Shine, Bright, Forever.

  1. First off is the time skip which does Rachel no favours. In following her story from Shine to Bright, her accomplishments just don’t feel earned. We were told that she’s incredibly successful and that both radio and Vogue wants her but we don’t know why. Everything just feels like it’s handed to her on a silver platter and on top of making her character motivations unclear, it also makes it hard to feel invested in her disappointment when they get taken away from her. All things considered, Rachel comes off as a bit of a dilettante who moved on quickly from K-Pop to Fashion, as much as she insists that both is important to her.
  2. Second is the HUGE amount of characters. A common complain Shine got was that it had way too many characters and on top of giving them a lot less room to grow here, Jessica throws in the rest of her group mates, an international celebrity mentor and a new love interest. You can barely tell anyone apart and they all end up being nothing more than a cluster of named but insubstantial stars orbiting around the centre of the universe. Given that a huge part of the book is about how the world is against her, the lack of character development for the supporting cast makes her come across as rather narcissistic. That said, one character does get developed pretty substantially and that’s Alex which brings us to the next problem with the story that I will highlight here.
  3. There is a lot of internalised misogyny going on. Despite Shine’s focus on feminism, there is an utter lack of meaningful relationships within women in this story. Are the girls really all of her problem or is it the system, the industry? Further compounding this is Alex’s work as a fashion investor. With his help and support, her successful transition into the fashion industry seems handed to her. Aside from being awfully convenient, Jessica unwittingly posits men as the solution to all of her problems.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store