Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
Published by HarperCollins on April 26th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
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 . . .
This started strong, but grew too silly for my tastes.
You know, I love dark books. I can’t help it. Give me some page-turning horror, angst, heartbreak and challenges. Pull me apart and put me back together! And sometimes, though less often, I love light and funny books. I personally prefer having my heart ripped out over a few giggles, but some humour now and then is needed and appreciated.
What I’ve never really understood, however, are those kind of cultish horror comedies that try to blend darkness with humour.
I know some people love those things, but I don’t quite get it. Because once a book introduces some silly, ridiculous slapstick, there is pretty much zero chance of me taking it seriously or being caught up in the “darkness” again. That’s kind of what this book does.
It starts with an interesting concept – a spin on the ol’ “be careful what you wish for” idea. Lennie lives with her three bootlegging uncles who brew and sell their own moonshine. The family tradition is that the buyer makes a wish and her uncles toast to it. What Lennie doesn’t know is – this isn’t just a silly family tradition. Her uncles trade in wishes. And soon she will too.
She learns this a little too late, of course, and not until after a party full of drunken wish-granting. This is all playing out in the foreground, but behind it is the disturbing mystery of her best friend’s death. The book touches upon mutilation and dark secrets, and yet this is left unexplored for a lot of the novel while Lennie is caught up in the ridiculous drama following the wishes and her own budding romance.
I have some wishes of my own:
• I wish the book hadn’t lost it’s darkness.
• I wish the dark and scary wasn’t dampened by the silly consequences of the wishes – one guy literally gets steel balls, another wishes that everything he touches turns to Cheetos.
• I wish the style worked more for me, instead of leaving me emotionally detached when mutilation is described in a laid back, comical way.
• I wish there had been no romance, especially one that felt so out of place (and out of character for the heroine).
This wasn’t for me. But I will say the twist is well thought-out and clever.
I'm Emily May - a twenty-something year old book blogger from the North of England. Currently going wherever the wind or the storyline takes me. Find me on Goodreads
Latest posts by Emily May (see all)