Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

down with the shine

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… (Goodreads)

I was drawn to this book because the cover is pretty gorgeous. After reading the premise, it was definitely a book that screamed out to me “try me out!!”. Since then, I have been pretty much pining and raving about this review any chance that I got. This book was a fairly quick read, but I was disappointed. It was ok, but not as good as it could have been.

I was pulled into the book at the beginning because of the events that unfurled straight away!! Hello, who wouldn’t want to know more about that! As it carried on and led up to the party, and even after the party, I was enjoying the book. Even the morning after the party had me snorting away in a very un-lady like manner! Some of the wishes that were made were just hilarious – and very clearly the product of drunk teenagers!!

However, it all started to come crashing down at about 50% of the way through the book! It all became a little bit jumbled and very far fetched – with pretty much no explanation whatsoever! I was a little bit confused and had quite a few questions that never really got answered. There was no explanation as to why there are people in the world with special abilities – where did the come from or why do they have special abilities when other people don’t?

I liked the main character (Lennie) well enough. She was easily relatable and someone who I could be friends with. She was, however, as clueless as us readers. She had no idea what she was doing or how to undo what she had done the night before. I also liked her uncles! Whilst they were a little bit rough around the edges, they were pretty funny and they cared about Lennie, even if they didn’t really show it in a conventional kind of way!

Dylan sort of bugged me. She is someone, I think, who, if I met in real life, we would probably be constantly arguing! She seems to think that her ‘life’ (and I use the term loosely here – people who have already read this will understand!) sucked, when it wasn’t really that bad. She was more content to see the worst in everything and, in my opinion, act out, then make something of her life.

The ending was a HUGE disappointment!!! I was expecting something major and explosive and there just wasn’t. In actual fact, it made very little sense, considering the explanations the readers were given throughout the book! When the book ended, I just sort of sat there, stared at my kindle, wondering what the hell had just happened. It needed more pizazz and to make more sense.

Overall, this book was a quick read, with some very quirky characters and funny moments (W2, looking at you, here). I was, however, largely disappointed because I expected more! It could have something to do with the fact that I had hyped it up in my head… or maybe because I recently finished ACOMAF and I am still reeling and mind boggled from that!!! I gave this book 3/5 stars.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Feel free to leave comments!

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