Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

book review2

3

Title & Author: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/April 26, 2016

Format: Paperback ARC

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Another Little Piece, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, Among the Shadows

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

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…

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I’ve read Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn last fall and her other novel, (Don’t You) Forget About Me, has been on my TBR list for quite some time now. When I saw she had a new young adult book coming out, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of it and I am SO happy I did. I raced through this book in about 2 days and enjoyed every single page. The characters were awesome, the whole storyline was amazing and the author did a great job adding not only comedy but some dark moments as well. Kate Karyus Quinn also made a reference to Another Little Piece (and she may have made one to (Don’t You) Forget About Me as well but I haven’t read it yet). The books themselves aren’t sequels or a series but seeing one tie into another was pretty cool and original.

“May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one.” I’m not going to lie, this line will haunt me if I ever hear someone say it out loud after reading this book. Lennie heard her uncles say this many times when someone would come through to buy their moonshine and would make a wish and toast the first sip. Of course she never realized that this was much more than just a toast, so when she sneaks out several jars of her uncles’ moonshine to take to a party, she causes so much havoc. Some characters, such as W2 and Zinkowski, have hilarious wishes that some true, others are far more serious and a few are innocent. Watching each wish unfold was entertaining and seeing the outcomes of their wishes made you constantly wonder what would happen next and if Lennie would be able to find a way to make everything go back to the way it was before the party.

All of the main characters in the book were enjoyable, even the bad ones. They all brought something to the story and without even one of them there would have been something missing. Lennie may not be the smartest character, but in her defense she didn’t have any idea of her wish granting abilities until after the damage was done. She was genuinely caring though and was trying to fulfill her dead best friend’s wish of going to a crazy party. Lennie’s dad was evil in every sort of way, her mother was mostly absent but played a huge part in the family legacy, and Lennie’s uncles honestly seemed like the cool uncles you’d want to hang around at a family party. They were tough on Lennie but only wanted the best for her and to protect her. Lennie’s friend Dylan and Dylan’s twin Smith proved to be two key characters. Although we don’t get to know Dylan before she is murdered, we get an interested undead version of her thanks to Lennie’s wish. Smith on the other hand was a character I thought I was going to despise from the beginning but grew to love as the book went on. Last was Lennie’s friend Larry, who you ended up feeling sorry for a majority of the time. It was clear he had a thing for Lennie and would do whatever would please her. He was also such a goody two shoes and momma’s boy that you felt bad he got stuck in such a crappy situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed Down With the Shine, enough to want to purchase my own copy to reread once it is published. I’m also making a mental note now to also purchase myself a copy of her other book, (Don’t You) Forget About Me. I would love to see Down With the Shine turned into a movie, definitely think it would be awesome to see on the big screen and I cannot wait to see what book she writes next.

Advertisements

Harmony House by Nic Sheff

book review2

1

Title & Author: Harmony House by Nic Sheff

Publisher/Year: HarperTeen/ March 22, 2016

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Thriller

Format: ARC Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books by Author: Goodreads 

My Rating: 4hearts

What This Book Is About

Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror.

After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had.

A classic horror story finds a terrifying home in Harmony House, drawing on favorite tropes and edgy, modern characters to create a chilling tale of blame, guilt, and ghostly revenge.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

I absolutely love young adult thrillers and even though we’re in a happy holiday season at the moment, I jumped at the chance to read Harmony House. I was even more excited to read it because it takes place in New Jersey where I am from and currently live. The summary just sucked me in and I knew the ending was going to be something I hadn’t been expecting.

In my opinion there was different twists in the plot that I hadn’t been expecting and hadn’t seen coming. I was turning page after page to find out what was going on and what would happen next. It took me 2 days to finish reading Harmony House, and I enjoyed every minute of reading it. I’m not quite sure why it was a lower rating on Goodreads (currently 2.96) because I thought the plot line was original and was actually thrilling.

