April 2, 2015

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things - Ann Aguirre

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things book cover
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]

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…

While I was reading The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, I could totally see it being turned into a movie. There's something very visual about this particular story from Aguirre, from the well-crafted characters (main and secondary) to the intensely dramatic circumstances Sage and Shane both have to face. From the instant I started it, I sensed it would be a book I'd like. And true enough, Sage's story has stayed with me since I finished this book.

Really, there are two reasons that I enjoyed The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things.

First, and foremost, are the characters. I really enjoyed the people that populated Sage's world (her loving aunt, her diverse set of friends, the adorable & talented & wonderful Shane), and feel that Aguirre did an adequate job of making them feel like real people. But it is Sage herself who remains most memorable. While I haven't quite experienced as much trauma or drama as Sage, I found it easy to empathize with her. I identified with her in other ways - her determination to help out others, her optimism and positive nature, her stress over being exemplary at things so she doesn't lose the people she loves. I loved this girl, and the complexity of her history and nature.

Second, there's the story. It starts off a wee bit clunky, if I'm being honest, but it certainly picks up! Sage's struggles, and her triumphs, and the way everything works out - it all felt plausible. It felt like I was reading about something a friend was going through, which made the experience more personal. Compelling + emotional, Sage's story was most definitely a page-turner.

While there was a touch more drama than I expected, The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was a really good read. I fell in love with Sage, and was incredibly invested in discovering how everything she was going through would be resolved. Plus, her relationships (with her aunt, her friends and swoon-worthy Shane) were all excellently portrayed! I really enjoyed The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, and would certainly not hesitate to recommend it to other readers.

What note would you write on a post-it for Rachel?


  1. Gorgeous review Alexa :D I'm so glad you loved this book. <3 I loved it so so much. Sigh. Just so sweet and such a gorgeous romance :D But aw, you thought there was drama in this book? I didn't really see any drama at all, hih (A) I was so happy that there weren't any drama :p at least not any relationship drama :) Anyway. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie :D

  2. I'm really excited to read this. I've read books before, too, where I feel like the book would be perfect as a movie. I'm excited to read this, but I hope the drama isn't too much for me.

  3. Lovely review! I've been very excited for this novel (and not just because the cover is gorgeous). I'm a little worried about Shane being the typical bad boy, but your comment about the well-drawn characters gives me hope. (Plus, sometimes the cliche bad boy is fine by me. ;P )


    Sarcasm & Lemons

  4. I just started this one today and I am already counting down the hours until I can get back home and start readinbg it again.

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  5. Nicole @ The Quiet ConcertApril 5, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    I definitely need to read this book with all these rave reviews. Knowing there are such wonderful characters I have yet to meet is what really sells me!

  6. Danielle @ Love at First PageApril 7, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    I love the question you all chose to do! How lovely. <3
    I really enjoyed this book! I actually expected more drama, so I was pleasantly surprised. :P I thought the romance was so well done - it felt like "first love".

    Great review, Alexa!


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