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Monday, January 9, 2012


After the dust settled on The National Book Award controversy, I had to pick up Shine by Lauren Myracle.  I love stuff like this.  Also, I heard the book was quite good so I wanted a taste of it myself.  I picked up the book in the second week of November, and I never got a chance to read it.  I am still broken hearted about it's destruction (along with six others), but all is well--I got the book again last week.  And thank goodness.

Shine is Cat's story--a high school student who has dealt with her share of small town ridiculousness in the way of horny teenage boys.  She has slunk away from the social world, including her best friend Patrick.  But when Patrick is the victim of a hate crime--beaten and strung to a gasoline pump with a nozzle in his mouth--Cat makes it her mission to find out what happened to him.

I had a hard time putting this book down to get where I needed to be--so I didn't.  I opted to pick it up one evening about 100 pages in and just not stop until I was done.  I had to do this, see, because it was just that good.  I am a Southerner, and while I grew up in the suburbs, the small town North Carolina life took me over because I understood it.  This type of small town produced my grandmother, and in a way it helped me understand her slightly better.  Not because she took the same actions as Cat, but because she grew up in through similar circumstances.  Keeping things hush-hush?  I get that.  Not talking about things that might cause controversy?  I get that too.  Cryptic is the name of the game.

The story was beautiful and it kept my interest entirely.  The characters were full and so well-developed that I want to say to you, "What do you mean I don't know Beef?  Of course I know Beef.  We are besties."  I put this book down satisfied in my reading experience and I sure hope you will too.  Forget that it's YA lit--or don't.  Give it to the YA in your life, but enjoy it yourself first.  I hope you feel as redeemed as I did.

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