The Compulsive Reader: Shine by Lauren Myracle

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Once, Cat and Patrick were best friends and told each other everything. But for the past few years Cat has been quiet and withdrawn, and Patrick has given up on being as close to her as they once were. When Patrick is brutally attacked for the simple fact that he is gay, the crime brings Cat to reality and she wants justice for Patrick, who lies in a coma. No one in their small, Southern town seems to be doing anything to get to the bottom of the attack, and so Cat sets out to investigate on her own, traversing a dangerous landscape of bitter friends, buried secrets, meth addicts, and prejudice that could prove to be deadly.

Shine is without a doubt Myracle's most unsettling book yet. Her depictions of the small town that Cat grows up in and the people that inhabit it are vivid and sometimes unexpected, yet always realistic. Most of the people that Cat encounters are unworldly and ignorant, or confused characters that can be a little wild, yet surprising in nature. The dynamics between the friends that Cat has known for years are well-drawn, especially as Cat starts probing into the truth and it surprised by what she learns about some of the people that she has grown up with. Myracle also portrays the complicated nature of bullying by showing that sometimes bullies are the people you know well, the people you call friends, the people that you cannot stand up to. Cat has a rough time of it when she is forced to face her bullies and abusers and their actions derail her, yet she never lets her guard down. She is a girl with a lot of anger and guilt, yet she turns those emotions into an impetus to be brave and confident and face the ugliness in her life, which is a hard-learned and admirable lesson that anyone can benefit from. Shine is a tense, stark, and surprisingly heartrending book that will stick with readers for a long time to come.

Cover Comments: This cover is gorgeous. I love the colors, and how this cover gives the impression of strength and endurance in the face of hardship. The artwork continues inside the book, although I confess that I purchased this book when it was on sale on Kindle, and so it was hard to view them on my black and white screen. If you are going to buy this book, I recommend getting a paper copy! The artwork is haunting. 

E-book purchased.


Lizzy said...

I agree, I love the cover! I haven't picked this one up, but you've sold me. I always appreciate realistic contemporary fiction that doesn't water-down the issues. Thanks for the review :)

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really loved this book. It wasn't what I was expecting having read this author's ttyl series but I found it just fabulous. So thought-provoking and moving!