Monday, February 20, 2012

Shine by Lauren Myracle

I finished Shine by Lauren Myracle last week.  I've had a little time to digest it. It was one of those books that I liked, but wasn't sure I loved. But it sure did make me think.

Shine begins with a news article about the beating of a local boy, Patrick Truman.  He was beaten and left for dead at the gas station where he worked. Labeled a hate crime by the local sheriff, he is ready to blame the attack on gay-bashing out-of-towners.

But Cat, the former best friend of Patrick; Cat, with problems of her own; Cat doesn't necessarily agree with the sheriff. Cat believes the attack lies closer to home. She begins to investigate.  Her investigation leads he to many of the secrets of her close knit Southern town. Along the way, she deals with her own problems and finds herself again.

The story is about Cat, but for me, it was really about Patrick. Throughout this book I kept thinking about how horrible it must have been for Patrick to grow up in Black Creek...this small town in the South--although, truthfully, it could be a small town anywhere--even northeast Iowa. How did he handle the day to day living in this town? How did he deal with the prejudice disguised as religion? How did he face the face the comments about his sexuality? And how did he deal with all this from his  "friends" and the people who should have been standing up for him?  I want to hear from Patrick!


  1. This book is one I want to read, so thanks for the review & the good questions at the end. How does one live day to day feeling so different, knowing there's no escape, at least until grown? I wish people were kinder. Thanks for those questions!

  2. Your response to this book makes me think of the way I felt about Guardian by Julius Lester. Guardian is such a well crafted book, but it is one of those books that made me feel very uncomfortable (which is a natural response to the content of the story).

    It sounds like Shine must be well done to cause a strong response in you, but it is not the kind of book one "loves" because it is unsettling.

    Your review made me think!

  3. Deb, I'm with you on this one. I started the book a couple weeks ago, and I read off and on here and there. I'm still going to finish it, but it may take me some time! I hoping that we hear something, anything from Patrick, but it sure doesn't sound like it. Maybe this was just the nudge I needed to go and finish it! Thanks!

  4. Thanks ladies for the comments. It's not that I didn't like the book, I did. But in some ways I was unsatisfied. Cat had her own issues that seemed to easily handled--and I really do want to hear more from Patrick.


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