The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann AguirreThe Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

byAnn Aguirre

Hardcover | December 8, 2016

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about

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. . . .

Ann Aguirre is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Razorland series (Enclave, Outpost, Horde) and of Mortal Danger. She lives in Mexico with her husband and their children.
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Title:The Queen of Bright and Shiny ThingsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.53 × 5.93 × 1.1 inPublished:December 8, 2016Publisher:Feiwel & FriendsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250047501

ISBN - 13:9781250047502

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hung onto every word One of the best teen books I've read in awhile, however I thought the ending should have spanned out over a more pages but still a fantastic book
Date published: 2017-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! This book had a great amount of romance and mystery incorporated into it that kept the reader intrigued throughout the book
Date published: 2017-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unexpected and Enjoyable This book had everything, a love story, a plot that was unexpected, an emotional factor and great characters. I didn't know what to expect as this was my first Ann Aguirre novel but I was definitely not disappointed. It's a well told story, and although I found part of the story unrelated there were other parts that were very relatable to every day life. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorites The Queen Of Bright and Shiny Things was my first experience with an Ann Aguirre novel, and I loved every single page. It's an uplifting, but heartwrenching story about two teenagers who've been hurt in ways most of the world could never understand, and are about to embark on a beautiful friendship. In particular, I loved how despite Sage's own troubled past, she's determined to help everyone else see the best in themselves, and I really feel this is a book that could really benefit anyone from reading it, especially as we're in the age of bullying, hateful comments, and shaming on social media. I applaud Ann Aguirre for this amazingly beautiful story, and I'll definitely be picking up more books from her in the future.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute! I really loved reading this. It was cute and sometimes made you pause and think. Loved the characters though, and the plot was super interesting. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing! 4.5/5 I loved this book so much. It's really cute.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay The story and the characters were 3-star material, but the stilted prose knocked off a star for me.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was an engrossing read for me, as it quickly captured my attention with Sage's personality and internal struggles. I really liked her character and wanted to find out more about her - bu unfortunately, it wasn't a book that left a lasting impression on me. Reasons to Read: 1: Sage's intentional kindness: Sage makes a conscious effort to be kind and encourage those around her. And while this should not be uncommon, it is both in real life and in books. It's uplifting to read about a character who desires so strongly to see the best in those she meets in life and to encourage them when they need it most. It's more than the fact that Sage shares kind words with others - it's that she witnesses their pain and acknowledges it. And then she takes that a step further by meeting them where they hurt and trying to turn it into something good. 2. The depth of the characters: Yet Sage is more than a one-dimensional kind person. She also harbours her own pain and struggles to come to terms with her past. It's interesting to see how this plays out in her life, as she chooses to be kinder to those around her. But she still has her own issues. Similarly, Shane and Ryan also have their own problems and I appreciated that their stories were also given time and thought and played a role in the story. The main problem for me is that the story didn't seem to have an impact on me. I came back to write this review later and found I couldn't recall much of the story or the details. I admire Sage's character, but the story lacked some of the excitement I typically look for in books. So in that sense, it wasn't the best fit for me. I think much of that comes from the fact that we really only see the other characters from Sage's perspective and Sage is so willing to simply accept people as they are. So there was less struggle and development there than I think the story could have used. I really liked that this book wasn't over the top, and felt very realistic. It's a story that many readers will likely be able to relate to, which I feel is particularly important for a contemporary book. ARC received from publisher for review; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2015-06-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great characters, a bit predictable Sage tries to so hard to be perfect. If she acts happy and adjusted, people won’t look beyond the surface and ask questions about her dark past. Shane just wants to be left alone in this new town. Being lonely sucks but there’s less chance of getting into trouble if he stays away from getting to know people. They never counted on each other. Maybe they could be happy together but there’s so much hurt and darkness in their pasts, can they truly overcome it? This book ended up being mostly a cute and fluffy read but there was a bit of underlying darkness to the characters’ lives. The issues never overwhelmed the sweetness of the book. It was more Sage and Shane getting together and dealing with living and keeping their secrets safe. Sage was known as the “Post-it Princess’ at her school. She started writing feel-good messages on pink post-its and leaving them on students’ lockers who looked like they needed cheering up. Some classmates thought it was silly and the nickname came across as mocking at times but Sage preferred to be known as the happy ‘Post-it Princess’ than for her past. Shane was the new kid trying to stay under the radar, just play his music and be invisible. That was impossible once Sage started to notice him and he slowly started becoming more involved. They both had secrets from their past but they were pretty perfect for each other. Most of the side characters came from a group Sage was in, Green World, which was an environmental group. Her best friend Ryan, who was her only friend for so long, took a while to grow on me but he finally came around. Lila was awesome. She and Sage were so different but they made such perfect friends. The Freshmen and Sophomores that ended up joining the group were adorable and it was great seeing Sage realize that she was making friends beyond Ryan. A lot of the book was about the give and take of being in a relationship. Sage liked taking care of people, it came to her naturally, but Shane hated feeling like he couldn’t do things for himself, which was how he felt when she did take care of him. It wasn’t just romantic relationships either. There was a great one between Sage and her aunt Gabby where Sage did her best not to be an inconvenience so her aunt wouldn’t send her back to foster care and her aunt was balancing being a guardian and a working woman. There were a lot of little things I enjoyed in the book as well. Sage’s convictions about not getting in a car, even when it would have been so much more convenient. She rode her bike everywhere and if she couldn’t, then she didn’t go. The lunches and suppers that the group shared just sounded like so much fun and made me want to start doing that more often. There was also the darkness in both Sage’s and Shane’s pasts that had to be dealt with, and some bullying on the part of some other students. Things with that didn’t start happening until closer to the end but once it did, it was pretty emotional. One last note, the cover is absolutely adorable, especially now that I know the significance of the post-its.
