Book Review: Shymers by Jen Naumann

*I received a digital copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.*

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): In a distant future, Olive Mensing is raised in the solitude of the forest by her parents, away from Society. For a time she is happy and content, trusting in everything her parents tell her, and thinking she has the rest of her life ahead of her. But not long after her father’s mysterious death, Olive and her mother are torn from their home and thrown into the very place Olive was raised to fear. There she will discover the brutal truths her parents had tried to keep from her - a Society divided by two classes (Shymers and Futures) based on how many days people have to live, and a government that locks people away for rebellious behaviors.  Although everything seems backwards and hopeless in this new world, Olive makes a few new friends and develops her first crush on a handsome boy. But even then, things aren’t as easy as they should be. She finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of hatred, sadness and lies that spins out of control, forcing her to choose between what her heart wants and what she knows is right.
My Review: I have lots to say about this one, so to make this review coherent, I'm going to make some lists:

What I loved about Shymers:
1. The book cover! It's gorgeous!
2. The world-building. I've read a lot of dystopian novels where the world-building didn't quite cut it. In those books, I had no idea what was going on half the time, because I didn't understand the world. I didn't have that problem with this book at all! It was perfectly explained and introduced in a way that made sense and didn't slow down the story. I also loved that there was enough description to make a movie in my mind, but also enough space for me to make my own pictures. 
3. The concept. There are a lot of similarities between dystopian novels, and this one had its similarities with others, but it wasn't like reading a copy of another book. It was familiar, but new at the same time. 
4. The main character. I loved Olive! She was a fantastic MC, and a great protagonist. She was very well-written, she was relatable and real, and I wanted her to succeed. She's a character I wouldn't get tired of reading about. 

What I didn't particularly love about Shymers:
1. The beginning of the love story part of the book. It wasn't insta-love, per se, but I felt like it started out a bit too fast to be realistic. As the story progressed it didn't bug me any more, but the beginning of it didn't quite cut it for me. 
2. Our love-interest. He didn't seem quite authentic next to Olive, and I would have liked to see more of his character, not just him in love with Olive. He had a very interesting back story, and I would have liked to see more of it come out in his character. Also, when he and Olive were falling in love, he didn't quite talk like a guy would. (I wouldn't have picked up on it though, if that hadn't been a topic at the Teen Writer's Conference I went to last June.)
3. Too many plot turns. I love plot turns as much as the next person, and I liked the ones this story had, but I think they were too close together. It was almost overwhelming. I think if they were dragged out a bit more, or spread out into the next novel, it wouldn't have been so overwhelming to read about. But all these plot turns do have an upside! I'm SUPER interested to see what the next book holds!

Overall, the things I loved more than outweigh the things I didn't love. The main character was fantastic, the plot was exciting, the world was awesomely spread out; other than the bumpy start to the love story, I must admit that this was a fantastic read. I can't wait for book two!

I highly recommend this to all you dystopian fans out there!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I have this book for review too! Glad to see that you liked it-- even though you found some parts a bit over the top. Too many plot turns can be a bad thing, I agree. And a girly guy. o_O

    Great review, Amanda!

    Megan@The Book Babe

    1. Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoy it, despite the few downsides! :)

  2. I haven't seen this before. It does sounds like something I would really like. Thanks for putting it on my radar. Great review...

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    1. I hope you get to read it! Thanks for stopping by!


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