"May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one..."
Lennie Cash has dealt with a lot in her life. Her father is Leonard Cash, the infamous criminal who took her along as he robbed toy stores and Chuck E. Cheeses. Now, teenage Lennie lives with her mentally unbalanced mother and her uncles. The uncles are well known for brewing moonshine, the family business. Because of this, Lennie doesn't have a great reputation at school. Also, if that isn't enough, her best friend was just murdered.
Dylan's murder inspires Lennie to rebel just once. She drugs her uncles and steals three jars of shine to take to the popular Michaela's party. The kids all drink, and Lennie gets them to make the traditional wish. It's all good fun, or so she thought.
It turns out that the wishes, all of the silly, harmless wishes, came true. Her uncles thought that they told her years ago about the powers her family possess (It turns out that there was a silly misunderstanding; her uncle tried to tell her, she thought it was the Sex Talk and said that her other uncle already told her). When they perform the wishing ritual with the moonshine, the wishes actually come true. Because Lennie granted more than three wishes, the powers passed on to her.
Now, everything is a mess. Michaela's party is still going because she wished that it would never stop. Anyone who tries to leave becomes terribly ill. It's a battleground in there. There are gangs of teenagers at war with each other. Most of the wishes were harmless, such as the girl who wanted to be a cat or the boy who wanted to be a sexy old man (Seriously). Then there is the guy who wished to be a giant bat monster, and the surprisingly dangerous boy who wished that everything he touched turned into Cheetos.
Lennie is also dealing with the fallout of two other wishes. Dylan's twin brother Smith made a wish against her, along the lines of wishing that she would get what is coming to her because he blames her for Dylan's death. Lennie told him that he could lead her into Hell hand in hand. Now, Smith has an uncontrollable, painful desire to hold Lennie's hand, and once he does, they are stuck. Meanwhile, Lennie wished that Dylan were alive and safe in her bed. It's up to Lennie, Smith, undead Dylan, and the horribly awesome W2 (Who wished for brass balls and she talked him into steel ones) to save the day and reverse the wishes.
I am a big fan of Kate Kyrus Quinn's books, and Down With the Shine did not disappoint. My favorite part connected the book with her other two:
And then there were his obsessions. The ones he knew of, but couldn't find. A girl who stayed forever seventeen by making a cruel bargain with other girls so she could steal their bodies and their lives, a boy with the power to absorb bullets and magically heal, and...you. A girl who grants wishes through moonshine...
Down With the Shine was an inventive fairy tale of a story. I remember mentioning in a review that teenagers probably shouldn't be trusted with magic, and I stand by that statement. At least it's very entertaining to read about the crazy wishes. The story takes a crazy turn towards the end, but I kind of liked it.
I received my copy of Down With the Shine from Edelweiss, courtesy of HarperTeen. It's available for purchase now.