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Shrinking Violet

Shrinking Violet

4.2 96
by Danielle Joseph

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The inspiration for the Disney Channel original movie Radio Rebel!

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


The inspiration for the Disney Channel original movie Radio Rebel!

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, sassy 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....

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bella, eat your heart out. Tere is the girl every young woman truly wants to be.... Brilliant work, Danielle Joseph." -- Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Identical

"Danielle Joseph takes readers into the glamorous world of Top 40 radio, with a character who is both funny and relatable. Readers will cheer when Tere finds her voice!" -- Alex Flinn, author of Breathing Underwater and A Kiss in Time

"A funny, romantic, and truly inspirational Cinderella tale for any teen who's ever been shy, loved music, or dreamed of going to the ball. Wait, that's pretty much everybody." -- Gaby Triana, author of The Temptress Four

Product Details

MTV Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

You're listening to Sweet T on 92.7 WEMD SLAM FM. It's after dark now, so don't change that dial because here's where killer tunes explode through your speakers, leaving you wanting more. I'll take you through the night and feed your soul. Call me at 1-800-555-SLAM and let me know what's up, Miami. Now check out the new Juice Box track I've been promising you.

• *

Until a few years ago, I always dreamed that a radio station would be a sleek glass architectural gem on Ocean Drive. Flashing neon lights with the studio's call letters would adorn the top of the builing, large enough to be spotted miles away. Don't get me wrong, SLAM FM has a good setup five minutes from the beach in North Miami. But they occupy the second floor of an office building, nestled between a law firm and a bail bondsman, hardly in the midst of all the South Beach revelers staring at the disc jockeys through the huge windowpanes.

The only good thing about Mom marrying Rob Fandango, radio bigwig, is that he owns a top-forty station. But while he whisks Mom off to celebrity-wannabe parties every weekend, I'm holed up in my room, downloading all the latest tunes on my iPod and scanning the dial for the next overnight sensation.

There are a few local celebs, like the hottest up-and-coming rapper, PJ Squid, that I'd like to meet, but I'd have nothing to say to him. More like I'm afraid I'd open my mouth and nothing would come out, or even worse, I'd say something stupid.

Might as well admit it — I'm shy. Not the kind where you blush when someone compliments you, but the kind that results in feelings of nausea when meeting new people. When I was little, I thought I was Shy Adams. People would ask my name, and my mother would immediately answer for me, "She's shy." She even did it three weeks ago when we met up with some of the radio people at a restaurant. It was so embarrassing because I can no longer hide behind her; rather, she can hide behind me. I'm five inches taller than her and a good thirty-five pounds heavier — I'm the evergreen tree to her palm.

• *

"Teresa, you can wait in the car if you like." Mom's ID card pops out of the slot and she zooms into her reserved space in the station's parking garage.

My seat belt is already unbuckled. "No, I'm cool."

I walk a step behind Mom toward the elevator. By the time we reach the second floor, my stomach is whirring. I cross my arms against my chest and inhale. I can do this. I've done it before. We'll only be inside for five minutes, tops. Mom has to drop off a birthday present that Rob asked her to buy for his lawyer. Then we're off to my Friday afternoon dentist appointment. Joy.

When you open the heavy glass door to the station, the first thing you see is a gigantic red and blue SLAM sign hanging over a large U-shaped desk. In addition to the receptionist's area, the entrance is large enough to fit two red couches and a table filled with Rolling Stone, Vibe, and other music industry magazines. There's a small guy with a goatee and shades sitting there now. He's speaking in a hushed tone on his cell. I don't recognize him. Maybe he's a promoter. I hope he's here for PJ Squid.

Patty's up front answering the phones. She's in her midforties, is the proud owner of a seventies feathered hairdo, and plays solitaire in between calls. She gives us a half smile as we waltz by.

We round the corner and walk past the on-air studio. My heart thumps. I'd give anything to be inside there, broadcasting live, instead of doing mock shows from my bedroom.

Derek, the drive time DJ, is leaning against the outside of the door. "Hi, Delilah." He throws Mom a crooked smile.

"How's the show going?" Mom asks.

"All good." He winks. "Do you like your new ride?"

I'm standing next to Mom, but he doesn't even acknowledge me. We've met several times before but have never spoken to each other. It has always been at the end of a long table at a restaurant or at a few station parties filled with models and other women that don't eat for a living.

"I love the Lexus. It drives so smoothly," Mom coos.

Derek puts his hand on Mom's shoulder. His knuckles are really hairy and so is his chest, for that matter. I don't think the first three buttons on his shirt have ever been used. "You deserve it."

I try to peek into the studio, but Derek's blocking the glass pane in the door.

"I like to think so." Mom laughs. "Rob knows what makes me happy."

Okay, this is about all I can handle. This guy gives me the creeps. I clear my throat and point down the hall toward our original destination.

"Right." Mom nods and says good-bye to Derek.

We continue down the carpeted hallway to Rob's window office, facing the bay. When we're a few feet away, I hear him talking to someone.

Mom reaches for the doorknob. "Maybe he's in a meeting," I say.

