Megan's Reviews > Shine

Shine by Lauren Myracle
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Jan 22, 12

Read in January, 2012

Pros: The beginning third of this book was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Myracle does a fabulous job establishing characters, setting, etc. As a Southerner, I thought her depcitions of Southern cultural dynamics - especially in regards to homosexuality and religion - were spot on. I was instantly drawn in by her lyrical prose, the emotional life of her protagonist, and the strong sense of place that Myracle cultivated early on. Furthermore, the subject matter of this book is important and exceedingly relevant. The story of a gay character in the South - and all the emotional baggage that comes with that experience? Finally! I was terribly moved and excited to continue reading this book.

Cons:
That being said, the latter portion of this book left me wanting. It felt as though Myracle got so caught up in plot, in planting the somewhat obvious clues of her mystery, that she left the heart of her story behind. The intense emotions, the fear, longing, religious doubt, etc, of her protagonist slowly disappeared in favor of pushing up the "suspense" of the novel. Her depiction of the lone African American character was sterotypical at best, and the protagonist became increasingly too self aware (commenting on people's southenrn dialects and such which, as a Southerner, she simply wouldn't do). By the end of the novel, the characters had become mouthpieces - delivering sermons on the dangers of meth and not accepting yourself - instead of being fully immersed in the story.*

*I think that these are important messages...I just wish they had been delievered more subtley.


Myracale is a talented writer. I was enraptured with the beginning and deeply moved. I just wish Shine had stayed consistent all the way through instead of fizzling towards the middle and end.
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