Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Title: Shine
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
Age Group: Young Adult
87% or B+

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.

I really enjoyed this book, in fact, before I was introduced to the dystopian genre, it was one of my favorite kind of book to read. Also, this was the first book that I read entirely on my iPod which is a new experience for me. I still like physical books better than e-books though..

Cat was a very round character. I feel like I really got to know her and understand her dilemmas. Sometimes I'll read a book and throughout the entire novel I'll be confused by a character's actions, but I didn't here. Sometimes she was a bit irrational and took unnecessary risks, but I was able to understand why she did it, even though I still thought she was crazy for doing it.

Shine also had a nice subplot, which I always enjoy. The subplot centers around Cat's own traumatic past and the reason why she lost her closeness with Patrick. This is shown mostly through flashbacks that give us a little piece at a time. What I thought was cool was that these flashbacks also helped with the primary story. They were placed wonderfully and were able to give me a taste without boring me, confusing me, or interrupting the story. The actual story was very interesting. It never had a dull moment, but wasn't a thriller either. The plot had a nice balance going on.

Now..Patrick. You know you have a great author when you can get to know a character so well without meeting them until the very end. He seemed so sweet and caring and happy to be himself. It is very hard to find characters that are thoroughly genuine. He wasn't perfect, and thankfully wasn't a lovable geek. I love me some geek, but they're called geeks for a reason! Right away you could tell how much Cat and Patrick meant to each other, which got me all teary.

Overall I found Shine to be very heartwarming while also having an intriguing mystery essence. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about gay issues, or just someone who needs a good sit down read.

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