16 March 2011
Review: Shine by Lauren Myracle
Everyone knew why Patrick ended up in a coma, but no one really wanted to talk about it. Cat knew Patrick was gay, but the horrific hate crime was lost in tiny, tight-knit Black Creek, North Carolina. Cat knows that someone is to blame, and she is willing to face her own demons to discover the one that is residing inside her town.
Sixteen-year old Cat has seen her own share of suffering: living in a small North Carolina town, where there are obvious problems of bigotry, drugs, poverty and family issues. After shunning her best friend, Patrick, because of her own hurt, Cat struggles to rediscover him while finding out who put him in a coma. During her search for the truth about Patrick, Cat is forced to face more truths about what was going on in her town, what happened to her a year ago, and find a way to put her past behind her.
I haven't read any of Lauren Myracle's books before, but this one struck me a few pages in as one that could twist me up in knots. And knots I had: knots in my brain tried to work out the mystery of who beat Patrick. Knots in my stomach as it churned in sympathy for Patrick living as a gay teen in a rural Southern town, for Cat and her layers falling away as she gets closer to the answers, revulsion for the actions of others. Everyone had a story and a reason for being who they were, and the characters never seemed flat or incidental to the book.
Shine is not an easy book to read: there are drugs, there is bullying, there are crimes against quite a few in here. But within all that is a strong teen driven to find the truth about her best friend, and live beyond her small-town attitudes. Cat will pull you into the dark corners of her life, but in the end you get to see her shine.
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books/Abrams
Date: May 2011
Read: NetGalley ebook