I read Shine by Lauren Myracle on the bus to New York City for SCBWI. Which, really, if you're reading on a bus and totally into the novel, no longer noticing that you are ON A BUS, you know it's a good book.
Shine is a very good book.
When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.
The plot is actually a lot more complex than that - while Cat is trying to solve the crime as her childhood friend fights for life in the hospital, she also has her own dark secrets to face as she learns to shine again. She hasn't been a very good friend to Patrick, something that haunts her after he is viciously attacked. We slowly learn the reasons why Cat has tried to become invisible, even though that's meant abandoning Patrick. The mystery in Shine is very well-done (by which I mean, I didn't see it coming ;)), but I think the characterization and the complexity of those characters was what I really loved. The bad guys aren't all bad and the good guys aren't all good - I really appreciated that ambiguity.
I don't want to tell you too much about the book because I don't want to give anything away! It releases May 1st and is available for pre-order now; I recommend you don't miss this one!