Shine by Candy Gourlay Review

Reviewed by Rachael Osborne

I was really intrigued after reading the blurb for this book. Shine was nominated for the Guardian children’s Fiction Prize in 2014 and won the Crystal Kite Prize for Europe in 2014.

This story is about thirteen year old Rosa who suffers from a rare condition called the Calm which renders her mute. She lives with her father (her mother passed away previously) and Yaya who looks after her. She lives on the Island of Mirasol where the rain never seems to stop. The story begins with Yaya telling a story about a girl who is a monster with marks on a neck, and it is revealed that Rosa has those same marks. I initially took a while to get into it, and had to reread chapter 3 several times to get my head round it, but I am so glad I persevered because within a few chapters after that I was hooked. We discover that Rosa and others that have the affliction of the Calm are shunned and treated like monsters, which is why her father keeps her in isolation. It is a wonderful story with some seriously spooky moments that have you second guessing. A really well written and emotional story with an amazing heroine in the figure of Rosa. The story is split between the story from Rosa’s perspective and a back story in a different type so as to keep the two separate. They both unfold culminating in a nail biting climax.

I would really recommend this book to teenagers and adults and will definitely be encouraging my daughter to read it when she’s old enough.

A spine chilling 5 out of 5!

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £6.99 (paperback), £10.99 (hardback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.


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