The characters were amazing. I was of course rooting for the main character Jen the whole time. She was not only easily likable but easily relatable. It was easy to see where her thoughts and feelings came from and I often noticed I felt the same feelings she was throughout the book. Jen’s dad was quite a character as well. Without giving too much away, it was so easy to not like him from the beginning. There were a few other characters that made small appearances throughout the book who really added to the storyline.

The way the author brought the story all together at the ending was something I didn’t see coming and it surprised me. I thought it was a great way to end the story and to explain everything that had been going on. The descriptions of all the scenery and the house itself was described in good detail to create the perfect mental images I needed in my head as I read the book.

I would definitely recommend reading Harmony House in March when it is published especially if you enjoy a good thriller. I hope Nic Sheff writes other young adult thrillers in the future that are just as amazing as Harmony House.

Monthly Wrap Up – September 2014

monthly wrap up

For me personally, September has always been a month that just flies by and this year was no exception. This past month has been crazy with the fall semester starting back up and my professors are just giving out assignments like crazy. I was able to read a decent amount of books this month despite the craziness of all things college. I also was accepted for a huge amount of ARCs from HarperTeen this past month, so you will be seeing a good amount of ARC reviews in the weeks to come. I also apologize for not posting any reviews since Friday morning and not doing Top Ten Tuesday this week. I went to the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert on Friday night and I have a concert hangover, very similar to a book hangover. It was so amazing and since Friday night I have sort of been in a trance just listening to their music over and over again. Now that the school week has started up I’m snapping out of it. (And if the concert is coming close to you I would recommend getting tickets if you like them. It was amazing and everyone was on their feet dancing the entire time.)

When I first started my blog I didn’t even know what an ARC was. When I first found out I was probably like most people and wanted many. I never intended on having my blog be mainly ARC reviews, but I apologize because lately it has. I’m not as crazy about getting as many ARCs as possible anymore. If I see some I am really interested in, I will request them though. My next five reviews will be ARCs from book tours I was on. After those five, I am going to switch back and forth between an ARC and a published book because I have a pretty big pile in my room from the library, along with about twenty books I bought over the summer that I have yet to read. I don’t want my reviews to only be ARCs because I want to be able to also post reviews on books that are currently published so if you are interested in it you can get it right away from your local library, Barnes and Noble or Amazon rather than wait a few months.

So here are the books I read (and reviewed) this month:

– 09/03/14 Death Date by Victoria Laurie 

– 09/04/14 Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

– 09/08/14 Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

– 09/10/14 No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

– 09/11/14 Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins

– 09/12/14 Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

– 09/15/14 Easy by Tammara Webber

– 09/18/14 Tease by Amanda Maciel

– 09/21/14 The Bargaining by Carly Anne West

– 09/26/14 The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

– I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Review coming October)

– Dead to Me by Mary McCoy (Review coming October)

– All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (Review coming October)

So thirteen books overall for this month isn’t too bad. I had only expected to read up to two books a week and I just under double that amount so I won’t complain. The last three books on my list I have finished between last week and the weekend. I will have reviews for the first two up this week, and a review for All the Bright Places will be posted at the beginning of next week.

Unfortunately I did not buy any books this month 😥 However, my mom did preorder a copy of…They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire! I am super excited about that coming in the mail this month. It is at the top of my most anticipated YA novels of 2014 and I cannot wait to finally read it. It has been on my TBR list since this summer so now after months of waiting I will finally get to read it (as long as she doesn’t decide to hold onto it until Christmas). So, even though I didn’t buy it myself, I will count it under books bought this month.

Once I get a job, which I am actually waiting for a call back from a hospital, I will begin buying books again. Also later this month is a used book sale at my library. It lasts 3 days and there is tables and tables full of books and none are higher than $3, so hopefully they have some YA books I can buy and add to my shelves. 🙂

I guess that’s it for the month of September and I am certainly ready for October to begin. I am one of those people who cannot wait for the chilly weather, crunchy and color changing leaves, bonfires and of course Halloween. The past few days have actually been unseasonably warm so I have not been very happy about that because I would prefer it to be 65 degrees outside rather than 80.