Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don’t Miss Shine by Lauren Myracle

Step into Shine, a Blue Ridge Mountain world so real it’s like walking the dusty roads of Black Creek, North Carolina and solving a mystery with sixteen-year-old Cat. Author Lauren Myracle’s YA novel will grip you and keep you turning pages until Cat uncovers the perpetrator of a hate crime against Patrick, her gay childhood friend.

While Patrick lies in a coma after being beaten and tied to a gas station pump, Cat peels away the evidence layer by layer. Suspecting that the local sheriff is taking the easy way out by blaming the crime on unknown out-of-towners, she launches her own investigation.

Each discovery draws Cat closer to completing the puzzle. And each bit of knowledge increases her personal danger. Someone in her landscape dotted with drug pushers and meth users wants desperately to keep her from learning the truth. In her determination to avenge the crime against Patrick, Cat discovers the inner strength she needs to heal her own ugly wound. By story’s end, Cat emerges from the protective shell she has created around herself and faces the boy who once violated her.

My fury sizzled and popped until I wasn’t just mad, but crazy mad, as if I’d struck a match and lit myself on fire. What happened to Patrick was wrong. What happened to me was wrong. Every single thing was wrong, and when that great blaze of wrongness reached my core, my heart swelled and roared and cast it back out, leaving behind a white-hot clarity like nothing I’d ever experienced.

Myracle is a master story-teller. Shine is literary fiction at its best. Multi-layered characters, a strong sense of place, a suspense-filled plot all work to build a novel that dares to tell the truth about guilt, fear and love.

You may pick up Lauren Myracle’s Shine because you’ve heard about her roller coaster ride compliments of the National Book Award committee; first Shine is a nominee, then it’s not. But for whatever reason you read Shine, you’ll be glad you did.

Visit Lauren Myracle's website.

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