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Shine by Lauren Myracle

Shine (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Lauren Myracle

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6188315,758 (4)20
Authors:Lauren Myracle
Info:Amulet Books (2011), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 376 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:friendship, hate crimes, homophobia, LGBT, mystery

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Shine by Lauren Myracle (2011)



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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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.
  rgruberexcel | Mar 3, 2015 |
Kirkus Reviews (April 1, 2011); Booklist (February 1, 2012)
  stonini | Jul 13, 2014 |
Even though I despised TTYL, I read Shine because of this situation: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2011/10/show-not-just-tell-your-support-for....

It was better than I'd expected, though still not my cup of tea. ( )
  GrytaJME | May 27, 2014 |
Cat hasn't spoken to her once best friend, Patrick, in years, ever since an incident that caused her to stop talking to pretty much everyone. But when Patrick, who has not made any efforts to hide his homosexuality in their small Appalachian town, is the victim of a brutal hate crime, Cat thinks she knows who did it. She also knows justice won't be served in Black Creek, and resolves to find the perpetrator at any cost. But as she digs, she's learning much more about her community and the people in it than she thought she would, in addition to having to revisit and start resolving what happened to her three years earlier.

Not for the faint of heart, Myracle gives us a true-to-life and bluntly honest look at life in rural Appalachia. Cat's town of Black Creek is a place of addiction, alcoholism, school drop-outs, and poverty. It's also a place of secrets, ones that most of the people in the small town want kept secret. The characters mostly want to sweep the unseemly parts of their lives swept under the proverbial rug, unless it's really juicy gossip they can share at church. But for those involved or affected, they usually just look the other way.

Cat has looked the other way for too long. After a sexual assault, which two members of her family witnessed and said nothing about, she has learned to block out the rest of the world. But as she tries to help a comatose Patrick, she begins to gain confidence and becomes what one character calls "fierce"—a term she is surprised to find she not only likes, but agrees with.

I loved how Myracle slowly reveals what happened in Cat's past and what is going on in Black Creek. Suspense is ever present, and once the momentum gets going, boy, does it really get going. Twists and turns are everywhere, and I was honestly surprised at how things progressed, though I did guess what happened a while before Cat did.

The foreshadowing is incredibly subtle, and I wondered at some points if it was too subtle, if certain character traits or plot points were so understated that they were underdeveloped. In the end I think they were realistic, making for a more believable story.

Myracle's writing is, as I said earlier, blunt. She does not shy away from domestic abuse, drug addiction, bullying, intolerance, or the results of a severe beating. Her vivid descriptions provide a clear setting and atmosphere for the story being told. She also writes in the vernacular, adding to the authenticity of the story.

The LGBTQ themes in the text are relevant and topical, providing readers with a look at how ugly intolerance and gay bashing can be, especially in a small town.

This is a great page-turner, full of suspense and mystery. Yet it is also a well-done portrait of a poor Appalachian town and community, burdened by deeply buried secrets and the fierce desire to keep them hidden.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this e-book from NetGalley. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
Rating 3.5

Shine begins with the main character Cat discovering that her former best friend Patrick has been the victim of a vicious hate crime, he’s been beaten and left for dead with a gas nozzle shoved in his mouth. While Cat and Patrick were no longer as close as they had once been, this attack shakes her to her core, especially since she thinks she has an idea who was involved and she sets out to uncover the truth about what happened. This requires that Cat face her own demons and reconnect with those people she had shut herself away from after her own traumatic incident that was also swept under the rug and never discussed, even among her own family.

I have mixed feelings about Shine. I thought the writing was excellent and the characters were certainly interesting and engaging. I believe the author really captured the essence of southern small town life, the good and the bad. And I really enjoyed trying to solve the mystery along with Cat, I had the whole “who done it” somewhat figured out, but the end was quite a bit different than what I was expecting. The issues I had with Shine was the lack of accountability and consequences for many poor choices on the part of the characters. On the other hand, I liked that the “good guy” and “bad guy” were not so clearly defined. Everyone was shown to be human and all too fallible. I think where I had a problem is that I believe there are some actions that an “I’m sorry” simply is not enough to atone for. I believe there should be real and tangible consequences, although I do understand that in many small towns there is the tendency to turn a blind eye to certain things. I just didn’t like that the focus seemed to be more on the “human” side of the ones who victimized than on justice for the victims.

With that being said, this is absolutely a stirring story that explores some very difficult issues, poverty, small town bigotry, hate crimes, sexual assault, homosexuality, and drug abuse. I think the characters were very authentic and the story believable. My heart broke for Cat as she relived some painful moments and learned to trust herself and others again. I would definitely recommend Shine to those who enjoy YA Contemporary or stories with a southern setting.
( )
  ahappybooker | Feb 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (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.
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"You are the light of this world." - Matthew 5:14
To Sarah Mlynowski and Emily Lockhart: Your love is so bright, I have to wear shades.
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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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