Shine by Lauren Myracle

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Publishing Date: 1st May, 2011
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: YA 14+
Source: NetGalley
When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice. 
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.

**This review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy). Some things may be different in the final print! Includes some spoilers**


This one is FABULOUSLY written! I have never read any of Lauren Myracle's books, only the short story she wrote "The Corsage" in Prom Nights from Hell. That story was seriously creepy...kinda like this one! The detail was so rich in this story, and the words just flowed. I had to read this in one sitting, because the suspense in WHO did it was just too hard not to want to know...if you understand what I mean.

Shine is set in the south, and it's portrayed quite...darkly. I mean, the only other books I've read (which I can name off the top of my head) which was set in the south was Beautiful Creatures and In Front of God and Everybody. Both were quite flimsy in portrayal, as I can compare from reading Shine. It's quite brooding, dark, mysterious (I'm not sure what it's REALLY like, I'm pretty sure not so much like it's described, but then again, I haven't been there have I?) and it just kinda gives me shivers thinking about it. I love it when authors can do that. It's like getting the full effect of the story, transported to the south and actually feeling what it's like living there through our protagonist's eyes. With poverty, drugs (Meth plays a part here) and secrets, we can feel Cat's uneasiness with the different characters she interacts with.

Cat is amazing! I love her character. She's determined to find out who did the horrible things to her best friend, and I really think that's REAL determination. She's just this shy character, who's fallen away from her friends and doesn't talk to anyone much. She opens up her shell to find out what happened and I find that amazingly strong for a girl with a past like that.
Speaking of which, I didn't like one thing in this story. The part where Cat reveals the event in which lead her to stay away from most people, was quite disturbing. I mean, it was kinda detailed and I kinda got freaked out, so I had to skip a bunch of lines and keep reading past that event. It's such a strong event though, that was can feel her emotions, how scared she is, but I think it was too overwhelming for me. This was the only part I hated from the story.
I find Cat's relationship with her family quite sad, as her mom died, her father's a drunk, her aunt doesn't pay much attention to her and her brother, Christian, seems the most attentive and protective over her out of the whole family, yet he still hangs out with the wrong crowd. It's all pretty sad and we can see how important Patrick was for her and how his friendship with her helped her kind of overcome that.

Now, onto the Mystery of the story. I love how all characters contribute some sort of information towards the crime and what happened that night, and that the small detail pieces everything together. The ending with the motive and all took me quite by surprise, but maybe that's because I don't usually read many mysteries other than reading an occasional Agatha Christie. I kind of had a 'gut-feeling' though, I thought maybe that the one who actually did do it, did it, but then pushed that away and had other thoughts. It was such a big twist though, how everything turns out in the end.

Overall, I thought that Shine is an interesting insight on a very different lifestyle, with a deadly mystery with a hint of hope and a happy ending. Lauren Myracle has written an amazing YA book, and it's enough to convince me to read more of her. Dark, Beautiful and Profound, Shine is not a book to be taken lightly.


  1. Sounds good! I'm excited to read this one - I too have someone neglected to read Lauren Myracle. Glad I bought this one for my library!

  2. Hope you have an amazing day! :) Shauna from


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