Shine by Lauren Myracle

December 9, 2011
By
Patrick, the longtime friend of Cat (the protagonist), is the victim of a vicious homophobic hate crime that has left him in a coma in the hospital. Nobody is sure who committed the crime, as Patrick is not able to provide information. After an attempted investigation, the town sheriff blames the attack on out-of-towners. Cat suspects otherwise, and takes it upon herself to interrogate many of the townspeople to try and find out more information about what happened on the night of Patricks’ attack. Through this she learns any well kept secrets about the town- that involve drug use, violence, and crime.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this book a 3. This book was not at all poorly written or hard to read, but it was not great. It had potential to be a great book, with its relatable characters, descriptive writing, and slightly mysterious plot. However, despite it’s element of mystery in the book, the plot failed to keep me engaged for the whole book and was not in the least bit suspenseful- like a I feel a mystery should be. I was also disappointed with the ending, as it seemed very out of place and random in a way. In addition, the book often lost focus and veered away from the main conflict quite a few times- the story would often disappear into an extensive telling of one of Cats’ memories, which often times were not relevant to the story. For example, at one time Cat went on for quite a bit about how her friend Gwennie once killed a frog by stepping about it and then forgot about it minutes later- a memory that had nothing to do with the plot and made the book seem to drone on and on- which is never a good sign when it comes to reading a book. I feel that if there wasn’t as much unnecessary back-story, the book would’ve been far better and I would’ve become less frustrated when it came to finishing the book- something that felt more and more like a chore as the book came to a close.





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