of S&S.

  10. I can't wait to read this one. MTV books: they always surprise you with how good they are, eh? :)

  11. Cecelia: my blog grade and goodreads are different. on goodreads SHRINKING VIOLET received a 4 because I really did enjoy. as a book based on some criteria while it does fairly well lacks it some areas. it didn't really bring anything new to the community (i.e cliche, some overused plots). check out my goodreads, my average is 2 point something and SHRINKING VIOLET did better darn good xD

    H: I speak Fuzhounese at home :) My tones are kind of bad and I understand almost everything my parents say (listening). Just can't speak :P Learning Mandarin right now and it is so much different!

    Book Resort: ahaha I know xD I just separate them since MTV is a branch. Like what I do with Random House and Delacorte :)

  12. Sounds like a fun story. It vaguely reminds me of a fun movie from years ago, Pump Up the Volume. This story seems a lot lighter than PUtV, but it's a similar concept with the shy/withdrawn protagonist who is super popular on the radio.

    Nice review...I'll add it to my list for a light read sometime. Thanks. :)

  13. My Korean friend learned English by watching soap operas. She was always so dramatic - ha!

  14. I couldn't imagine being that shy but I'm glad she started to get her confidence. Sounds like a neat story though I've never read an MTV book before... this just may have to be my first!

  15. This one seems cool, I get the whole shy thing, too. Speech impediment when I was a kid, yay.