Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
As the story opens, Lennie does not have the best of circumstances. Lennie lives with her almost comatose mother and 3 uncles who sell moonshine. Her father is a con artist, notorious bank robber, and all around bad person. Lennie is not a delinquent, but it seems everyone in authority assumes she is. To make matters worse, she finds out that her best friend was brutally murdered.
Considering her life, she wants to escape and, for once, have some fun. She steals some moonshine from her uncles and goes to a party were all the “cool kids” will be. All night she is giving shots and pretending to grant wishes. After a wild and crazy night, she goes home and passes out drunk.
The next morning, to everyone’s horror, the random, wild, insane wishes of a bunch of drunk teenagers are all coming true. Now it is up to Lennie to learn the rules of wish granting and figure out how to fix this mess without making things worst.
I chose this book because of the cover. I love the mason jar visual with the mysterious vapor.
I have read books with the similar theme of “Be careful what you wish for”. However, none of the previous stories have wishes-gone-wrong to this level.
I do not usually like first person novels, but made an exception in this case because I was so intrigued by the plot line. In the beginning, I did not like Lennie very much though. I thought I would sympathize with her more because of her circumstances. She seems to be floating through life with no one who cares about her.
Her dad is a sociopathic criminal. Her mom is barely there emotionally for her. And her uncles try to keep her out of trouble but otherwise ignore her. She has an inner dialogue going at all times in which her snarky comes through to the reader. There were some positive aspects to her personality displayed when she talked about her best friend and how Dylan’s death affected her.
All throughout the book, while I thought she made a lot of bad decisions (VERY BAD DECISION MAKING), I could not help to wonder if I could have done any better. She thought her life was one way, only to find out some of the reasons behind what happened and why. She did not have the luxury of enough time to fully examine the pros and cons of what to do. Making quick decisions is not the best and when it can mean life or death, which adds to the pressure even more.
While you have to read the story for yourself to see how everything gets resolved, everything is resolved in a nice a neat way.
TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY! This is a quirky, slightly gruesome young adult novel with some dark humor sprinkled in. For me to recommend it, you know it must be something special. I am not usually one to recommend young adult lit.
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (April 26, 2016)
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers