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Parents' Guide to


By Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Moving mystery about gay boy's beating in impoverished town.

Shine Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+
I feel a more honest description should be given regarding Sex, Romance & Nudity content. The reviewer didn't mention the very descriptive incident where Tommy takes advantage of a young, innocent Cat. The review touched on it briefly under the violence tab, but I strongly feel it should have been mentioned more. Yes, it was violent, but it was also a sexual assault. I feel like the message of how bad drug use is and how it can change a person is a good message but gets lost in how descriptive the sexual assault is and the frequent use of bad language.
age 15+

Really Heavy

Typically I'm not a fan of Lauren Myracle, because her books tend to be kind of girly and contain numerous failed attempts at pop culture references. This book, however, is excellent. It's compelling and well written. It's hard to put this book down. I like Cat because I feel that she is a strong female lead, who will stop at nothing to find out who hurt her friend. But this book is really depressing. Every character has some sort of sad or bad thing that has happened or is happening to them. Some parts are hard to read. I would recommend this for a mature person looking for a serious but very interesting read.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

The author of SHINE vividly captures the details of Cat's impoverished community. It's there in the dialogue, but also in the cigarette burns on the carpet, the colored-in duct tape on the couch, and the junk food the characters eat, even when suffering from diabetes. Readers might find the cinematic conclusion a bit overdone, but they'll appreciate the mystery's many turns -- and root for the loyal Cat, who wants justice for her brave friend. The details of Patrick's beating, gritty language, and other mature details make this a better fit for older teens who will get the most out of this important story. There's plenty to discuss here about tolerance, poverty in America, drug abuse, and more.

Shine made the 2102 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults list compiled by the the Young Adult Library Services Association (a division of the American Library Association).

Book Details

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