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.
It's as simple as this: Shine is something really special. A story that is bold, gritty, compelling, and unforgettable; a book that calls to be read no matter what your age. And with that, I don't think my review will ever give this book enough justice.
It all begins the night Patrick, Cat's best guy friend, becomes victim to a hate crime like nothing Black Creek, their small, poverty stricken town, has ever seen before. With this hate crime, Patrick is now in a bleak comma, one that he may or may never come out of. Cat's devastated beyond words, especially because of the fact that she hasn't been there for Patrick in the last few years, because after what happened to her that one fateful day, she couldn't be there for anyone even herself. But now she's going to make it up to Patrick. She's going to find out who did this vicious, horrible thing to her best friend and fix it. But is she ready to dig deep into her small town filled with secrets and dirt like she's never seen before? Is she ready to confront the person her ruined her? Is she ready to stand up for what she believes in to save her best friend, and get even more in the process? Only time will tell in this heartbreaking as well as heartwarming story of one girl's path of forgiveness and revenge in a world where she feels she will get neither.
Cat... There's so much to say about this one girl. For one, she has true spunk. She's someone I would want on my side, because even though she's had her moments in the past, she truly is fearless and brave. Better yet, I like how believable Lauren made her character be. Cat is someone who truly has seen it all, and dealt with things no one ever should, and because of it she has faced pain and heartbreak, but it has truly made her someone special, someone who truly sees the bad in a town like Black Creek, someone who can stop it, if only she can rise to the task. More importantly, Cat's friendship with Patrick,shows even more light to her character, because you get to see how far she would go to fix what has been broken for so long, to make her best friend truly love her again in a way she never thought could occur. Cat is basically one of the most well-developed characters I've read about in ages, one I truly wish I could have reached into the pages of Shine and hugged because this a girl who truly needs all the love and hope she can get.
Another compelling aspect of Shine was Black Creek. Black Creek was basically a character all on its own, one that I hated, because it's truly the pit of the world, but with Black Creek and its residents came the rawness and uniqueness this book lived on, and without this book would truly not be the same. The one thing I loved most about it was the fact that Lauren never shied away from showing the dark sides to living in a poverty stricken town.
Better yet, I loved the plot of this novel. It always had so many twists and turns and mysteries, that I never truly knew exactly what would occur; who committed the hate crime; what happened to make Cat the lonely she girl she became. It all made this book un-put-a-down-able.
Lastly, Lauren Myracle truly shines as an author in this one in a way she never has before, and because of it, I simply can't wait to have more of these kinds of reads from her since I think she could find the perfect place in gritty, realistic YA.
In all, Shine is a book I highly, highly suggest you pick up. It's a book that will leave you with tears in your eyes at times, but most importantly, it shows light on a topic that's not discussed nearly as much as it should be, showing that hate crimes are never the answer in the process, and with that, it gives hope that even if you are thrown into a life changing incident like Cat and Patrick, you'll be able to overcome it and still have hope and love towards life and the world.
Simply a stunning read!
Shine is now out!