Shine by Lauren Myracle

ShineShine Description from

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.
Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.

This book gets down and dirty. To the point and in-your face. Nobody likes the fact that Cat is looking into each of their stories on the night of this beating, but the stories that come out of her investigations are just as shocking as the resulting hate crime.
I have to say that I knew that some sex was going to be involved but was a little shocked at the descriptiveness and details of the scene in this book. I do consider myself to be on the prude side when it comes to sex talk but I was a little more than embarrased at having to read through that chapter.
This book hits on every type of negative thing that one town could attribute. Alcoholism, poverty, drugs, hate crimes, death, bullying, rape.
This was a very sad story to read, very real and very intense.