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October 17, 2011


The NBF's behavior is not excusable, and I think Myracle's donation request was an awesome way to handle it.

That said, I don't think a feminist discussion of Shine should neglect to mention that its message is, "Good people forgive their rapists, even if they were never punished." Kat's anger over her rape is treated as a character flaw that she needs to "move on" from since her rapist was a stupid teenager who didn't know better. It's REALLY not okay, and that's before we even touch the fact that Shine's apparent hate crime turns out to be gay domestic violence (and, again, the victim is encouraged to forgive it).

Does that make the NBF's actions any better? Of course not. If Shine was nominated, it was nominated, period. "I may disagree with what you say," etc. But because of what the book actually contains, I would not encourage anyone to #BuyShine.

Wow, NovelBee, that's really interesting ... and unsettling. I haven't read the book yet myself, but I'm really grateful you shared this. It's important.

Uh. Wow. I do think there's some disconnect there. I was a victim of child molestation, and I don't think that's what SHINE's message is at all. I think it's "Good people forgive." Just some people forgive at the wrong time, when it's too late, and the damage is already done. Some can't forgive themselves, even for something which was not their own fault. And some can't forgive anyone for any reason at all.

I can't say I've forgiven the stupid teenager who molested me, but it took me a couple of decades to work past it and move forward--I'm still moving forward. Shine isn't the final answer, but it helps.

Okay, I think I should say more given the accusations of "walking with blinders on" and "only see[ing] what [I] want to see."

First of all, I absolutely do not think there's anything wrong with dealing with rape, or any subject, in YA literature. I am a giant YA nerd and have written YA novels that deal with rape myself, largely inspired by my own experiences. I have no illusions about the fact that rape, drug addiction, and hate crimes happen to teenagers; indeed, they do, and that's why it's important to have books that deal with these subjects.

This doesn't mean that I'll think every YA novel that deals with difficult topics has a responsible or feminist message. As I've said, I did not think Shine did, though I liked Myracle's work until I read Shine. I absolutely DID NOT "want to see" a message that rape should be forgiven and forgotten, but that's what I saw, and I would like to discuss this, civilly, with other readers. I would never argue that Shine shouldn't have been written or published; I just wouldn't recommend it.

is there a comment missing or is novelbee quoting something that wasn't said?

pjl, that stuff was on twitter

thanks, mouse. i'm older, slower, and not up on the multi-front wars :)

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