Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle

Title: Shine
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publish Date: May 1, 2011
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a young adult fan.
  • You don't mind heavy topics.
  • You like good writing.
What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

I had heard a lot about this book and was sort of intrigued because it covered bullying, a very time appropriate topic. There's been a lot of stories recently about kids being bullied in school for simply being who they are, which is totally disheartening. Timely books like this are so important.

Cat thinks she could have done more after her best friend, Patrick, is beaten for being gay. She feels she should have stood up for him more, which would have been really hard to do in their tiny, backwards town. After Patrick is beaten and is in the hospital fighting for his life, Cat makes it her mission to find out who did such a horrendous thing to Patrick.

This book dealt with more heavy topics than just bullying. There is also meth and other drugs present, which seem to be sucking the souls of the youth in this small town. I didn't realize how many other things the book dealt with. While depressing at some points, I really thought that Myracle did a great job of bringing these issues to light. This is a young adult book and I can definitely see this book as one that a teen would get a lot out of. I know I got a lot out of it myself. 


  1. oooh , why can't i have it now/ need money 2 buy it

  2. this is one that i really want to read because, if i'm not mistaken, it is set in North Carolina, which is where i'm located. i love the South but i don't love some of the 'stuff' the South is known for. i've heard this is a great book, and very heavy, and i'm sure it'll probably accurately portray my area of the US pretty well.

    i'm considering reading it for one of my 2012 challenges.

  3. Great review! This is one I've really wanted to read, but like you, I didn't realize it dealt with so many heavy themes. Nevertheless, I want to read it even more now

  4. Oh, I really want to read this.

  5. I thought this was the best YA book of 2011 for so many reasons. Lauren usually writes such fun books, and while she often deals with real and often tough situations, she usually does it with such levity and humor. This book did not have much of either, but it was such a beautiful, gritty, raw, and thought provoking read and it has stayed with me all year (I read it in April). Not many YA authors have the b*lls to deal with tough issues the she does (Ellen Hopkins comes to mind also). I was fortunate enough to hear Lauren speak about this book, and it made me love it even more when I heard the reasons behind her writing it. She has a beautiful soul, and it shines through in this book (no pun intended). Great review!

    Karis @YA Litwit

  6. I've really wanted to read this ever since the Shine/Chime debacle! Definitely moving it up the TBR :)

    I wonder if this would make a good book club selection due to the heavy subject matter...?

  7. I wanted to read this after the awards debacle, now I want to read it even more! It sounds good, if heavy. I don't mind an "issues" book every now and then, mixed in with the light ones :)


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