Author: Lauren Myracle
Level: Young Adult
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Cat and Patrick had been inseparable best friends when they were young until Cat had a run in with Tommy, a boy in her school. After that, she withdrew from everyone including her friends, her brother who was once her hero, and Patrick. When she hears the news of Patrick’s attack that left him in a coma, she knows that it is time for her to stop ignoring the world around her and figure out who did it. Patrick was always open about being gay and his attack is viewed as a hate crime but the sheriff of their small North Carolina town blames it on people just passing through. When Cat starts investigating, she finds out secrets she couldn’t have imagined about the people she’s known all her life.
Shine has a very atmospheric feel of a small town Southern community which is at turns charming and repellent. This is a very real-feeling mystery. You can imagine that in Cat’s place you would want to do the same thing to help figure out who would do such a thing. The crime is horrific and might be hard for sensitive readers to handle, but it is sadly not that far off from what you might read in the papers. The mystery will keep you guessing, but the book is just as much about Cat and the choices she makes about how she wants to live her life.
The Bottom Line: Shine is a great book whose characters and story stick with you long after you finish it. It’s a mystery but it’s also a book about saying “yes” to life, even when it’s hard.
The publisher provided me with an advanced reader’s copy of the book for this review. Shine has an expected release date of May 1, 2011.