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Shine by Lauren Myracle

This book deals with a lot of things: drug use, sexual assault, and prejudice against gays. I normally don't read about many, if any, of those things. I don't enjoy reading about them. But this was for my book group, and so I didn't really have a choice in the matter.
In a Southern small town, a horrible crime has just been committed: Out-of-the-closet gay Patrick was found bound, beaten and unconscious outside the gas station where he works at night. A gasoline nozzle was duct-taped to his mouth and the words "Suck this, faggot" were scrawled across his chest. The police dismiss it as college-age out-of-towners, but Cat, an old friend of Patrick's until they grew apart, knows that's not true, that someone in their small town community has committed the crime. With nothing other than her brains, she sets out to solve the mystery surrounding Patrick's beating.

Like I said, this book deals with a lot of hard topics. But how it deals with them is in a brutally honest way, not stepping around it carefully as so much of the world is apt to do. Though many of the characters in the book don't talk about it as honestly as the narrator thinks about it, it realistically shows peoples' attitudes and opinions about the topics.

This book was also a mystery - and a wonderfully planned one at that. Some twists and turns I spotted before they happened, but due to good clue placement by the author, not out of predictability. (Most of the time.) Some plots twists totally surprised me; I hadn't seen them coming in the slightest.

This book is a wonderful addition to the book world. For mystery fans and for those that want the things often pushed under the rug to be brought to the light, this is a story you'll will most certainly find appealing. Truthfully, I believe everyone should read this book. It has so many topics that we must deal with today, that we must be educated about in the changing world.




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