Posted in Young Adult Lit

Shine, by Lauren Myracle

Lauren Myracle
2011 by Amulet Books
ISBN – 9780810984172
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Age – High School
4 Stars

Cat’s best friend is in the hospital in a coma after being beaten almost to death for being gay. Convinced that the sheriff will not try to solve the crime, she takes to investigating it herself. This includes asking questions of her friends, her family, and even of herself. Through her journey she finds out answers to questions that she didn’t ask and didn’t want to know, but will stop at nothing to find out who hurt her friend.

This book seemed very honest to me. The characters weren’t all nice, and even the ones that were, weren’t all that likeable, but then again not everyone is. This is a great exploration of a southern community that has been plagued by poverty, hate, and drugs. This story is heartbreaking and for more than just the obvious reason. There was mystery without overwhelming the main story and message. Cat was a strong lead female character, which is always nice to see. She was able to admit her own weaknesses and her own downfalls in order to grow. She was strong even if at times that only meant recognizing she was weak. She depicted an honest girl dealing with real struggles, and thus I felt for her. The audiobook was excellent, I really enjoyed the narrator’s thick southern accent. It really helped me to transport me to the setting. I felt the emotions in her voice, and the story was more alive with her reading. This sat on my TBR list for so long, I am glad it finally made it to the top.

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