I loved Shine. Loved.
I think Lauren Myracle is a very cool person, so I was prepared to love it and was thankfully not disappointed.
Shine is the story of a teenager trying to solve the mystery of who severely beat her gay friend. The sheriff and town don't seem too concerned about the crime so Cat, the main character, sets out to find out who did it.
Shine is set in a rural southern town, a place that is struggling with drugs, a lack of jobs, and the belief from outsiders that they are just a bunch of "mountain niggers." The book is set in Transylvania County, NC, which is a real place. The specific town in the novel doesn't exist. My parents have a house in the mountains in Transylvania County, so I was really interested in reading this book.
Photo taken down the hill from my parents' place:
Complete with trailer, confederate flag, ex-con owner, and mean ass dog.
E and I visited my parents' place earlier this summer and I read Shine while I was there. My parents don't stay at the house full-time and right before we got there someone kicked in the front door and stole all the alcohol. The person they were pretty sure did it was an alcoholic with no job and a criminal history (not the guy who lives down the hill.) So the real side of this small town with lax law enforcement was very much what we were experiencing. I could picture the story in the exact setting.
I loved Shine. I am sure my biased view helped, but I thought it was a wonderful book. I thought it was a great mystery with lots of insight to many social issues.