Date published: 2015-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sooooooooooooooo good! It's no secret that I love kids' books. Well, not the ones with lessons about eating your vegetables, but certainly the ones about characters who aren't old enough to vote or drink. However, many of the young adult and new adult books I come across don't quite feel authentic and are filled with characters and scenarios that are simply too mature to be real teens. It's the literary equivalent of adult actors playing teen characters on television, and while it may be enjoyable, it's certainly not memorable. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, however, misses that trap by a few million miles. Sage has nearly perfected the persona of the ideal teenager. She's friendly, responsible, studious, trustworthy, and kind. She's also trying desperately to hold onto that facade in the hope that one day she'll be as good as the mask she wears. She's getting a second chance after a truly horrible beginning to her life, and she'll do anything to smile through each day and leave the past behind. It's taken her a few years of normal to come out of her shell enough to find a best friend, but she's finally coming into her own and living the life she should have had all along. Shane, on the other hand, doesn't care much what people think of him. He has to keep his nose clean after getting into a little too much trouble in his past, but he doesn't have to play up the perfect student act the way Sage seems to be doing. He's a loner, content to avoid notice when possible and quickly singled out by the jocks who have nothing better to do than pick on the new guy. It's a situation that immediately catches Sage's attention and has her pulling out her trusty pad of Post-Its to add some light to his day. Sage and Shane at first seem like complete opposites. He's not the most social guy, not interested in the high school hierarchy or popularity politics, even as Sage is hellbent on reflecting perfection. He's gorgeous but distant, surprisingly vulnerable, and beautifully loyal. But they both have some darkness in their pasts, and as they begin to confide in and depend upon each other, their lives converge in a way they never expected. They're simply two rather normal teenagers trying to make up for things that were never in their control to begin with, and it perfectly highlights the pains of small-town living and the luck-of-the-draw social structure that is high school. Sage is kind and quirky but lives in fear of losing the good she's found in her new life, while Shane is just trying to get through it. They find comfort and camaraderie in each other, and the relationship that develops is incredibly sweet. I'll admit that at first I was a little bored and thought maybe I'd picked something too young for me to really appreciate. Sage wasn't someone I could identify with — or so I thought — but before I knew it, I was so invested that I snacked my way through dinner rather than put down the book for the few minutes it would have taken to heat up leftovers. Once Sage's mind was more clearly revealed, she was incredibly easy to understand and even more likable than I expected. In fact, I loved all the characters. From Sage's amazingly awesome aunt to the UPS guy to the freshmen to the older woman that Ryan (Sage's best friend) should never have been involved with. Even the class bully had a little good shine through. Some of you know that the dark past bit usually sends me running in the opposite direction, but somehow The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things manages to do it without being overly angsty or frustratingly depressing. I was rooting for Sage from the get-go, and then Shane won me over just as soon as she got to know him better. What they go through together is heartbreaking and healing, and I can honestly say it's one of the few YA novels that is both appropriate for younger readers and thoroughly entertaining for those of us who are beginning to forget what those younger years felt like. While the characters' backgrounds aren't exactly fluffy, somehow the story reflects hope and genuine friendship alongside first love and growing up. And how perfect is that cover?! Now that I know what Ann Aguirre is capable of, I have no doubt more of her books will be showing up in my reviews here, and I'm definitely recommending this one to everyone.
Date published: 2015-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book made my day! I've read my first book by Ann Aguirre and it was wonderful. It felt like waking up on your birthday, knowing today was going to be extra special and that's because she's got an extensive back list of books I'm get to read. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is a masterpiece and it really took me back to high school. I can't believe how well written this book is. It's young adult, but the issues Sage and Shane face are some of the same I did while I was growing up. I adored Sage and I adored Shane. These two and perfect for each other. Sage saw Shane on his first day of school and recognized something in him that called to her. She saw a little bit of herself and she didn't let him hide. I absolutely loved what she did with the post-it notes. Leaving a positive message to brighten some one's day is a brilliant idea. Especially when you're struggling with who you are, want to be, life in general, etc. It really showed the best of the old and new her. My heart broke for her and everything she'd experienced in her short life. I also admired her determination, which border lined on stubborn. She had her principles and she stuck to them. She was also willing to do things to protect the ones she loved and cared for. That made her even more amazing in my eyes. I loved Shane too. This is a boy who had to grow up before his time. He made sacrifices that he shouldn't have had to made and he was dealing with a situation he shouldn't be in. His pain was tangible, but I loved seeing him happy with Sage. He might have been hurting more than any bullying by Dylan and his friends did, but he didn't let it bother him. After all his pain was much bigger than a bunch of bullies in a small fish tank. It still infuriated me though. This story is fast paced and gripping. Between Shane and Sage's romance, their activities trying to improve their environment, the drama between Sage and Ryan (her best friend), and Dylan and his bullying, there was a lot going on. Thankfully everything meshed together flawlessly. I laughed while reading this book, and definitely said, "Awww," a couple of times. Of course I sobbed while reading this book too. You see I felt like I was part of this book. I was so invested in what was happening, I didn't even realize I was crying. It was an instinctive reaction. I will say this, Sage thought by being the "Princess of Post-It Notes", a title she hated, she was buying good karma in a way, and she was. My most favorite scene in the book is when that good karma comes back her way. There's so much more I want to say about this book or talk about, but I can't because it'd giveaway plot points and ruin the story. I've never been so happy to read a book by a new author because like I said earlier, there's a bunch of books Ann Aguirre's already written that I can read at a moments notice. Reading this book has made my day. I hope it makes yours too.
Date published: 2015-04-07

