Shine is a coming of age story. Cat has kept to herself since an unfortunate incident (to put it midly) from middle school. When her former best friend, Patrick, gets beaten, tied to a gas pump and left to die with the gas nozzle in his mouth, Cat decides that it’s time to make up for the time she did not speak up for Patrick.
In her quest to find out who hurt her friend, she finds out that in her self-imposed absence, people around her have grown up, changed, and may not be who she thought they were.
This one may be difficult for struggling readers. The story is interwoven with flashback as Cat reflects on the events that brought her to the place she’s currently in. Keeping up with the timeline may be difficult.
The fact that Patrick is gay is an aspect that helps the story move along, but it’s not overstated or heavy handed. The story is really about Cat and her own path to forgiveness and her own return to the world.