By Lauren Myracle
Cat is 16 when her best friend Patrick, a gay 17 year old, is murdered. And now she's determined to discover who in her small Southern town did it.
"...a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery."
"Shine" is very much in the news because last week it was announced as one of the five young adult novel finalists for the National Book Award. And then, it was revealed that it was mistakenly short-listed, because it's title, Shine, is so close to the actual fifth book on the list of finalists, Chime, by Franny Billingsley. So then they said that Lauren's book could stay on the list of finalists due to the book's merit, and there would be six finalists (but "Shine" clearly wouldn't be the winner.) And then later last week, they contacted the author and asked her to withdraw her book from the competetion, "to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges' work." Wow - so poorly handled.
You can read more about the events and hear Lauren's incredibly gracious take on the whole mess in this Vanity Fair article.
The only two good things I can share to come out of this?
The National Book Foundation "has agreed to donate $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation." (I suppose this is their apology to those of us who felt the subject matter of anti-gay hate crimes shouldn't be dissed in this way.)
And the other good thing is that "Shine" is getting a lot of attention. So maybe it won't win the National Book Award. But I think it has a pretty good chance of becoming a best seller.
What do you think? And add your review of "Shine" in comments!