“Shine” by Lauren Myracle

by Lauren Myracle
Nominated by: Jo Knowles

The dust-up over Lauren Myracle's on-again, off-again nomination for a National Book Award at least drew attention to "Shine," a story that tackles some difficult topics. The story's catalyst is a vicious beating in a rural town that leaves a gay teen in a coma. Cat, a close friend, begins asking uncomfortable questions about the attack.

Jordyn Turney at Ten Cent Notes added her two cents (okay, bad pun, sorry) with a review that sums up why such an unflinching view of small-town homophobia is a worthwhile read.

Here's an excerpt:

What Cat does – the choices the makes, the people she seeks out – wouldn't work in other books. On more than one occasion she puts herself in harms way, seeks out danger in order to get closer to the truth of what happened that night, and in any other book I'd be thinking what are you doing? This will not end well! The difference is that here, in Shine, Cat's doing what she has to do. What nobody else will.

Read the full review here.