Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review: Shine

Title Shine

Author Lauren Myracle

Release Date May 1, 2011

When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.


Whenever I first heard about Shine, I immediately wanted to read it. Heavy issues like homophobia and hate crimes have a tendency to draw me in. Throw in the fact that the story takes place in a small Southern community and I couldn't wait to pick this book up.

First, let me say that I had a hard time writing a decent review for this book without giving away too many spoilers.

Shine was a decent book. I think I might have expected more than it was willing to give, though. Of course, that's not the books fault. I blame the blurb for being too interesting.

I feel like, in general, the characters and story follow like they would if these were real events. The small town characters were more willing to brush the ugliness of the world aside and pretend like it never happened.

I enjoyed Cat's character. Myracle made her feel very real and relatable, especially as someone from the South. I could relate to her wanting to be different from all the others around her. While I'm not from a small Southern town, I understand how people from the South get pegged as uneducated, ignorant people. I really liked that Cat worked to be different by staying in school, away from drugs, and open-minded.

It really bugged me that by halfway through the book, I was 90% sure I knew who committed the hate crime against Patrick. And by the time Cat had figured it out, I was 100% sure. I feel like Myracle made it a little bit too obvious to the readers.

Another thing I wasn't too fond of was Cat's "love interest" in the story. It seemed completely out-of-place in the story. He could have been omitted from the story and it wouldn't have made any difference at all. Overall, I don't feel like he contributed enough to the story to even be in it.


3.5 stars out of 5 stars

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