Release Date: May 1, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
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.
It’s been awhile since I have read a book that I had such mixed feelings about. On one hand I love the setting and the premise, on the other hand I just couldn’t get past some of the actions–or should I say inaction– of the characters.
The plot of Shine is engrossing and it’s hard to put this book down once you get started. But I did find it a little predictable. I had things figured out before Cat did, but that didn’t make it boring. I was still interested to see how things would unfold. That’s where things started to fall apart for me. The ending, to me was inexcusable. I don’t want to say too much and give anything away, but I was disappointed. Sure, I’ve never been in that situation, but I don’t think I could just…let it all go. Is that cryptic? You need to read the book to find out what I am talking about! I would really like to hear some other opinions on the end!
The setting is what I loved most about Shine. It’s very atmospheric. It takes place in this back woods southern town. I thought I lived in a back woods southern town, but it’s nothing like the town in this novel. You can tell that Lauren Myracle has some experience with the bible belt, because she hits the nail on the head with the ‘Bless his heart, but he had it coming’ attitude. That is, unfortunately, how a lot of people are around here. It’s sad, but true and Myracle really shines light on that.
Cat was a good main character. She did some things I would never do, but for the most part I liked her. My biggest problem with the book–even bigger than the ending–was what happen to Cat and how everyone just went on their merry way afterward. I guess that’s realistic, sometimes bad things happen to people and we choose to ignore it, but I’ve never been good at that. I hold grudges and I get outraged on behalf of people. I was outraged for Cat. This whole situation, especially regarding Aunt Tilly felt a little unresolved for me at the end.
Sorry this review is full of vague thoughts. I don’t want to give away too much, but I wanted to share what I have conflicting feeling about. I still recommend Shine by Lauren Myracle. It’s definitely worth the read. I like when books leave me a little unsure of where I stand. If you do too, read it!