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.
Praise for Shine
“Cat eventually uncovers the truth in a cliffhanging climax in which she confronts fear, discovers that love is stronger than hate and truly ‘shines.’ Raw, realistic and compelling.”
“The page-turning mystery and Cat’s inspiring trajectory of self-realization will draw readers in and give them plenty to ponder.”
–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Dramatic in both content and presentation."
–Los Angeles Times
“Myracle captures well the regret that many feel for things in their past about which they are ashamed. Cat’s reflections on these moments are spot-on.”
–School Library Journal
WINNER: Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for young adult fiction
YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Cat has been distant from childhood best friend Patrick for three years (she began to "ignore the whole world" after an older friend of her brother's molested her). Even so, when a horrific and possible hate crime leaves openly gay Patrick comatose, she decides to "look straight into the ugliness and find out who hurt him." She grows suspicious of her brother's friends, "the redneck posse," who were with Patrick the night of his attack especially as she learns they are keeping dangerous secrets, including dealing and using meth. Myracle (Bliss) paints the desperate poverty and bitter divisions within Cat's mountain community well, with memorable details like a friend coloring the duct tape patches on her couch to match the fabric or a meth cooker's bathtub filled with funnels and coffee filters. These details and the thick mystery that Cat unfurls will keep readers engaged and suspecting several characters, as Cat does. The final faceoff strains believability and the conclusion is a tad neat, but readers will find themselves thinking about Cat's complicated rural community long after the mystery has been solved. Ages 14 up.
I've been reading this book during lunch at school and it is fantastic! Although I wouldn't put it in Children's Fiction at all, obvious to see that the people who put novels in sections probably hasn't even read the book, I haven't been able to stop reading it - I've even been reading it during class.
Note, though: just because a book's heroine/hero is a teenager, doesn't automatically mean it should be Young Adult (YA) or Children's Fiction (CF).
This book! I swear on my life it might be the best book you ever read! I cried at the end. Trust me it's worth the cost.
Great book! Beautiful and compelling story. Many thanks to the author for such an amazing read!