Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Down With The Shine

Down With The Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 5/10/16 to 5/14/16
355 pages

Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I'm not going to lie, this book was a fun and unpredictable read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the wishes gone wrong, and anyways, who doesn't want the Cheetos touch?

Lennie isn't exactly at the top of the social hierarchy in school, and it doesn't help that she is a suspect in the murder of her best friend. Plus, being related to a bank robber, her father, puts her in a really bad light. But Lennie has decided to change all of that, by bringing her uncles' moonshine to a party in hopes to raise her social status. Oh, and by doing so, she accidentally grants the wishes of everyone there, or the ones who ask for one at least.

And this leads to chaos. One kid grows bat wings. Another can turn anything he touches into Cheetos. And what's worst, is that no one can leave the party (except the ones that don't deserve to be there). So throughout the whole novel, we have this huge mess, but luckily it is contained.

Basically what Lennie's like the whole time
There is a lot going on in this novel. There's the above, Lennie having to hold hands with the guy she likes (or the guy that hates her...?), Lennie's best friend Dylan come to life because of her own wish, and lastly, her father hunting her down for her wish-granting abilities. All of this made for an action-packed novel, but I felt that none of it was explored, just skimmed over.

The romance was unnecessary. Or I guess, I just didn't understand it quite well? It seemed like Lennie and Dylan's brother, Smith, had a romantic history, but it wasn't really explained properly (or maybe I am making it all up). Originally, after Dylan's murder, Smith hated Lennie and wished it was her that died rather than his sister. He goes to the party, wishes something along the lines of Lennie getting what she deserved, and Lennie twists it around by mentioning something like "holding hands in hell". He then later participates in beating up Lennie after the party. But then after all that is over, and the wishes all take effect, he...acts nice and affectionate to her? I feel like I missed something between the "hate to love". Is it because of the wish, and the fact that he has to hold hands with her all the time? Or does he like her now that Dylan is "alive"?

Then, there is the wish granting ability itself. At first, I had a sense as to what the rules are. Each person is granted one wish by the wish-granter, in this case Lennie. But the ability is passed on from her uncles, and once she makes her first wish, her uncles cannot make wishes anymore. But then, it seems like Lennie has made wishes in the past? Which, contradicts with the above, since her uncles could make wishes the whole time. And then how does that last wish even work? Even though it was explained, it just felt so vague, I couldn't figure it out on my own without the explanation guiding me.

As fun as this read was, I couldn't get over a couple of these things, which prevented me from loving Down With The Shine. However, I would still definitely recommend this, especially if you aren't bothered with explanations!
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