Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: April 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sage’s past got her into trouble so she tries super hard to be perfect. She bottles up her anger and fear and rage and tries to be sunny and happy and fun. Shane’s past is full of heartbreak. He’s lost so much and just wants to be left alone. So he’s surprised when he meets a girl like Sage.
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is a contemporary YA fiction story about two people who unexpectedly find each other. I really liked Sage who is strong and complicated. I like how she has to actively try to change who she is, everyday to be a better person, to not let the anger overwhelm her. Sometimes it’s hard to be good, to take the high road. I like her because she seems very real. She’s struggling with who she is and who she wants to be.
Shane is sad and while I didn’t mind him, I can’t say I liked him. I didn’t have as clear of a picture of him in my head as Sage. He’s been through some really rough stuff and has issues but there was nothing identifying about him that made me sit up and take notice. That said, I’m not totally sure why Sage and Shane are so drawn together. Shane feels underdeveloped.
The story opens slowly. I really love Sage and all the encounters between her and her aunt. They were warm and genuine. There is some conflict with a boy at school named Dylan. While that was interesting for a bit, it never climaxed into something more. That piece felt more like an annoying fly in the room that keeps landing on your drinking glass. I have the feeling it was supposed to be more, a bigger more emotional plot point but it just felt bland to me. There are certain sections of the story that felt slow too.
I didn’t want to walk away, but I wasn’t hungry for it either.
Overall I think Aguirre is still a writer I want to read. I really like Sage and she is the main reason to read this book, even though the story is a bit formulaic and left me a bit flat.
Rating 5 Okay