Early Review: Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
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...
When I read the blurb for this one I was incredibly intrigued. It sounded so interesting I knew I’d have to read it, and I’m so glad I did. I wound up devouring it in one setting turning the pages as fast as I could to see what happened next. DOWN WITH THE SHINE is a fun, and yet twisted story that was very entertaining. It felt almost like a twist between a backwoods small town you’d find in a movie mixed in the fantastical element of genie like wishes. It definitely made for an interesting mashup.
I would have loved to have rated DOWN WITH THE SHINE 5 stars considering how hooked I was and how much I enjoyed it while reading it, but unfortunately the heroine’s character is holding me back. I liked Lennie but parts of her personality and actions just rang false. She just didn’t quite ring true to me. She acted the wounded and outcasted party from everyone, and while that made sense in her school life due to how her classmates treated her, she also acted as if her uncles only tolerated her presence. There also was the deal with her dead best friend and while her words showed devastation at the loss, her actions sure didn’t. Things just didn’t line up, and that only held true the further in the book I read. I think the book meant to have her only feel as if she was outcasted and that it was her own misconceptions of other’s thoughts and feeling to her that were in the way, not real events. Unfortunately I felt there just wasn’t enough set up for this. It’s almost like the case of someone not realizing they are beautiful until the hero comes along and magically tells her that she is. Only in this case it wasn’t just her not realizing that other people are not outcasting her it’s her own fear in the way, but it also was her acting out against things that just weren’t there. I guess I feel like there was no set up at all for her insecurities and misconceptions, so I had a bit of a hard time believing them. Just rant a little false.
Frustrations with Lennie’s actions aside, I really loved the rest of DOWN WITH THE SHINE. There was just the right amount of fantasy elements intermeshed in. I particularly loved how vibrant and in depth the author painted the consequences of the rampant wishes, and the book definitely had more than a little sinister feeling to it. It’s one that makes you think because any wish no matter how simple could become amazingly twisted beyond recognition. Nothing comes without a price, even magical wishes it seems. I won’t spoil things, but suffice it to say things spiral way out of control in a hurry and it was incredibly entertaining to both watch that spiral and all the character’s scramble to try and fix things. Sometimes the fixes were worse than the original mess up, adding yet another layer that kept me hooked.
If you’re looking for a fun yet, slightly sinister and engrossing read that can be devoured in one setting, look no further than DOWN WITH THE SHINE. Perfect for fans of standalone novels with more than a little danger and fantasy elements, this one is not to be missed.
(Received a copy from the publisher)