Okay, I actually had a lot of mixed feelings about this book, but truth be told I have not had time to read much at all lately and this was my most recent assignment from my YA class so this is what you all are getting. Shine by Lauren Myracle takes place in North Carolina and right from the beginning we are told that a hate crime has occurred when 16 year old Patrick Truman, who is gay, is found beaten within an inch of his life. The way in which he was found definitely indicates that it was a hate crime, but it’s a little graphic and I don’t want to trigger anyone here. The novel is told from the point of view of Cat, one of Patrick’s classmates and former best friends.
I’m always interested in queer lit, but the homophobia displayed by the townspeople in this book made me cringe. It’s important to not ignore this kind of thing so that we can acknowledge that homophobia exists and hate crimes do happen, but it was so much. Coming from a small town, I definitely get that the anti-queer business does happen but this book makes it seem like everyone in the whole town is homophobic, which made it less believable.
And there is a surprise villain. Although his identity was painfully obvious the entire time.
I did not like the ending. I thought it was too easy and fell too hard into the “evil is punished, everyone else lives happily ever after” mold. I’ve been instructed that I spoil too much in my book reviews, so I’m leaving it at that. Worth a read, but not one of my favorites.