Eighteen-year-old Lennie Cash hasn’t had it easy.
The daughter of a notorious thief who abandoned her at Chuck E. Cheese after dragging her on a bloody crime spree when she was 6, Lennie lives with her reclusive mother and three benignly neglectful, moonshine-making uncles. (The family practically defines “white trash” to the outside world.) To make matters worse, her best friend, Dylan, was found butchered two weeks ago, and the cops think she might be responsible. Looking for a little release and armed with four bottles of her uncles’ moonshine, Lennie decides to crash an exclusive high school party. Following a ritual she’s witnessed her uncles perform a million times, Lennie offers her classmates a sip of moonshine and a wish to be granted—little does she know that every wish will come true. Sharp, funny, and amiable, Lennie’s narration feels a lot like a modern-day Scout’s, and readers are likely to go along for the ride just to spend time with her. Unfortunately, Lennie’s spot-on voice doesn’t make up for the fact that the story gets derailed by the silly chaos of the wish-making rather than spending its time thoroughly exploring the darker and more intriguing tale of Dylan’s murder.
Contemporary fiction with a touch of magic and a hint of horror, Quinn’s latest defies traditional labels and offers readers a different sort of fictitious escape. (Fiction. 14-18)