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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Shine was VERY dark. Cat's former best friend Patrick has been found tied to a gas pump, gas nozzle in his mouth and nasty words on his chest. Cat immediately begins to investigate the crime, even though she hasn't really talked to him for a few years. This mystery was the heart of the plot, and Myracle does a good job of developing it. Possible suspects are set from the start, which gives readers something to think about as they read. The beginning of the book is particularly compelling: it starts with a newspaper article about Patrick's attack. The setting is well developed; I felt as if I knew the whole town by the end of the book. Shine would benefit from some sort of character list, though, as remembering which character was which became a bit difficult. The writing is elegant, and I liked how the whole story was really seen through Cat's eyes. If she thought another character was a good person, that's how I saw them, until her perception changed.

There were a few things that bothered me. For one, there were multiple typos, more than I would expect from a book set to come out in April. Also, because of the large cast of characters, not all of the characters were developed as much as they could have been (I wasn't quite sure about how the ending matched the character as seen earlier in the book). I'm giving it a 4, but am a little iffy on it--I'd like to discuss with someone else who has read it. I would still recommend Shine, though; it would make a good English class or book group discussion book.
Shine was like a piece of very dark chocolate. Good, because it's chocolate, but not sweet, with a slightly bitter edge. Here's Lauren Myracle's website:

1 comment:

  1. Let's talk about it at the next meeting! I thought it had a lot of merit, but some of the issues that you brought up as well.

    I bet all the typos will be fixed by the time the book is out. It is my impression that publishers rush hot books like this for certain trade shows. (It has been getting a lot of buzz since it's a more commercial author tackling some grittier material.)

    I'm anxious to read published reviews of it too. It hasn't been nominated for Best Fiction yet, but I am nearly certain that it will be.


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