Editorial Reviews

"Two teens with tortured pasts are irresistibly drawn to each other. Sage lives with her aunt after a horrific incident . . . Shane lives in a trailer provided by his dad after his mother's death. Dad is then guilt-free to carry on with his long-distance trucking job. No one except Sage realizes that Shane is alone. Sage's beauty shines through her habit of leaving Post-it notes of encouragement on the lockers of her classmates. . . . This could be a tale of heartbreak but instead the tone is one of learning to accept life as it comes. [These teens] could be found in any high school along with a Post-it note stating, 'It will be all right in the end.'" -VOYA"For teens who can't get enough of YA romance." -School Library Journal". . . for fans of lightweight romance." -Kirkus Reviews"Aguirre offers a satisfying romance while eloquently conveying a message about facing the truth and not giving up on oneself or others." -Publishers Weekly"[Enclave] is a young adult dystopian novel and has been compared to the hit series The Hunger Games. To say we're excited is a major understatement...." -ElleGirl.com on Enclave"In her first young adult novel, Aguirre (the Sirantha Jax series) has created a gritty and highly competent heroine, an equally deadly sidekick/love interest, and a fascinating, if unpleasant, civilization. This series is likely to hold considerable appeal for fans of The Hunger Games." -Publishers Weekly on Enclave"Enclave is dark and thrilling, fast-paced and intense. With some graphic and gross imagery and a hard look at a post-apocalyptic world, Aguirre has taken themes from Scott Westerfeld and an assortment of zombie literature and created something that is very much her own--and a very engaging read." -RT Book Reviews on Enclave"This well-paced zombie-esque adventure in an urban wasteland will keep fans happy." -Kirkus Reviews on Enclave"Aguirre's young adult debut is a gripping survival story set in an apocalyptic future. . . . This is a tense, action-packed dystopia with intriguingly gray characters." -Booklist on Enclave"Deuce's passion for life, even in her bleakest moments, is contagious, and that passion exemplifies the nebulous force that has driven all of these individuals to persist in the face of awful options." -The Bulletin on Enclave