Saturday, February 11, 2012

“Mama Sweetie said you didn't need a reason to sing. She said if everyone started off the day singing, just think how happy they'd be.”

Shine – Lauren Myracle

359 pages

Genre:  YA; LGBT; Realistic Fiction

Summary:  Set on the backdrop of the Deep South, Shine is the story of a hate crime perpetrated against a sixteen-year-old named Patrick, and his best friend’s, Cat, search for answers.  Will Cat be able to figure out who committed this atrocity?

Review:  I first became aware of Shine after the whole debacle with the National Book Award.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, basically what happened is this book was nominated for the aforementioned award, and soon after said nomination, it became known that the book was selected in error, and was ultimately removed from the list.  Like many people, I was outraged at the way in which the situation was handled, and decided to read Shine right away, while shaking my fist at the committee.  Because of all this, I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

One of the things I disliked about Shine was the pacing.  For me, it was a bit uneven, as the reveals were presented to the reader either too quickly or too slowly.  There were several instances in which I was just waiting for something to happen, and while that sense of anticipation works in some books, I didn’t think it worked particularly well here.

The characters were also difficult to relate to, and I never really warmed up to the narrator, Cat.  It was hard for me to understand the actions of many of the characters, but perhaps I wasn’t meant to so I wouldn't feel any sympathy towards them.  I did, however, like the glimpses I got of Patrick, even though his portion of the story was told in flashbacks.

This book wasn’t all bad, though.  For the most part, the plot was interesting and compelling, and when I wasn’t in one of the lulls of the book, I flipped through the pages quite eagerly.  Myracle really has a way with words, and this book was incredibly well-written.

While Shine wasn’t quite my cup of tea, I do still intend on checking out more of Lauren Myracle’s books.  If you enjoy the mystery surrounding hate crimes in the deep South, you may like Shine.

Rating:  3/5

Other Books by this AuthorBliss, Kissing Kate, Internet Girls series