Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Shine


Author: Lauren Myracle
Pages: 350
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Library
Synopsis: 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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Wow. I'm astonished. I had a feeling I'd like Shine, but I had no idea just how good it was!

The book tackles huge issues head on. Shine isn't about one thing. It's about lots of stuff like family, growing up, living, drugs, a bit of everything else. And it ties everything together so well. I stopped often when reading to just think about everything. What did I believe? Who was in the right? Who was in the wrong? How would I act in a similar situation? Shine opened my mind to many new ideas and issues, and I'm thankful for it. Definitely a must read.

Cat starts out as a weak girl with obvious self esteem issues. She's been so passive and alone for such a long time, and it takes the beating of her former best friend (till she dropped him) Patrick to wake her up. She's an amazing character. Timid, but when she's riled up she's ready to fight. And fight she does. I loved Cat's loyalty, and I was cheering for her the whole way. She's had a hard past, but it made her stronger. She's a girl to look up to.

One of the things I loved about Shine was the characters. They had outsides and history with Cat, but they had new insides too, (if that makes any sense whatsoever) and they were interesting. Some of them did unforgivable things, but were on the path of redemption, others were giving up, and others made me sick with their passive attitude. They all acted a certain way that made them memorable and real. It was a pleasure meeting them all.

This is more of a fun comment, but I loved the small southern town setting. I would never want to live there, but I love reading about the South. I think it was really well done and went with the story.

Ultimately, Shine was a tragic, beautiful story of ugliness and the courage it takes to deal with it. It's a thoughtful read and though it deals with huge issues, I would recommend it to almost everyone of the right maturity. 5 stars,


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