"Nonsense. He knows I'm stopping by." She whips open the door.

DJ Wipeout is seated across from Rob. "I'm sorry to hear that — " Rob stops midsentence as soon as he spots us.

Both men are sporting poker faces. Call me crazy, but it looks like they're busy.

Mom strolls right in, while I linger at the entrance.

"Here you go, honey." She plops the gift bag onto Rob's desk and gives him a big smooch on the lips.

He smiles but doesn't budge. Mom looks at Rob, then DJ Wipeout. "Excuse me. Did I interrupt something?"

"Aaron's leaving us," Rob says.

What? No way. He's got a great show, The Love Shack, "where lust is always in the air."

"For how long?" Mom slides her wedding ring back and forth.

Rob taps his coffee mug with a gold pen. "He quit."

Mom's jaw drops. I inch closer to the desk.

"I'm going to work on my uncle's cattle ranch in Texas." Wipeout runs his hand over the top of his shaved head. I catch a glimpse of the tattoo stretched across his forearm that says Rock or Die.

Double no way. He's going to waste his sexy voice rounding up cows all day and stepping in manure?

"That's nice." Mom smiles.

"The Love Shack won't be the same without you," Rob says. "I have no clue who to replace you with."

Me! I want to shout. I can do the show blindfolded! But instead I stand there deader than a stuffed moose.

"I'm sorry, bud." Wipeout lets out a huge sigh. "But this is my calling."

Yeah, me, too.

This is Sweet T live on The Love Shack, hoping all your dreams come true... Copyright © 2009 by Danielle Joseph

Meet the Author

Danielle Joseph was a college DJ for five years on the Gyroscope, a world music show. She also interned at several top Boston radio stations while earning her BFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Marketing Communications and Advertising from Emerson College. She has taught Creative Writing and English to Middle school students. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Danielle now lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and two young sons. These days you can find her cruising around with the tunes blaring and her internal DJ hard at work.

