Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shine by Lauren Myracle [Review]

4.5 out of 5 Robots!
Shine Lauren Myracle
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Release: May 1, 2011
Hardcover: 359 Pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Shannon's Thoughts:
Shine chronicles the aftermath of a vicious hate crime in rural North Carolina.  16 year old Patrick, a gay teen, is beaten and left for dead and the perpetrators have not been found.  Patrick is now in a coma and his best friend, Cat, wants to find out who is responsible.

Shine is told from Cat's perspective. She is 16, and has a shameful secret that causes her to almost completely withdraw from the world.  But upon hearing of Patrick's beating, she begins to reemerge on a quest to find justice for Patrick.  The plot is laid out like a mystery novel but ultimately the story is about Cat's coming of age.

The backdrop of Shine is life in a poor, rural area.  There is high unemployment, rampant drug addiction, clannish families, secrets and intolerance.  I felt Myracle captured it in a very compelling and realistic way.  You could feel the desperation in the character's situations. 

This book is also beautifully written.  Cat is such a real character.  I  really understand her pain, her struggles, her anger, her forgiveness.  While I figured out who attacked Patrick well before Cat did, I don't think that is the central point to the novel.  I really felt Cat's redemption is the best part of the novel.

The ending may leave some people dissatisfied.  I am ok with it because it is realistic.  Not everything ends in a happily ever after and I think it a fitting end to the story.  But this isn't to say the book isn't uplifting either!  There is plenty to take away from the character's journeys. 

I highly recommend this book!  Especially since the author has a wonderful way of writing very real and human characters - something that is lacking from a lot of young adult novels.  Shine will not disappoint you on that end.


  1. Oh, I am SO desperate to read this book. Even more so after reading your glowing review - it sounds so interesting. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this one. Thanks for the review!

    Stephanie x

  2. Stephanie - it reminded me a bit of Winter's Bone, which was cool. I am a big fan of realistic female characters with a strong voice. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



Related Posts Plugin