Saturday, June 23, 2012
Book Review: Shine, by Lauren Myracle
Author: Lauren Myracle
Genre(s): Hard topics, realistic fiction, mystery
Age Level: 13 and up
Page Count: 350 (paperback)
Perspective/POV: First person, female
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Review: This book deals with a lot of things: drug use, sexual assault, and prejudice against gays. I normally don't read about many, if any, of those things. I don't enjoy reading about them. But this was for my book group, and so I didn't really have a choice in the matter.
Like I said, this book deals with a lot of hard topics. But how it deals with them is in a brutally honest way, not stepping around it carefully as so much of the world is apt to do. Though many of the characters in the book don't talk about it as honestly as the narrator thinks about it, it realistically shows peoples' attitudes and opinions about the topics.
This book was also a mystery - and a wonderfully planned one at that. Some twists and turns I spotted before they happened, but due to good clue placement by the author, not out of predictability. (Most of the time.) Some plots twists totally surprised me; I hadn't seen them coming in the slightest.
This book is a wonderful addition to the book world. For mystery fans and for those that want the things often pushed under the rug to be brought to the light, this is a story you'll will most certainly find appealing. Truthfully, I believe everyone should read this book. It has so many topics that we must deal with today, that we must be educated about in the changing world. So what are you waiting for? Go and read it!
Quotes: I know I normally don't do this, but there were a couple in here that I just loved, and had to share!
'It was also proof that knowledge was power, not being a bully or rich or thinking you were better than everyone... Knowledge was more powerful than fear. Love was stronger than hate.' -Page 264 of Shine
'I tossed Daddy's Spanish pistol on the Lawsons' coffee table, and it made a fairly satisfying thunk that I hoped woke up his mama.
"You're not taking that?" Tommy said.
"But... why?" Bailee-Ann said.
"Because it's good for nothing," I said, keeping my eyes on Tommy. "Because one worthless piece of shit deserves another."' -Page 279 of Shine
'I loved everyone who said yes to the world and trued to make it better instead of worse, because so much in the world was ugly - and just about all the ugly parts were due to humans.... I hurt everyone I came into contact with, because what I was sending out wasn't a yes to the world but a no.
I was going to stop that' -Page 290-291 of Shine