Shine by Lauren Myracle

When everybody’s friend Patrick falls victim to a hideous hate crime that leaves him in a coma, no one really knows what to make of it, and surely no one knows who would be humanly capable to do such a thing. Only a monster could have taken a baseball bat to the back of Patrick’s head. Only a crazed lunatic could have tied him up and force-fed him a gas pump nozzle. Only an outsider could have written “suck this, faggot” across his chest. 
That’s what everyone believes – that it was an outsider who simply didn’t know, love, and accept Patrick for who, and what he was. But most of this small backwoods town didn’t know Patrick, and surely they didn’t accept him for who or what he was. Except Cat, Patrick;s one time long ago best friend who doesn’t believe a word that’s been circulating around the rumor mill.
Cat knows that someone in the town knows exactly what happened that night Patrick was attacked, she knows that someone, possibly someone she was once close to, someone she once called friend had something to do with this vicious hate crime. That’s why, it’s up to her and her alone to prove what she knows is right, and that the rumors are wrong.

Full of hauntingly rich storytelling, Shine by Lauren Myracle is one of the most thought-provoking books of 2011, leaving readers questioning what we as humans are truly capable of. Composed a strong writing, Myracle has a way of grabbing attention. From the moment the book opens until the final word is written readers will be sucked into this suspense filled mystery.

What makes Shine what it is, is Myracle’s ability to be brutally honest with her readers. Readers will appreciate just how realistic this book is, and will appreciate even more how, unlike many of her characters, Myracle doesn’t sweep anything under the rug, no matter how painful it is to talk about. Myracle’s writing is simple yet strong. Just like her main character Cat, who lives up to every inch of her name. Cat is gutsy,  feisty, and most of all: a loyal friend. She’s quick-witted, smart, and a well-developed character. Like Cat, Shine as a whole is a book that readers will definitely sink their claws into!



Veruca Salt, The Little Brute

Food For Thought, Random

Veruca Salt, The Little Brute by Roald Dahl

“Veruca Salt, the little brute,

has just gone down the garbage chute,

(And as we very rightly thought

That in a case like this we ought

To see the thing completely through,

We’ve polished off her parents too.)

Down goes Verca! Down the drain!

And here, perhaps, we should explain

That she will meet, as she descends,

A rather different set of friends

To those that she has left behind–

These won’t be nearly so refined.

A fish head, for example, cut

This morning from a halibut.

‘Hello! Good morning! How d’you do?

How nice to meet you! How are you?’

And then a little further down

A mass of others gather round:

A bacon rind, some rancid lard,

A loaf of bread gone stale and hard,

A steak that nobody could chew,

An oyster from an oyster stew,

Some liverwurst so old and gray

One smelled it from a mile away,

A rotten nut, a reeky pear,

A thing the cat left on the stair,

And lots of other things as well,

Each with a rather horrid smell.

These are Veruca’s new found friends

That she will meet as she descends,

And this is the price she has to pay

For going so very far astray.

But now, my dears, we think you might

Be wondering–is it really right

That every single bit of blame

And all the scolding and the shame

Should fall upon Veruca Salt?

Is she the only one at fault?

For though she’s spoiled, and dreadfully so,

A girl can’t spoil herself, you know.

Who spoiled her, then? Ah, who indeed?

Who pandered to her every need?

Who turned her into such a brat?

Who are the culprits? Who did that?

Alas! You needen’t look so far

To find out who these sinners are.

They are (and this is very sad)

Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.

And that is why we’re glad they fell

Into the garbage chute as well.”