Books & More from the Teen Scene

Book reviews and other reflections from one of Oregon's young adult librarians

“Shine” by Lauren Myracle January 28, 2012

Filed under: Fiction,GLBTQ,Mystery,Realistic,Young Adult — hilariouslibrarian @ 8:45 am
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Shine cover

Images courtesy of

The Facts: Published May 2011, 349 pages.

The Basics:

Cat and Patrick used to be best friends, but Cat drifted away three years ago after enduring something terrible. Now, something terrible has happened to Patrick. He is on the brink of death after a gay-bashing incident that has rocked their small, poverty-stricken community. Cat breaks her silence and vows to avenge him.


Seventeen-year-old Patrick Truman was found early Sunday morning, bloodied, beaten and bound to a fuel dispenser at the gas station where he worked. “The gasoline nozzle protruded from his mouth, held in place with duct tape. Across the teen’s bare chest, scrawled in blood, were the words, ‘Suck this, faggot.'”

Patrick’s former best friend, Cat, is shocked out of the silence she has drifted into over the last three years. Overwhelmed by anger and knowing the the local sheriff would not have the skill or or the will to solve the crime, she digs into the dirty secrets of their backwoods community.

Random thoughts:

I became interested in this book after a heartbreaking incident in which the title of a National Book Award Nominee was misheard. Lauren Myracle was notified she was on the shortlist for the prestigious award, then told it was a misunderstanding, then told she’d be shortlisted anyway along with the book they originally meant, then (with some pressure from the National Book Award people), withdrew her book from consideration. I give her big points for being pretty darn gracious about a crummy situation and for writing a beautiful, memorable book.