Lauren Myracle's Shine made headlines last year for reasons other than the book itself, which is a shame, because it's a harsh ad stunning look at the blight overtaking many places in small-town America.The book begins as a mystery: Cat's former best friend is attacked at the mini-mart where he works, apparently the victim of a hate crime. Cat is convinced the police aren't going to do much about solving the crime, so she takes it upon herself to start investigating, fearing she may know who attacked her friend. As she starts asking questions, thought, she discovered there's a lot about her town she didn't know. Some she thought were okay with homosexuality turn out to have more of an issue than she'd thought, and she realizes how much meth has infiltrated her town.Shine is a tough read, mainly because of its unfiltered look at things we may hear on the news but not want to look at in any depth. Cat's innocence of what's been right in front of her eyes the entire time is our own, and we feel her disappointment when the people she thought she knew, both good and bad, turn out to not be so black and white.If the book has any faults, it's that Myracle may have tried in the end to soften the blow a little, for both readers as well as for Cat. Most of us know how this story ends every day, with no author there to make it just a little easier.