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Queen of the Night

Queen of the Night - Leanne Hall Almost immediately after finishing the first book and leaving Shyness, I found myself thinking, "We have to go back!" This Is Shyness (and okay, Wolfboy) pulled me into its trance with its strange, enchanting lullaby and I awoke from the dreamy, all night adventure with a contented smile. When you have a night that special, that magical, it's safer to keep it encased in your memory. There, it's protected and lives forever. But would you rather have one perfect night with Wolfboy or risk shattering that memory for another chance to see him? Me, I'd take that risk every single time and I'm so glad Leanne Hall did as well with Queen of the Night.Queen of the Night picks up 6 months after Nia left Jethro a note with her number -- 6 months where they haven't seen or spoken to each other. Why am I calling them by their given names instead of the names they gave themselves? Like Jethro says,"I look at Nia. I can't think of her as Wildgirl now that she's in front of me. That name belongs to that first night."I love this. It simultaneously acknowledges what was, what isn't now, and what can be. Hopefully. There is a lot of hope and longing in this book, and it isn't just Nia and Jethro's. It's also Paul's, Wolfboy's friend and Wildgirl's dance partner from Shyness. Nia may have left Wildgirl behind with Wolfboy, but she took Wildgirl's take-no-prisoners attitude with her. After 6 months of radio silence from Wolfboy, she says,"I thought I'd have to wait until I finished school and moved out to change my life, but then I decided to start changing it immediately. [...] I'm sick of being patient, so here's my new theory: boys can go to hell. I'm going to focus on my schoolwork and get the best grades possible. I don't need anyone or anything to interfere with that."See, girls? This is how you deal with rejection, not with blank pages in your life. Jethro has also recalibrated his life without Nia. However, that doesn't stop him from remembering Wildgirl's advice and reconnecting with Ortolan and his niece, Diana. It also doesn't mean that he's stopped thinking about Wildgirl."It seems to be getting more difficult to forget Wildgirl the more time passes by. That's the opposite of what's supposed to happen."In contrast to Nia and Jethro's mutual longing, you have Paul. Paul broke up with his girlfriend months ago, but unlike Nia and Jethro, he refuses to even try to move on. Also unlike Nia and Jethro, Paul's girlfriend has directly and knowingly rejected him. Unable to accept reality, Paul seeks assistance from the ever present shadier elements of Shyness. Paul retreats further and further into another type of darkness and away from himself. When the story starts, Paul is beyond Jethro's help and thus Jethro finds himself calling once more for Nia -- and actually hitting send after dialing the numbers.I absolutely loved this book. Whereas Shyness skewed more toward the fantastic, Queen of the Night is an equal blend of reality and dream, hope and disappointment, light and night. It doesn't try to recapture the lulling enchantment that was so special about Shyness, but rather walks you back hand-in-hand while fully conscious. And reality? It can be just as magical and unforgettable as a dream.This review appears on Young Adult Anonymous. And yes, I was wearing my YAA BFF Long Blinks bracelet while writing it. :)