by Ann Aguirre
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Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
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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… (Goodreads)
Sage Czinski is the Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. Every day she leaves a kind word on a post it note on the locker of someone who needs a little morale boost. Why, you ask? Because if she’s nice to people, but doesn’t get too close, then no one will find out about her past. The past that was a horrible experience and still gives her nightmares. And Sage has built a new life and reputation by doing this, even though no one really understands, that is until Shane Cavendish walks into her life and turns everything upside down.
One of the things I love most when reading a book is when I find myself really connecting with the main character. I found Sage to be very relatable. I love that she was so eco-conscious, and wanted to do good things for the earth. (I do my best to do this as well!) And I absolutely love that she leaves notes on the lockers of people who need a kind word. In high school, this could really mean so much to someone. If there were more people like Sage in real life, I imagine life could be easier for so many people. I really loved this character.
The romance in the book between Sage and Shane was super sweet. It was not a case of insta-love, but instead was a relationship that grew over time and built into something really special. And I loved seeing it this way, because Sage and Shane were so perfect for each other; they had really great chemistry together, and had such similar pasts. They were a really cute couple.
This book was a super cute read, but while it had it’s cute moments, it touches on some pretty serious issues as well, such as bullying and abuse. Having these issues in the book didn’t weigh the book down at all, however. The issues made me sad and super angry at times, but they didn’t really overpower the story to the point where it would become depressing. And the book wrapped up very nicely with a happy ending and only left me with a few lingering questions.
Overall; if you’re a fan of contemporary novels, you’ll really enjoy reading The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. I really enjoyed the book, and I’m looking forward to reading more contemporaries from Ms. Aguirre in the future!