The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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…
First Sentence: I know what they call me.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I was really scared I wouldn’t like The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. I was a huge fan of Ann Aguirre’s Enclave, but as I read more of her books, Outpost, I Want It That Way, and Mortal Danger, I constantly found myself being disappointed by them. Where were the feelings that made me fall in love with Enclave? I requested before I read Mortal Danger, and after reading three books I didn’t enjoy by Ann, I was pretty much afraid that I wouldn’t enjoy reading The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things either. However, to my surprise, I found myself actually enjoying The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things.
A majority of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things focuses on the romance between Sage and Shane. That means that if you’re not sold on the romance, there’s a huge probability of you not enjoying the book. I wasn’t completely sold on Sage and Shane’s relationship, but I did enjoy reading about their romantic moments. I didn’t exactly ship them, but they were cute together so I wasn’t bothered with how much their romance took over the book.
“I’ve kind of been there,” I explain quietly. “I wasn’t old enough to work, but it would’ve been nice if somebody…cared.”
Shane sighs, but there’s a faint softening to his impatiences. “Fine.” (ARC 88)
The other major aspects of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was bullying and how life can just suck sometimes. The bullying parts of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things made me sad, especially with how often I’ve seen similar events that happened in The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things actually happen in real life, even in college. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things makes me want to do something about it. As for the “life can just suck sometimes” part, I rather not go deep into it since I do consider that part a spoiler. However, I can say that that part definitely made me tear up as I hate that the characters had to go through all that.
I also love how The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things shows the dark side of some people. Like Sage who calls her dark side “Shadow Sage,” I also have a dark side, just not a dark past where I acted on my dark side. (Let’s face it though, who doesn’t have a dark side?) As Sage was facing some awful people, my dark side couldn’t help but come out, telling her to get revenge on those awful people, but of course, that’s not the way to do things. That didn’t stop me from urging her to get revenge though.
“You okay, Sage?” Shane asks, as we step up to the ticket counter.
For him, I muster a smile and put aside my dark thoughts. “I’m perfect.” (ARC 231)
The reason I can’t give The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things four stars or higher is because I wasn’t satisfied with the way things ended with a particular storyline. At the beginning, that storyline felt natural and real, but as I read on, it soon became rushed and awkward. It was hardly spoken of again after a certain point when it was once the most important storyline of all; it was like the author didn’t know how to end that storyline exactly, so she tried to make it forgettable and unnoticable later on. I was sadly definitely not satisfied with the way that storyline ended.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. If you’re in the mood for a book that shows how much bullying hurts and how much life can suck, The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is definitely the book for you!