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Kim Tomsic

Monday, July 9, 2012

Myracle Comes out Shiny

When Cat’s best friend Patrick gets beat with a baseball bat, duck taped to a gas hose, and left for dead, Cat sets out to solve the mystery of who perpetrated this hate crime. She has to. She owes it to Patrick for how she treated him ever since they started high school; plus Patrick’s coma means he can’t speak for himself. Cat’s backwoods community is small enough to have everybody in everybody’s business. Sure, there’s lots of gossip and there’s lots of negative talk against Patrick’s choice to be open about being gays, but could one of their own have actually done this to Patrick? That’s what Cat wants to figure out in this YA mystery, SHINE (Abrams) by Lauren Myracle.

Lauren Myracle is a genius of craft. She perfectly paced the story along, and kept me guessing, speculating, and riveted on each page turn. Her characters are interesting, diverse, and real.

If I were in Cat’s small town, I’d probably gossip about what happened with Myracle and the National Book Awards. I’d tell you that when the National Book Awards were announced, the committee accidentally named Shine on the list of nominees for the award in Young People’s Literature. Myracle graciously removed her name from the list as soon as the error was revealed. I imagine she must have realized one of the worst possible nightmares an author can experience…and she came out Shine-y. Good things can come out of nightmares, and it did when it comes to Shine’s sales figures. Whenever I see Chime (the actual nominee) listed in Amazon or Barnes and Noble, I notice statistics show that those who purchased Chime also purchased Shine. It’s human nature to want to judge if the committee got it right, or if they should have stuck with Shine. I’m not going to do that here. But I will say that Shine was an amazing read, and had the error not occurred, it probably wouldn’t have registered on my book radar. I guess the saying is true: all press is good press.

What Lauren Myracle says about the goof in the Huffington Post:

Oh, it felt good! To hell with that--it felt frickin' glorious. This book, Shine, this book that my beloved editor and I had bled our souls into, had been declared--to the world--one of the best of the year.

And then, two hours later, came a concerned email from a journalist friend. "So what do you think of the Chime/Shine mix-up?" she asked.

"The..." My gut clenched. "Excuse me, what?"

"Oh dear," she wrote back. "Perhaps you should do some Googling. And Lauren? I am so sorry."

To read more of her own words, visit: Lauren’s article

In the New York Times it was written that: “At Ms. Myracle’s urging, the National Book Foundation will make a $5,000 donation to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which advocates for gay youth, promoting dignity and acceptance.”

The Unwithdrawn Praise for Shine
“Cat eventually uncovers the truth in a cliffhanging climax in which she confronts fear, discovers that love is stronger than hate and truly ‘shines.’ Raw, realistic and compelling.” –Kirkus Reviews
“The page-turning mystery and Cat’s inspiring trajectory of self-realization will draw readers in and give them plenty to ponder.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Dramatic in both content and presentation.” –Los Angeles Times

“Myracle captures well the regret that many feel for things in their past about which they are ashamed. Cat’s reflections on these moments are spot-on.” –School Library Journal
ISBN-10: 0810984172
ISBN-13: 9780810984172
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 04/01/2011
Pages: 376
Language: English
Recommended Reading Level
Minimum Age: 14
Maximum Age: UP
Minimum Grade Level: 9th Grade
Maximum Grade Level: Up
·        Hardcover (3/2011): $16.95
·        Paperback (4/2012): $7.95
·        MP3 CD (1/2012): $24.99
·        MP3 CD (1/2012): $39.97


Ruth Donnelly said...

I haven't read Shine yet (or Chime either, for that matter), but I love Lauren Myracle's writing. And the way she handled the whole award debacle was very classy.

Kim Tomsic said...

Hi, Ruth! You definitely have to pick up Shine. It goes beyond the boundaries of Myracles usual fantastic writing

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