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Longlisted for the

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

A precious and important novel that also explores exile from neighbours, family and country ...  exciting and perfectly paced.

The Guardian

The Independent 50 Best Winter Reads

What makes a monster? To her isolated and superstitious community, Rosa is a monster, but online she is whoever she wants to be ... By turns chilling and moving.

Winner of the Crystal Kite Award

for Ireland and the British Isles

National Geographic Kids

A thrilling, roller-coaster ride ... six stars out of five!


Never weighed down by the issues it deals with, Shine is a sparkling jewel of a story.



Rosa suffers from a rare condition that renders her mute. She lives on the strange island of Mirasol where the rain never seems to stop.

The superstitious islanders shun people who suffer from Rosa's condition, believing them to be monsters who could bring misfortune and ruin. So Rosa must live hidden away in her isolated house with its back to the rest of the world, with only the internet for company.

And yet Rosa has no desire to leave Mirasol. This is where her mother died and every night she lights a candle on the window sill in the hopes of summoning Mother's ghost. 

And then Mother turns up at the front door.


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A Discussion Guide for Shine. Suitable for young readers or book groups. Can be downloaded as a Powerpoint presentation. View now.


Author Q&A created for the Guardian Prize.



I have summarised Shine for busy teachers who do not have the time to read the whole novel. 

Check it out.

"The book I would pass on to the next generation? There are so many incredible books out at the moment but one that really touched me was Shine by Candy Gourlay. It's so gripping and so dark and mysterious ... She does a really good job of making a book feel like it's old and authentic and has been around for years yet still contemporary. The way she writes so inspiringly and beautifully is really inspiring for me. I loved reading this."



P   R   A   I   S   E       F   O   R      S   H   I   N   E

National Geographic Kids “Wow! I loved Shine. I was hooked from the first page. It was a thrilling roller coaster ride and I could barely put it down... I'd give Shine six stars out of five!” View

Books We Like 2013, Booktrust  Gourlay’s second novel does not disappoint after the all the high praise her debut so rightly achieved ... Never weighed down by the issues it deals with, Shine is a sparkling jewel of a story. Read this wonderful review;


Katy Handley, Formby Books  A thrilling and emotive read that weaves myths and superstition into the modern day virtual world of social networking. It ha everything: ghosts, star-crossed romance, jealousy and betrayal.  Read the Review

Kim Gruschow, Readings (Australia)  Shine is a cleverly addictive and mysterious novel filled with warm characters and moments that do ultimately shine over menacing presences. Read the Review.

The Bookbag  This is a story of hopes and dreams and a refusal to accept a life limited by others. It's about past mistakes threatening the present and the future. It's about the power of myths. The fear of ghosts. It's about loneliness and grief and prejudice. But it's more than that. Shine is a story of the redeeming power of love. It's about growing up. It's about setting yourself - and other people - free. It's about the right to choose your own path. And this makes it utterly life-affirming. We love Candy Gourlay in these here parts. And we love Shine too. Read the Review.

KM Lockwood, Serendipity Reviews   Shine is the second book by the award-winning Candy Gourlay. Although it is quite distinct from Tall Story, it still has family relationships at the heart of it. There is also a fascinating sense of a culture refreshingly different from the standard Hollywoodesque High School set-up in many works for younger readers. This is a facet of Candy’s work I find particularly appealing – how she blends a particular culture and its myths and legends to create an almost fable-like tale and all of it well-suited to a modern audience. Read the Review.

Luna's Little Library    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. Recommend it? Absolutely. Read the Review.

Jesse Owen, Books 4 Teens    Overall, Shine is a brilliant little book, maybe less monsters and ghosts then you might expect but bags of heart and wonderfully written. Read the Review.


Polly Faber, The Little Wooden Horse  Ghost stories are so associated in my head with cold and bleak English landscapes and Victoriana that it's rather wonderful to be given a steamy, tropical, contemporary version: 'The Woman in White' will never seem the same again. Read the Article

Ann Giles, Bookwitch   It has you laughing and crying at the same time. You despair at people’s prejudice. But then there are people who make you believe in humanity again ... I can’t tell you what style Shine is written in. You just don’t notice. It just feels perfect. Read the review

Raimy Greenland, Readaraptor    I adored this book, its so unique in its style and its voice and blends a second, strong narrative voice in so seamlessly that I cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t feel the same way ... The story is incredible. Read the Review.

Chrissie, Once Upon a Series   For the last few chapters I was literally unable to move until I found out how it would all turn out ... A book that makes the reader think long and hard about superstitions, prejudices and how we treat people in general. A YA book that is a must-read for people of all ages. Read the Review.


Jake Hope, Droplets of Ink   There is a deftness of touch in ‘Shine’, the writing is atmospheric and draws upon tropes of the ghost story but is elevated by modern fairy tale qualities which will feel familiar to readers of Gourlay’s debut, ‘Tall Story’. Woven from strands of science and mythology this is a moving story about family secrets and the importance of communication and connection. Read the review

Cover illustration by David Dean

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