I was shy growing up. Going through an entire school day was tough for me, even in first grade, where I could be found silently crying in the back of the classroom for several of the first days of school. I even remember one moment in sixth grade where I got “the look” for speaking so quietly to an adult that they had to ask me to repeat myself...again.
When I started reading Just Right Jillian, I was happy to find a character who also struggled to talk to people. Though Jillian’s shyness is much more pronounced than mine was, I found several similarities that resonated deeply with me. Jillian is painfully shy—especially at school—and she sabotages herself on more than one occasion when the right words get twisted up inside and won’t come out. She spends time agonizing over every awkward sentence, just like I do even to this day! Kindness and support from her parents, her friends, her teacher—and herself—make all the difference as she allows her true personality to shine through. Her journey really is quite inspiring.
The dialogue and design of this story make it compelling to read, especially when big reveals are delayed by a page or two. This writing choice echoes Jillian’s desire for people to not overreact, no matter what happens. Multifaceted characters and true-to-life events make this story feel real, connecting readers to Jillian and her experiences. I highly recommend this empowering story to anyone who is, or ever has been, shy. You can read my full review here.
Debut author Nicole D. Collier has created a host of impactful characters inside of a story that reminds all readers to be kind to themselves and allow their light to shine. I hope you enjoy Just Right Jillian as much as I did!
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