A Spotlight On… Kate Karyus Quinn

Welcome to my ‘A Spotlight On…’ feature. In this feature, I plan to highlight and give some bookish love to some of my favourite authors.

For my third post for this feature, I decided to focus on the wonderful Kate Karyus Quinn. Kate is such a unique author. I can’t even begin to explain her writing style, but there’s something about Kate’s writing that pulls me in.

My reviews

Kate Karyus Quinn website

Follow Kate on Twitter

Kate on Goodreads

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Down With The Shine

Down with the Shine

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Another Little Piece
(Don’t You) Forget About Me

Synopsis:

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…

Thoughts:

I really enjoy Kate Karyus Quinn’s writing. I can imagine that she’s an author you really get on with or you don’t really ‘get’ her books. Kate’s books are highly original and quirky. I absolutely love that about her books, so when I saw that she had a new book out, I immediately bought it without reading the synopsis. I thought that Down With The Shine was a good book. It had me gripped and although I felt it started to slow pace midway through, I was still highly engaged in the story and wanted to know what was going to happen next!

Down With The Shine is a magical realism story aimed at the YA genre- I do think other readers would enjoy this book too. I certainly did. It started off incredibly dark, but it seemed to get lighter along the way despite some terrible things happening. It centres around Lennie, who finds out she can grant wishes using her Uncles’ moonshine. Prior to Lennie finding out she could grant wishes with the moonshine, she goes to a party and grants some wishes…some very dark and some very strange wishes. Lennie then has to deal with the consequences of those wishes and tries hard to rectify the utter chaos that she has made.  If I’m being entirely honest, I would have liked to read more about Dylan, Lennie’s friend who had been murdered. Despite that, I found myself racing through the story, eager to find out if Lennie was going to sort things out.

I really enjoyed Lennie as a character. I think sometimes ‘outcasts’ in YA are so overdone, but Lennie was an exception to this. She’s a fun character with some sass. I also really enjoyed reading about many of the side characters. The only thing I didn’t really get on board with is the relationship between Lennie and Smith. I didn’t like the way Lennie acted around Smith and didn’t really ‘get’ the attraction to him.

As I mentioned, Down With The Shine, is highly original, much like Kate’s other books. It’s such a strange but fun story which I think is worth giving a go.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

Another wonderful original story from Kate Karyus Quinn!