Shine by Lauren Myracle
Posted by Caitie F on May 17, 2011
Summary (From goodreads):
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
In honor of IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) I am doing two posts today because I think it is that important. Sometimes homophobia is thinking it is gross. Sometimes it is calling people names. But unfortunately it can also be a hate crime beyond our imaginations, which is something Myracle tackles in Shine, her newest release.
If you decide to read Shine, make sure you have some tissues handy. I cried while reading the newspaper article in the beginning of the book, giving information about the crime before we even know any of the characters. Yes, it is a fictional event, but I am sure similar things happen and it just broke my heart.
It is especially powerful because of the setting, a small backwoods town in the South, where there are people who think that the gay teenager sort of deserved it because he was out. Luckily, the people in his generation do not all agree and care about him.
None more than his former friend and the protagonist of the novel, Cat. She is such a strong character. Cat has been away from everyone else for a while because she is broken, someone broke her years ago. This is the story of how she gets her voice back and fights to find what happened.
I don’t want to give away any more plot, but I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Myracle is an incredible mystery writer. As a reader, you are trying to figure it out along with Cat and everything is there, it is just a little hard to see like all good mysteries. She has written an amazing portrayal of the South and what it is like in a small town.
What hurt Cat so much is not completely revealed until a little over halfway through the book. It really works because as a reader you can figure out in general what happened, but once the full story is out there, you can really understand exactly why Cat is the way she is. It is heart breaking, yet I think it is a necessary story to tell.
I have read several books by Lauren Myracle in the past two years. This book further shows that she is one of the most versatile and talented young adult writers in the industry. I cannot wait to read what she writes next.