You know a book is going to be good when you open it up and the introduction to the story is a newspaper article titled “Bloody Sunday Teen Brutally Attacked.” I like a book that starts with a bang.
Shine tells the story of Cat, a troubled Southern girl from a small town called Black Creek. Over the years, Cat has become withdrawn from society, but when she finds out that her former best friend Patrick was the victim of a violent hate crime, she’s furious. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that Patrick is in a coma with no indication of when- or if- he’ll ever wake up.
The police are of little help and are about to blame the crime on a group of out of town gay bashers, so Cat takes it upon herself to find out who really did it. Unfortunately for her, she runs into a lot of problems- and people- that she doesn’t really know how to deal with.
I’ve read other works by Lauren Myracle, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that as the book progressed, my interest piqued. In fact, by the end of the book, I was turning pages like a mad scientist about to discover something… important. I don’t think it’s possible to be disappointed by the ending. Shine is just the kind of book that once you get into it, you find yourself exclaiming out loud. “What? She did what?”
Truthfully, though, I was unimpressed by the beginning of the story. I had to set the book down a couple times because a large chunk of the introduction has little plot development, and instead focuses on many of the characters’ histories. Sure, maybe it is essential to the story for the readers to know the characters’ backgrounds, but it makes for a bit of tedious reading.
This being said, one of my favorite parts of the book is the characters. Many of them are funny and witty, and some are just terribly blunt. These characters are relatable. You can understand where Cat’s feelings are coming from, and most of the time you understand why the characters in a book act the way they do. And in those few moments when the characters’ motivations are unclear, at least the reading is amusing.
Shine is a novel that will leave you thinking about it for quite a while after you’re done- so do yourself a favor and go get your hands on a copy as soon as you can!
Milan L. is an aspiring writer who loves horses, books, and anything else involving animals. She’s known on figment as “Pippa Sky Destry”, to her parents and sister as “Milan”, and to her beloved cat as a chew toy. She lives in a university town and enjoys spending time with friends and horses, reading, and making jewelry out of paperclips.