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Shine by Lauren Myracle
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Shine (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Lauren Myracle

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6909213,798 (3.96)20
Member:jodyl
Title:Shine
Authors:Lauren Myracle
Info:New York : Amulet Books, 2011.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:courage, forgiveness, resilience, trust, hope, southern states, poverty, homophobia, addictions, drugs, meth, alcohol, sexual molestation, assault, mystery, female protagonist, YA, young adult

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Shine by Lauren Myracle (2011)

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» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Cat lives in a small town in North Carolina, where the poverty level is high and the options are low. The story opens up a week after Cat's childhood best friend - and kindred spirit - Patrick, was attacked at the Come 'n' Go, where he worked.

The story unfolds slowly, and Lauren Myracle takes that time to build the relationships and explain Cat's past while also developing the characters that Cat interact with throughout the novel. Cat had an experience three years prior that caused her to turn away from her friends, Patrick included. However, she feels compelled to find out what happened to Patrick, who was the victim of a hate crime and by doing so it opens doors that she closed three years before.

Lauren handled the telling of the crime and its resolution well. As I am not from a small town I don't fully understand what that experience might be, however, Lauren details her story in such a way that I feel as though I'm living right next door to Cat. I was concerned that there might be religious bashing or that the story might turn out to be judgmental, however, this was not the case. While she did not candy-coat the emotions, or the effects of the crimes throughout the story, she approached it realistically and somewhat journalistically, allowing the reader to form their opinions about each character. I did not see the end coming until it was unfolding, but I do see now how it was a great ending.

There are a lot of points that could be discussed in this book. Prejudices, self hating and narrow-mindedness to name a few. I highly recommend reading this book! Then, perhaps discussing it with a friend over tea.

[review of arc via netgalley]
( )
  iShanella | Dec 2, 2016 |
As far as the writing and the story go, A+. I was hooked, emotionally invested, etc. Politically, I had a couple serious issues with the book, but major spoiler alert, so don't keep reading if you haven't finished the book.
Issue 1: Using the redemption narrative for Cat's rapist; it turns out he's actually a good guy, and didn't you know it's unhealthy to keep a grudge forever? No thank you. The message that women who are raped need to forgive their rapists, who are really just good guys underneath, is not only pretty repulsive, it also doesn't reflect the realities of rape culture and abusive men.
Issue 2: The real homophobe is actually secretly gay, wouldn't you know. I hate this narrative because no, the worst homophobia generally comes from straight people, not self-hating gays, and it removes the responsibility from the oppressed group by placing it onto the oppressed.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
A disappointment. I wasn't a fan of the voice--it felt a bit cliche--and that spoiled the book for me. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
RGG: Yes it's based on the Matthew Shepard hate crime, and yes there is a graphic description of the protagonist being sexually molested by her older brother's friend, but the story is more about small town poverty leading to substance abuse and despair revealed through the solving of the mystery of who committed the hate crime. And the explicitness of the crimes seems appropriately depicted and not sensationalized. Reading Interest: YA.
  rgruberhighschool | Sep 6, 2016 |
Cat's best friend Patrick is in a coma after a horrific beating that is being considered a hate crime (Patrick is gay). In her rural southern town where "there aren't all that many people to choose from when it comes to having friends," everyone tuts over the tragedy but no one seems to be looking too closely into who did it. Cat, feeling guilty over her estrangement from Patrick, decides to go digging. The close-knit atmosphere of a rural town is made real for the reader, but so is its cloistered ways. I didn't expect this to be as much of the mystery it turned out to be but it's also a story of redemption. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
This book was - how can I be objective? A miracle. A masterpiece. It got under my skin and dug tunnels into my heart, flooding me with empathy for everyone in this book... I loved the heroine. I loved how she dug her way out of her own pain and saved herself while saving Patrick. I loved that she was naive, and frightened, and emotional, but willing to ask the hard questions and learn the difficult answers anyway. I loved that she doesn't just come out, solve the crime, and retreat back to her world of books - during her investigations, she works to rebuild a lot of burnt bridges, even if it means accepting the flaws in other people....
I put this book down with an ache for a beautiful novel, now finished, knowing I would have read something else, something that would inevitably be different. But one joy remained - the opportunity to write a review of this profound, emotional, heartbreaking, time-devouring novel, and get you all to read it.
A+
 
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Epigraph
"You are the light of this world." - Matthew 5:14
Dedication
To Sarah Mlynowski and Emily Lockhart: Your love is so bright, I have to wear shades.
First words
Bloody Sunday: Teen Brutally Attacked. Stunned residents of Black Creek, North Carolina, pray for seventeen-year-old Patrick Truman, beaten and left for dead outside the convenience store where he works.
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When her best friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover the culprits in her small North Carolina town.

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