Thursday, April 21, 2011

review: Shine by Lauren Myracle

pub date: May 1, 2011
publisher: Amulet
pages: 376
source: NetGalley
appeals: mystery, friendship, contemporary, realistic fiction
content: quite a bit of swearing including the f-word, sexual assault, bigotry, hate crime, alcohol and drug abuse, some other stuff -- Definitely for older teens.

This is a powerful, harsh, realistic, sad, amazing novel. So well written. And interesting. So much of it broke my heart. But there was good mixed in with the bad and the sad. By the end I did feel there was hope, whereas at the beginning not so much. Seriously, broke my heart.

The writing was beautiful. Which was nice since so much of what happened to Cat and her friends wasn't beautiful. I really loved reading how Cat grew during the two weeks or so of the novel. Left on her own she wouldn't have been able to do it. But because of what happened to Patrick, she found the strength to do what she needed to help him.  

I guessed who had hurt Patrick and why, but I still liked the reveal.

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.

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