Review: DOWN WITH THE SHINE by Kate Karyus QuinnDown with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published by HarperCollins on April 26th 2016
Pages: 368
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Horror, Love & Romance, Horror & Ghost Stories
eARC provided by HarperTeen

AmazonBook Depository

Think twice before you make a wish in this imaginative, twisted, and witty new novel from the author of Another Little Piece.
When Lennie brings a few jars of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s house party, she has everyone who drinks it make a wish. It’s tradition. So is the toast her uncles taught her: “May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one.”
The thing is, those words aren’t just a tradition. The next morning, every wish—no matter how crazy—comes true. And most of them turn out bad. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade . . .

Reading time 3 mins

Lennie (a girl with an unfortunate name) lives with her three uncles and her comatose mother. Her uncles sell moonshine for a living. After her best friend, Dylan, dies Lennie is devastated. Lennie decides to steal some of her uncle’s moonshine and crash the biggest party of the year. She is only trying to follow Dylan’s advice and live a little. Lennie follows her uncles footsteps and toasts each drinker with a wish. The next day she finds that all those wishes came true, even her own for Dylan to live again. Now she’s in a whole heap of trouble and needs help from the one person she shouldn’t seek out, her father.

I am not sure how I feel about this story. It was definitely comical seeing all those wishes come true. It was also a bit sad and disturbing because her best friend died pretending she was Lennie. She didn’t just die, she was cut up into pieces and stuffed into a suitcase. That’s horrible and probably nothing to joke about. I had a hard time laughing after that.

It was hard to take anything seriously in this story. One kid wishes for the Cheetos touch (like the Midas touch, but with cheetos) that goes tragically wrong, and it’s hilarious. One the other hand, Lennie has a rough relationship with her famous father. Just his name is enough to make people cower. Lennie throws it around even though she doesn’t even know him. Father and daughter have a real heart to heart to heart in this story, but it is hard to feel anything for them. I just didn’t feel like I cared at all.

This book was weird and silly. I found it hard to follow conversations with all the back and forth banter. The author includes Lennie’s smart-ass non-verbal comeback to everything, she seemed really snarky to me. Lennie had a negative outlook and I found her hard to like. There was a whole scene on the couch that made me think Lennie was really weird. Why even mention cheese hair/not washing it out right? I don’t know what the point of that was. I didn’t get the Smith/Lennie relationship. He hates her, he kisses her, he gets stuck with her, then he likes her again? I ended up not really caring at all.

The thing that kept this book from getting 2 stars is the descriptive writing (easy to visualize) and the fact that Lennie actually grows as a character in this story. I don’t think I was the intended audience for this book. It was okay, but just too juvenile and silly for me.


About Kate Karyus Quinn


Kate Karyus Quinn is a chapstick addict with a love for live theater and a BFA from Niagara University to prove it.

After growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, Kate left her hometown for Southern California and film school, where she earned an MFA in Film and Television Production from Chapman University.

After finishing her degree, she moved with her husband to Knoxville, Tennessee. However, she recently made the move back home, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would... build character.

Kate is first and foremost an avid reader and unapologetic booknerd. Although, she mostly reads YA and romance, she often samples different genres in her constant search for the next great read.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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