(41) Coming of Age

Title: Shine by Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Amulet Books
376 pages
Genre: YA

I received this book as an advanced electronic copy from netgalley.com.  It was released May 1, 2011. 

Synopsis: When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.

Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery.

Review: Cat has distanced herself from her friends and her family but when her best guy friend Patrick gets beaten in what looks like a hate crime Cat starts to re-examine her life, what is important to her and finding herself and her inner strength.  By investigating who may have hurt her friend Cat has to interact with those people that she has pushed away coming to terms with the hurt she caused and finding forgiveness for herself and others.

Set in a small impoverished town where unemployment and drugs are taking over.  Cat and her friends try to find and accept themselves as well as those around them.  Patrick being gay in the small Southern town is almost a side note but it pulls the story along routing out secrets, betrayals and the destruction drugs can do to you.  Fabulous book that was hard to put down.  I highly recommend it.