Shine by Lauren Myracle
In a departure from her usual style, Myracle takes readers into a community rife with poverty, methamphetamine abuse by both teens and adults, and a Southern, small town culture that has its own set of rules and mores. When seventeen-year-old Cat’s estranged best friend is brutally beat up in a violent hate crime, she becomes determined to discover the perpetrator. The “good old boy” sheriff believes the crime was committed by some out-of-towners, but Cat suspects otherwise, especially when her brother and his friends begin acting secretive and suspicious.
This was an amazing book that kept my interest from beginning to end. Myracle perfectly captured the small town, Soutern dialect, without making it sound phony or overdone. I especially appreciated that the book presented o simple answers, as readers watch Cat struggle with issues of friendship, physical and sexual abuse, poverty and intolerance. I would recommend this book to students looking for a coming of age story, a thoughtful plot about homosexual bigotry or simply a mystery.