We are extremely excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Ann Aguirre’s THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS!! THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance published by Macmillan! Grab your copy today!
About THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS:
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…
I’m beginning to suspect that if Ann Aguirre started writing copy for soup cans, I’d be seeking those cans out a the grocery store just so I could give them a read.
I really enjoyed The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. Sage was such a quirky heroine, with her Post-It note habit (she leaves one pink Post-It note with a purple sparkly pick-me-up note written on it on the locker of someone who needs a boost each day at school–why wasn’t there someone like that at my high school?), her refusal to ride in a car, and her environmental club. She might have seemed too good to be true if we hadn’t seen everything from her point of view and therefore knew just how conflicted and scared she really was on the inside for much of the book and how she constantly struggled not to let her darker side come out.
Shane is a swwon-worthy YA hero. He’s mature beyond his years thanks to a difficult family situation, and is essentially on his own for much of the book, trying to pull his life together and finish high school. He’s inherited musical talent from his mom and plays the guitar and sings like a dream, so, yeah, he’s one of thoseboyfriends–Lucky Sage. But his entire situation is very precarious, and everything could be taken away from him in a heartbeat. When it is, who will be there to help him?
The book takes place over the course of Sage’s junior year, which ends up being a year of changes and revelations for her. A friendship she thought was solid ends up not being what she thought it was, and she’s challenged to go out and broaden her circle. She has to deal with bullying and makes some questionable choices as she does so, a few that have far-reaching consequences. Other people start leaving Post-It notes on her locker for a change–some are hurtful, others are hopeful, and still others are absolutely awesome. Her big secret is revealed publicly, and I have to admit that though it is pretty bad, that part of the story felt like it was swept away and forgotten easier than it might have been in real life. Still, though, that is really my only complaint about the whole book–except to ask for sequels. So many characters here–Lila, Ryan, even Dylan–could be worthy of having their own stories told as well.
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things confirmed my belief that Post-It notes and sparkly pens are awesome, and having people that care about you can make all the difference.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
When I walk past the music room, I hear something that stills me in my tracks. People push past; I’ve become a rock in the middle of a rushing stream, but I can’t move. Then someone shoves me from behind, not on purpose, but the result is the same. I slam into the lockers past the classroom and bounce. The underclassmen who were wrestling don’t even notice that my brain has stopped firing.
Shane Cavendish plays like it’s his reason for living.
I don’t write that on the Post-it, of course. That would just get him beaten up even harder. Instead I scrawl, You’re awesome on the guitar, because the jocks might think that’s cool and leave him the hell alone. It’s a long shot, as I don’t have any particular cred with their crew, but being a musician is pretty spectacular. I can’t breathe for how good—how remarkably talented—he is. And I suspect that if he found out anyone was paying attention, he’d stop playing.
Backtracking to his locker will make me late for class, but it’s worth it. I stick the note just below the vents, as I always do, but this time it feels weightier, more somehow, like this is a turning point. Shaking off the odd sensation, I dodge into Econ with a mumbled excuse. Sadly, it holds no weight with Mrs. Palmer. Unlike the male teachers, she isn’t impressed with talk of ‘female problems’, so I get my first detention of the year, only the second I’ve ever had.
Since tomorrow is Friday and I have standing plans with Ryan, I ask, “Can I just get it over with tonight?”
I calculate; school lets out at 2:45. An hour of sitting in silence, and I’m supposed to be at work at four. If I hurry, I can still make my shift at the Curly Q. Which sounds like a diner, but it’s actually a hair salon. I’m not qualified to do anything but wash hair, sweep up, and answer the phone, but it’s better than fast food. I work two afternoons a week from four to eight, which earns me spending money for the week. Since I’m under eighteen, I get paid fifty cents an hour less than an adult; that makes me a bargain. After detention ends, I’ll just need to ride hard to keep Mildred from yelling at me.
Mrs. Palmer glances up from scribbling down my doom. “Can you get a ride home?”
I’ve always got my bike out front, and the town is small enough that I can ride anywhere I need to go from school. This is the one positive aspect of living in a tiny berg like this, especially given my opinion of privately-owned fossil fuel burning vehicles, which covers nicely for my lingering fear.
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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.