{Review} The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre

{Review} The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann AguirreThe Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 328
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5 Stars

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…

The 411:

High school senior Sage Czinski is known around school as “Princess Post-it” because she leaves a positive note on someone’s locker everyday. Sage is all about spreading goodness, which is in direct contrast to some things that happened to her before moving to a small town with her aunt. She’s been through a lot, and no one knows everything about the darkness she feels at times. She’s been secretly crushing on her best friend, Ryan, forever, and though they share everything, including Friday night movie nights, there’s nothing romantic between them. When Sage learns something about Ryan that lets her see him in a new light, their dynamic changes and though she misses him, she needs space.

Not to mention that she can’t get the quiet, soulful new guy out of her mind. Shane Cavendish has a past of his own and is just trying to get by.

“I came here looking to finish school quietly. Stay out of trouble. Maybe write some new songs. I never expected you.”

After an undeniable connection, Shane offers to tutor Sage in math, and they realize that what they’re each missing in their lives is each other.

Both of them have secrets and have to deal with having someone in their lives that they never expected. What happens when their secrets are revealed? Will their newfound relationship be enough to keep them together?

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What We Loved:

The Characters. We loved pretty much everything about this book, especially the characters. We’ll talk more about Sage and Shane (!) and everyone else in just a sec.

The Love. We loved her aunt and the unconditional love she had for Sage. There were parts between them that seriously made us tear up.

“Everyone deserves a second chance.”

The Feels. This book so realistic, with real feelings that every girl has experienced at some point.

I can’t tell him that I’m slightly obsessed because he’s hot, and I’m intrigued because he’s a musician, and all the girl reasons behind why I’m here.

The Flails. There are some pretty flailworthy moments in this book, and that’s just one of the reasons we love this book so much.

“This is so good,” he says, after the first bite.

No point in false modesty. “I do make a mean grilled cheese.”

“I was talking about being here with you.”

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Um...Not So Much:

There were a couple of smallish things that we didn’t like. We felt like it was out of character for Sage to let Shane sleep over when her aunt was out of town. Knowing that Sage is so worried about rocking the boat with her aunt and is always trying to be perfect, we were just surprised that she did that. We also felt like there wasn’t enough resolution to the situation with Ryan. We guess that’s real life–you don’t always get a big speech and everything isn’t always wrapped up into a bow, but we wanted a conversation or something to show what would happen next with them. Maybe we were in a Shane-induced stupor and missed it. 🙂

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The Boys:

Shane Cavendish.

He’s a hunk of chocolate cake slathered in frosting that I’m not supposed to have, but can’t help wanting.

With his mop of messy brown hair and aquamarine eyes, he’s more than just a pretty face. He plays the guitar and sings and writes songs. He’s smart and he’s crazy swoony.

“I’d love to pull my grade up to a C before midterms.”

“I’ll get you to a B by the time the grading period ends.”

I say without thinking, “If you do, I’ll love you forever.”

“Then I better apply myself,” he says softly.

There’s more to him than just being swoony. He’s independent and he’s humble. He’s proud and he’s loyal. He’s a sweet texter and he writes her a song FFS. He’s just …awesome.

“I wish I could have all your firsts, because you’re getting all of mine.”

*le sigh*

Swoon Factor 10 on the Swoonometer™ at Swoony Boys Podcast

Ryan McKenna.

Ryan is over six feet tall with black hair that refuses to lie down, regardless of how it’s cut or combed, and he’s a total string bean. He wears hipster glasses to disguise how much of a ginormous dork he is, but so far, this strategy fooled no one.

Smart, practical, incredulous Ryan. We loved him. We hated him. We want him to be happy, too. If you’ve ever secretly harbored a crush for your best friend who didn’t notice that you were a girl, this book is for you.

Swoon Factor 3 on the Swoonometer™ at Swoony Boys Podcast

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The Girls:

Sage Czinski. She was seen as almost a goody-two shoes, but there was so much more to her character. She had a dark past that she was doing everything in her power to overcome. She was authentic and had realistic feelings.

I ask myself if he’s singing this for a reason, if he saw how much I doubt belonging with someone like him, someone hot and talented.

I’m so not enough. I can’t be. I smile, and I act happy, and I pretend. I’m the queen of bright and shiny things, eternally looking for the [positive and seeking a silver lining in the dark. He’s dating a girl I invented three years ago because the real me is horrible, and I wanted to leave her behind… I want so bad to be normal, but I never can be.

Lila. Sage’s new friend. We love that Lila approached Sage and that she wouldn’t let Sage shut her out. We also loved how loyal Lila was.

“They aren’t talking to me. People know I will cut a bitch if they start something with you.”

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Bottom Line:

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is truly a story of broken hearts coming together to heal into something stronger than either of them ever imagined. It’s a story about a swoony boy, a sweet girl, and second chances. And it’s one of our favorites.

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Swoony Boys Podcast Approved

Rating Report
5 Stars
5 Stars
5 Stars
5 Stars
5 Stars
Overall: 5


Featured on Swoony Boys Podcast

5 Stars

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