Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle
A beautiful tale of finding yourself again after a traumatising event.
Cat has been pushing everyone around her away. Now, her best friend, who is gay, is the victim of a horrible hate crime, and Cat is determined to find out who did it. Set in a small Southern town, there are a lot of people that don’t want Cat poking around…
This book is one hell of a journey. Cat has been shutting all of her relatives and friends out. She couldn’t stand to be around them. She was scared and angry, but hid all of her feelings within herself, turning into an empty shell of her former self. When her best friend, with whom she hasn’t talked for years, is beat up so bad that he is in a coma, she finally fights her past and tries to find out who hurt him.
What I really loved about this book is Ms. Myracle’s beautifully uncomplicated but unforgiving writing. She isn’t afraid to talk about difficult issues like addiction, rape and abuse. All these problems come together in a small Southern town, where a lot of people live in poverty. This is all described so truthfully, without going into graphic explanations. This still is written for a young-adult public, but the issues touched upon by this book is interesting for both young and old.
Our narrator Cat is a great character. She lives in hard circumstances, but grows into an independent and strong girl. She faces her past with an admiringly courage. Cat is not perfect, and she has certainly done things that she regrets, but overall she is a good girl. She is not the smartest girl either, but that made the story even more believable for me.
This is a dark tale, a great story with characters you ache for. There is quite some suspense going on, with a thrilling denouement at the end. Shine gives a message of hope. I would certainly recommend this book.
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.