Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
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…
*ARC Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*
This book has been my Ann Aguirre redemption, what an excellent Young Adult story. Let me give you a little bit about Sage and Shane. Sage is hiding her demons and burying them down deep as she goes about her day with a smile posting encouragement notes on post-its and sticking them to people’s lockers. Shane is brooding with a ton of baggage and just wants to graduate and go by undetected and unseen; however, that is challenging to do when the bullies want to target you. Sage is persistent and finally Shane and her form a friendship which eventually blossoms into first love.
This story has everything I want in a Young Adult novel. There is the angst, the buildup and anticipation of the most tender, sweet, giggle-worthy first kiss, and personal struggles and drama. Skeletons come out of the closet with vengeance, sacrifices are made, and friendships (both, old and new) are put to the test. The book was refreshing and unique in comparison to other Young Adult novels that are on the market and a definite must read. A truly captivating story of first love, self-discovery, and figuring out the crazy teenage years.
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Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.
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