Author: Lauren Myracle
Pub: Amulet; 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, LGBT
The Short of It
Brutal attack. Who will bear witness?
The Long of It
Set in a small Southern town, it’s no surprise really that a gay hate crime might be pushed to the back burner. Especially if there is any suspicion from the law that it might have been by the hand of one of their own. Small towns equal everyone knowing everyone AND everyone’s business. Cat, a solemn stained loner, is determined to seek out the truth of Patrick’s attack causing everyone she knows to be a suspect. Her peers don’t appreciate her nosy curiosity and make it quite clear through subtle and not-so subtle ways. Cat is tired of allowing them to rule her destiny; she’s not giving up until the truth comes out.
The Thoughts about It
Wow. Just wow. Cat is an impressive narrator. She’s SO real. There is absolutely no moment where I thought to myself “oh this is a story, I’m suppose to believe that this happened”. Rather I just bought into it. Hook. Line. Sinker. Cat shares a desperation that is so authentic, a wound that is absolutely brutal and devastating, and guilt that leaves her shaken. *sigh* And the friends that she talks up about Patrick’s brutal attack? Wow. I have never lived in a small town so my mind always leads me to warm thoughts of the Gilmore Girls. I have a feeling that Myracle’s portrayal is more accurate: teens who have nothing better to do than hook up and party, uneducated adults, poverty. I couldn’t help but loosely compare this book to a contemporary To Kill a Mockingbird.
Shine is an effective mystery. It pulls you along at a slow pace; I could almost breath the scent of dirt within its pages. And although I had my suspicions of who attacked Patrick, it didn’t take away from the process or the emotions that I already invested in the story.