Hi all! I am so excited to be doing my first review for Afterglow. And I picked a perfect read...
SHINE by Lauren Myracle
When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.
Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.
Wow, where do I even begin? This is one of the better reads of 2011. The writing was powerful, the characters rich, and setting - oh my word, what a fabulous setting. I was immediately drawn into the world Cat lived in. Each of the characters were well-developed, 3-dimensional characters that had both good and dark sides to their personality. The heroes were flawed, and the villains redemptive (well, most of them).
What really grabbed me with this story, however, was the storyline itself. Myracle confronts the difficult topics of drugs, poverty and intolerance. The story is gritty, dark and painfully realistic. And the ending - now, I personally think some will hate the way things end in this story. For me, I found it to be a pretty accurate depiction of the power of hate and the willingness for some to maintain the status quo, even when the status quo is wrong.
Why You Want To Read This:
I don't know about you, but I am really enjoying the trend of contemporaries that have made their way to YA shelves, and SHINE is one of the better ones I've read. Stories like this do a great job of opening up a conversation about some of the ills of society and dangers of closed-minded thinking.
Definitely a must-read, in my opinion.