Genre: Contemporary / Fantasy
Synopsis: This is not a ghost story even though there are plenty of ghosts in it. And it’s not a horror story though some people might be horrified. It’s not a monster story either, even though there is a monster in it and that monster happens to be me.
Forced to hide herself away from the superstitious island community of Mirasol, thirteen-year-old Rosa seeks solace online. There she meets Ansel95, and as the friendship moves from virtual to real, Rosa discovers that she’s not the only one with something to hide..
From the author of the critically-acclaimed Tall Story, comes a haunting, intense and moving novel which weaves myths and ghosts into a modern setting. As Rosa’s social life blossoms, how will she seize the freedom to be who she really is?
200words (or less) review: While I did receive this title from Random House it was not requested. It’s was one of those lovely surprises that occasionally come through the letterbox. I’d heard of Candy Gourlay previously but hadn’t read any of her works.
Shine is a beautifully written book about Rosa, a young girl that lives on Mirasol, a small island with a very superstitious community. Because of Rosa’s ‘condition’ she is hidden away in her room. Her only companion is Yaya, who tells her stories while her father works at the hospital. By making friends with Ansel95 online Rosa not only breaks her father’s rules but her own.
The book is narrated by Rosa with occasional letters addressed to someone called Kat in between. Despite the fact that the letters are set in a different time they work with Rosa’s story. I did struggle a little with the letters at the start, but as the story progressed I grew to love them.
Shine has a charm that I love so much from fairytales. I was really happy reading and think it’ll be one of those books I’ll re-read on a regular basis.