Author: Ann Aguirre
Category: Contemporary Romance
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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…
This was a story that was sweet, swoon worthy, and yet a story that touched on deeper subjects that left you breathless and desperate to hug the characters within the pages. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was cute, filled with depth, and had characters you couldn't help but fall in love with.
The characters are deep, quirky in their own way, and desperate to make the world around them a better place despite the circumstances they may have come from or been in. I loved witnessing how in-depth each one was, complicated, but wholly good. Sage was a character who fought so hard to be good, to show the world that there is a silver lining. She warmed my heart. But it was her development and overall discovery of herself that I loved so. And then we have Shane. A character who, unlike Sage, is trying to hide, disappear from the world around him. Despite that, he too is a deep character with a heart bigger than he is willing to share. But of course, when these two meet, a true bond is formed and through obstacles they each end up helping each other.“They're fooling themselves," I say. "It's better to deal with your shit head on. Life doesn't get better if you look away.”
I adored the side characters as well, each quirky and unique in their own way. Their stories, too, are deeply woven and intricate. And I felt that Aguirre gave them to us, not just the main characters' storyline as well.
The book is more than a sweet romance though, it has adorable moments that'll melt your heart. It also has moments of deep understand of the good and the bad of human nature and how some, no matter how hard they try, can't break away from the unfairness of life. The book showed characters with unrelenting personalities, and hearts that are filled with hope. Characters that can move on from the worst of situations and find friendship and love.
The book was magnificently told in a eccentric way. Though more worded towards the younger crowds, I was able to fall within the pages of the story and get wonderfully lost. I connected with the characters because I remember how hard high school can be and how relentless your peers can seem. But the book also has a beautiful silver lining and a story that speaks to everyone. No one has a prefect life, no one is prefect, everyone has their fair share of hardship. We just have to be willing to see the good in all the bad.
All in all, a wonderful coming of age story about finding that good and also finding your place with the ones you truly love. I definitely recommend this one to fans of young adult romance, and those you love a story that'll warm your heart.“I've had so many people leave, but this is the first time anyone's come back.”