Dabny has loved Jayson from a distance since they went to high school together. Dabny is quiet and stays in the background because she stutters, and Jayson is three years ahead of her and pretty wrapped up in his friends, so they don’t interact. Jayson isn’t aware of Dabny’s existence.
This continues after high school. Dabny and Jayson see each other and say hello at the Diner where Dabny used to work, and at the Frolicking Moose coffee shop where she currently works but that is it. Things change when there is an attempted robbery at the Frolicking Moose and Jayson, who is a deputy, helps Dabny. They begin to interact a little more. Jayson is going to a friend’s wedding in the Caribbean. Victoria, a woman Jayson dated, is going to be there and he doesn’t want to go alone. He impulsively asks Dabny if she will go with him and after thinking about it, she says yes. It turns out the bride-to-be is the daughter of Dabny’s biological father, a wealthy man named Anthony Dunkin. Dabny has always wanted to meet her biological father who was never part of her life, and the wedding provides the opportunity. Dabny and Jayson both deal with issues and connect on this trip.
I enjoyed Shy Girl. I like the interaction between Dabny and Jayson and the author does a good job communicating the challenges of having a problem like stuttering and how this problem can make you feel isolated. Jayson is also dealing with a relationship that ended badly and a friendship that is changing because his friend is getting married and this is communicated well also. I did wonder about the wisdom of going on a long trip with someone you don’t really know, but Dabny and Jayson set boundaries. I didn’t like Victoria or Anthony Dunkin at all, but I don’t think they were meant to be likable characters. I loved how Jayson stands up to Victoria and Dabny stands up to Dunkin. There is a good message about not getting too obsessed with situations you can’t do a lot about and considering the long-term impact your actions can have on others.
Shy Girl is another fun, engaging book in the Coffee Shop series and a worthwhile read.