Title: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author: Ann Aguirre
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.
Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.
But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…
I liked Sage for the most part. In the beginning she was speaking in a lot of analogies and at first it was driving me crazy. We don’t find out about her past until way later in the book, towards the end. I like though that she is trying to turn her life around by finding the positives in the negatives and reaching out to other people. Kind of like her own personal reminder that there is good beyond the bad, like she says the silver lining. I also felt sorry for Sage because she is very paranoid about her Aunt Gabby not wanting her anymore. She goes to the extreme to be a good kid because she thinks she has a lot of darkness in her. Even though she really falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Of course the reason Sage gets her nickname is because of the kind post-it’s she leaves for kids who are having a bad day. There is a part of the book at the end that makes you want to choke up a little bit involving that. She also really passionate about going green and I couldn’t believe how dedicated she was to not riding in cars.
Shane is sweet guy. He’s pretty mellow for the most part and tries to be a loner but Sage barges into his life. I liked how he doesn’t often let pride get in the way of necessity and he’s not afraid to tell Sage when she takes something too far. He’s very honest even though he doesn’t give her every gritty detail of his past. He admits he has had issues.
The plot is really driven by Sage and Ryan’s collapse of their friendship. At first they are like glue to one another not really letting anyone else into their bubble. When Sage finds out some things Ryan has been keeping from her. It causes an epic fight that puts a rift between them but it also opens up a whole world outside their bubble. We get see Sage’s character really develop because of it. She begins hanging out with Lila and other assortment of characters. It allows for her and Shane to become really close. It makes her see that things are not always just black/white good/bad. There are plenty shades of grey.
The Queen of Bright and Shiny things is very character focused. Definitely interesting how they were all intertwined in this small town.