author Lauren Myracle
publishing date: May 2011
source: NetGalley and Around the World ARC Tours
Summary from Myracle's website: 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.
I live just over the Smoky Mountains from Cat's hillbilly redneck crossing. It is easy to imagine a small place like this -- with drugs galore, the chewing tobacco juice, the filthy trailer in the woods, and the gossipy women in the church kitchen. The place is not just small, but also small-minded.
Cat retreated from all her friends after the eighth grade. I almost screamed at the book, "WHY?" but eventually we do find out the reason. She regrets having pushed everyone away; people welcome her back, although some keep their lips sealed during her investigation. Some characters are likable, others we despise, and one or two where I wanted to say, "Oh hush yo chatterin'!"
It is also neat to notice the different ways Myracle uses the word "shine," without being obvious. For example, early on, someone said to Cat, "hoped he'd take a shine to you."
While I followed Cat around her environs in order to investigate who attacked her friend, I thought to myself, "This is the best book I've read in ages." Would like to know what you think about the hillbilly area.