Equal parts light-hearted romance, and deeply thought-provoking drama, The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre is the perfect balance of serious and sweetness.
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…
There was so much I loved about this book! I’m going to count the ways … (yep, I went there.)
1. The Romance. I was rooting for Sage and Shane from very early on. They are two individuals who have suffered a great deal in a very short amount of time, and you can see how hard each of them is working to overcome the odds against them and do something better with their lives. So to see these two come together and bring brightness and happiness to each other is just really wonderful.
2. The Post-Its. Sage’s nickname — and the book’s title — comes from her habit of writing random compliments on Post-It notes and sticking them to her classmates’ lockers each day. It’s random and sweet, and really wonderful. Not only is Sage’s habit a sign of her determination to bring goodness into the world, it’s just a good reminder to all of us that sometimes a simple compliment can make a huge difference in a person’s life; even a stranger’s life.
3. The Seriousness. Despite a lot of “bright and shiny things” in this book, Aguirre does not shy away from some very serious, dark topics. In fact, she addresses them head-on and in a very realistic and pragmatic way, without overly dramatizing the situations. It’s not melodramatic; it’s just honest. And I loved this book all the more for that honesty.
Look for The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things in stores today.