Published by HarperTeen on April 26th 2016
Genres: Magical Realism, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.
These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.
Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.
As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.
Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...
~ I am officially a fan of Kate Karyus Quinn. Another Little Piece was a brilliant book, but very dark. Down with the Shine has dark elements, to be sure, but is also delightfully quirky and weird and funny. I also liked her book (Don’t You) Forget About Me, but I feel like this novel is probably more… well, I was going to say mainstream, but that would be completely the wrong word. I love the craziness of Quinn’s books, and I think Down with the Shine has a level of craziness most readers can relate to and enjoy. Unless you are a person that can’t handle magical realism, because if that’s the case, you should probably not read this book.
~ You don’t have to have read Quinn’s other books, but there is a link between the three, which I actually loved.
~ Dylan, always the wilder of the two besties, meets up with someone she met online- and then disappears. Suspicion automatically falls on Lennie just because of who her dad is. Everyone, including Smith, seems to blame Lennie for what happened.
~ Her father is a felon on the run, her mother is a chain smoking semi-catatonic, and her uncles run an illegal moonshine business, so Lennie is not exactly Miss Popularity at her school. She decides to steal moonshine from her uncles and takes it to the party. Where she proceeds to toast her classmates the traditional toast of her family, “May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one!”
~ Smith shows up at the party and there is some serious ten…..
sion between him and Lennie.
~ Then all of the wishes that Lennie granted come true and suddenly things go from weird to hilarious to awful to scary to dangerous to awesome. And back again. Several times.
~ Just so you know, drunken teenagers at parties make some really bad and often times ridiculous wishes. And I never want to eat Cheetos again.
~ I kind of love Lennie’s uncles, especially Dune, who reads romance novels.
~ The book is darkly humorous, and I loved it. I loved how pieces of the puzzle came together, how certain people (like Lennie’s mom) made sense once more information was given, and how Lennie really came into her own. Also, Smith. And even Michaela grew on me.
~ I know it’s early in the year, and this book doesn’t come out until April, but I’m going to go ahead and say that it’ll be among my all time favorite reads of 2016. Because this is an arc tour, I don’t get to keep the book, so I pre-ordered it. I’m already looking forward to re-reading it when it’s released!
Lennie Cash- no longer content to sit on the sidelines, Lennie crashes a party with disastrous results.
Dylan- Lennie’s wild bestie, who’s disappearance sends Lennie’s world spinning.
Smith- Dylan’s twin brother and object of Lennie’s long standing crush.
Leonard Cash- Lennie’s criminal father, aka The Bad Daddy Bandit.
Jet, Rod, and Dune- Lennie’s moonshine making uncles. Pretty much every scene with them in it is the best.
Michaela Gordon- host of the infamous back-to-school Labor Day party.
Larry- teddy bear of a dude that has attached himself to Lennie since Dylan is no longer around.
Walsh Weathers, Junior- aka W2, creepy dude with balls of steel.
Teena- Dylan and Smith’s ex-model mom.
Rabbit, Benji, and Jules- associates of Leonard.
Zinkowski- stoner with a taste for Cheetos.
There were several moments- Lennie finding out about her Mom was a MM for a more serious reason, but I really loved when her uncles start trying to explain how the whole moonshine and wishes thing works, and how Lennie misunderstood Dune when he tried to have the talk with her years ago. It was so funny, and I could just so clearly see it in my head.
Stop the Clock:
Down with the Shine was even better than I could have imagined! Like Another Little Piece, it was completely unique- Quinn blows me away with her imagination. It’s like the best teen movie ever being directed by Tarantino.
Down with the Shine gets a Midnight Book rating of: