Rating: 4/5 stars.
Guys, I survived reading my first young-adult book as an adult! No English teachers or professors pelted me with stones and no one called me out in the middle of the street! Whew.
Anyway, Shine details the story of sixteen-year-old Cat and the hate crime against her former best friend Patrick. Cat stopped talking to Patrick – along with everyone else at her high school – after an incident involving another boy two years ago. But when Patrick is found brutally beaten to the point of comatose and the police blame it on out-of-town college students, Cat sets out to uncover the truth. On her journey she confronts small town gossip, dangerous drugs, a college boy named Jason, and a startling discovery concerning Patrick’s near-fatal encounter.
Lauren Myracle writes a mystery with Shine. While many other factors may stick out – the southern setting, meth, hate crimes against gays, etc. – all of these are supplementary to the center storyline of the novel. Cat’s mission involves finding the truth about what happened to Patrick and more or less doling out justice; Myracle accomplishes this plot with no hiccups or awkwardness.
Perhaps a few more themes could have been expanded to provide more pathos, but as far as mystery goes Myracle’s Shine sticks out as one of the best in the YA genre I’ve read. She includes a likeable yet still-growing protagonist, a solid cast of characters with only a few archetypes, and an omnipresent sense of place. Recommended for those who want a quick mystery read and for fans of Myracle’s other works.