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Shrinking Violet 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
asamum More than 1 year ago
Written in 1st person narrative, Teresa is so painfully shy that she practically goes mute whenever anyone speaks to her. Having to make an oral presentation for her English class is akin to a nightmare for her. However, her team mates are a terrific support system much to Tere surprise. The combination of their personality really gives balance to their group and allows Tere to develop. Tere's choice to use Helen Keller's Biography starts off as a way to avoid speaking but she really learns to appreciate the little things in life and takes the courage depicted by Helen Keller to face her own problems. I think that in some ways we can all identify with Tere, I know I still get nervous meeting new people and it takes me awhile to feel comfortable with people. Gavin is the perfect boy for Tere, not only does he share her passion and taste in music but he is comfortable with who he is. He doesn't pressure her to talk and the silence is never strained. I loved the music references and the inside view of a radio station. You can really tell that Danielle Joseph was a DJ with the amount of detail given about how a radio show works. I didn't like Tere's mother at all, she came across as a bit of a trampy gold-digger who prides beauty and slimness above all other qualities. She does progress within the narrative and attempts to repair some of the damage she caused to Tere's psyche but I did feel as if it was too little too late. Her stepfather, Rob, is a big influence in repairing the rift between Tere and her mother, he is also the one that gives Tere the gentle support she needs to achieve her goals, always in the background but a very reassuring presence. It doesn't hurt that he owns a radio station either and thats how Tere gets her break. I really enjoyed the story, it was terrific to see the way in which Tere faced and conquered her own personal demons (so to speak), a bit of romance, friendship and a bully thrown into the mix makes for compelling reading :)
princessmar More than 1 year ago
Teresa (Tere) Adams is a shy girl who loves music. She dreams about becoming a real DJ someday, instead of listening to her Ipod in solitary, and imagening she is the DJ on a station.Her stepfather owns the best music station in Miami; The SLAM. Then one day, there is an empty spot in a DJ chair at SLAM, and Tere gets the chance (thanks to her stepfather) to do what she really wants and is talented in. She is a real DJ now, and with that, her shyness melts away! Under the name Sweet T, and she has an audience under her high school peers.Who are all wondering who Sweet T is, not knowing that this is Tere. Gavin, a guy in her school she feels safe with, is also a big fan of Slam, but he also doesn't know that Sweet T is Tere. There is a contest running up at SLAM, and the winner (who has to write a song)gets a prom date with Sweet T. But who is the guy who wrote the winning song, and has she overwon her shyness to the fullest to go? Debut author Danielle Joseph has created a hit novel with Shrinking Violet. It is about a topic I haven't read many books about; being shy. Besides that, the story is build up around music. Another great topic for a book. The story is very realistic, and Tere is a fantastic main character wich you will love immediately. Shrinking Violet is Danielle Joseph's first novel, but it will certainly not be her last, with a lot of fans like Tere has in the story!Fabulous book, can truly reccommend it!
Peya More than 1 year ago
I can totally relate to Tere, I am shy, I worry about my weight, and my mother can sometimes be a lot like a princess. I hate talking to people I don't know for a certain amount of time especially when I start feeling sick or I can't look the person in the eyes. >> I've only read some of the book but I like it anyway and I will definitely buy it soon! This book might even help other girls who feel like this to come out of their shells. I myself am half-way there! XD
TheBookButterfly More than 1 year ago
Teresa Adams lives in constant fear of being asked to speak out loud in class. Her interactions with others are difficult and often painful. In fact, Tere is so shy that most teachers have given up on calling on her altogether. Tere prefers to hide out in her bedroom, pretending to be a DJ for Miami's hottest radio station, the SLAM 92.7. Through a stroke of luck, Tere gets her chance to DJ and blossoms under the guise of her alter ego - Sweet T. Meanwhile, she is forced to participate in a group oral presentation project with new crush Gavin, who just happens to love Sweet T and her radio show. How long can Tere keep her radio persona a secret from Gavin and everyone else? And could Sweet T actually help her overcome the shyness in her life and land her the guy of her dreams? Shrinking Violet is a beautifully written and memorable debut novel that is both humorous and extremely touching. It's a story about a girl who struggles with a commonly misunderstood problem - debilitating shyness. While most people are probably not as shy as Tere, we've all had instances where we feel self-conscious or lack confidence in our opinions. As someone who has struggled with shyness all my life, I was really able to connect with Tere and feel all her insecurities and doubts as if they were my own. I loved the way she lived out her dream, despite the sheer terror of taking those first courageous leaps. Gavin, the cute boy she crushes on was my other favorite character. He appreciated her for who she truly was - both her shy self AND the spunky girl deep down inside. I also loved the personalities inhabiting the radio station. Their characters were quirky and a lot of fun, especially the chest hair baring, aging DJ Derek and Pop Tart, the front desk receptionist with the heart of gold. I thought radio was the perfect venue to transport Tere out of her crippling shyness. Being a DJ means not having to worry about body image and self confidence issues. It's all about the music and the voice. It wasn't an overnight transformation or one that happened without the support of some great people in her life too. This aspect helped make the story much more realistic for me. And really, what better way for Tere to come out of her shell than to talk about something she was already truly passionate about- her love of great music! Shrinking Violet is about a girl who chases down a dream despite all the obstacles in her way and comes out a triumphant winner on the other side. Shy girls will be cheering for Tere everywhere. I'd recommend this book for anyone who loves music and is looking for a fun, romantic read with a positive underlying message!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Teresa Adams, aka Tere, is painfully shy. Just the thought of speaking to people feels like a glob of peanut butter is stuck in her throat. The only time she is totally comfortable is in the privacy of her own room, her iPod pumping in her ears, and doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station - SLAM - which also just happens to be owned by her stepfather. Tere surprises herself when a slot opens up at the station and she tells Rob, her stepfather, that she could help out. Suddenly, she is the new intern. Her confident on-air persona is Sweet T. Everyone loves her. Even Gavin, her crush that she can actually talk to, raves about how great the show is. To get more listeners, the station decides to hold a contest to win a date to the prom with Sweet T. Tere is less than thrilled. But maybe she will meet her knight in shining armor, and in the process, find her voice. This story was really cute. At first it was kind of hard to get into, but after a while, I couldn't put it down! It was fun for me to read, because I'm a shy person, and I could really relate to Tere. I enjoyed all the made up band names - they were cool! And one of them was Shrinking Violet. I was confused by the title for the longest time, but once I came upon the band name, I understood, and there is a cute meaning behind it. I really enjoyed this book, and when it comes out, you should pick it up. Danielle Joseph has written a great debut novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was okay. It was short and sweet. That was it. For me, there wasn't enough conflict and Tere's crush didn't have enough charater development. It was enjoyable but not so that I'll talk about it nonstop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing, its the story of a shy girl who is afraid to speak up. Truly amazing :) It's a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this the story tje movie radio rebel is based off of because i've been wanting to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
Teresa is a really shy girl who is struggling to get through high school and dreams of having her own radio show on her step-fathers radio station. But Tere wants to break free of all of that and with the departure of one of the late night DJ's, and a little gentle persuasion, she finally becomes Sweet T on the radio. Teresa's mother is really vain and superficial, even though she does change a little by the end of the book, shes still not making many friends in my view. I really loved the romance between Gavin and Tere, its just so sweet and perfect, and who knew he could have such great musical talent??? I have not seen the Disney Channel movie based on the book, but I really liked the book. The ending is abrupt, and you have so many questions after. Maybe there will be a sequel to show how Tere deals with graduation and moving off to college. I can only hope that a summer at the radio station will make moving off to college a better situation for Tere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much better than Radio Rebel. One of my favorite books asdfghjkl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saw the movie already... probably not gonna read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a movie it is called radio rebel on disney channel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is based on this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is the movie Radio Rebel based off this book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So basically Radio Rebel copied this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I watched the DISNEY CHANNEL¿ movie RADIO REBEL¿ based on the book. LOVED IT!!! Im hoping to read the book .••••••••••
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My name is monkey man!! I wrote the last two i am amazing go monkey man! Plz tell me u ur my friend if u do not i will send my monkey frinds ater u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is based by the movie radio rebel
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