Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shine by Lauren Myracle-an ARC review

But like Daddy said, a trapped rat was gonna fight.  This time, if it came to it, I was going to fight back.

In a small, southern town within the hills of North Carolina, Myracle places a story that captured me from the very first words of the opening newspaper article, and kept me turning the pages with her southern slang and small town charm.

Cat Robinson and Patrick grew up as best friends, even though he was always a little "light in the loafers."  But one dark day in Cat's early teen years makes her push away everyone, including Patrick.  It takes a hate crime with Patrick winding up in a coma for her to come out of those dark days and find out who hurt her former best friend and everyone is a suspect.

With each chapter I found myself wrapped up in this tight knit southern community that Myracle created and felt like I was sitting right next to her characters, drinking sugary lemonade from Tasmanian Devil glasses and learning more about this world.  Her vivid details of the character's surroundings added to the overall story and once I came to the climactic ending, I still couldn't get those images out of my head.

Release Date:  May 1, 2011
Page count:  376
Genre:  Young Adult

Similar to:  Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Recommended to:  Girls 13+
Stars:  5/5

The good:

*Holy cheese batman, can this author write a gripping mystery!  When I first heard about this novel I was very intrigued by the premise, but a little leery when I heard that this same author had wrote novels like TTFN and L8R G8R.  I thought she couldn't possibly be able to write something as deep as a story about a hate crime.  Well, you should never judge a book by it's cover and never judge an author by their previous works.  She was able to create a story that gave me goosebumps, brought me to tears, and made me believe that every single character was part of the story and part of the crime.

*This author can create a world that you would believe she lived in her whole life.  The way she wrote about the characters and how they lived amongst each other made me feel like I was literally transported right into Black Creek.  I've read stories with great world building, but Myracle's use of vivid imagery and some good ol' southern phrases made me really FEEL like I was part of her world.

The not-as-good:

*It was something I didn't mind, but for someone that has never been around Southern culture there may be a bit of confusion on the language.  She used so many little southern phrases like "Bless her heart" and "You don't know me from Adam," that I felt like I was sitting back in the Holler myself.  At first I thought that made the characters not sound their age, but as the novel progressed I realized that was part of her characterization and part of the way she immersed this book in Southern culture.

*If you look at what the story is about then you can probably tell that there is going to be some language in it that isn't for the weak of heart.  There is more than one 'F' word that is used A LOT throughout the story and a few other words and scenarios that could make someone uncomfortable.  If you aren't catching my drift, I'll be blunt:  There is a lot of derogatory slang against gay people, racism, sexual assault, and other taboo subjects.  It is written about in a matter that isn't dirty, but if you don't like seeing that kind of material in what you read then this book may not be for you.

Okay, so maybe the not-so-good isn't that bad, but it just serves as a note if you aren't into those kind of books.  Me on the other hand, well, this book had everything that I love in a contemporary YA novel:  romance, real-life issues, and good ol' southern charm.  All in all, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that could use a good laugh, cry, and satisfying ending.


  1. I haven't heard much about this book. Thanks for the review. It sounds really intense.

  2. Nicole- I first heard about it a few weeks ago, loved the concept and couldn't put it down! It's intense yet funny and it just has every thing that I could ever want in a novel. I'm SO Fangirled out over it.

    Melissa- I'm not sure I could have waited if I didn't have an ARC! It's just as beautiful as it sounds.

  3. Okay...I just sounded like a brat, BUT if I had a copy that wasn't digital to give away I SO would and then I would give it to every blog follower!

  4. I want to read this one! Lauren Myracle is coming to Houston next month. I wish this was out by then.


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