Published by: Feiwel & Friends on April 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher
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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 received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Line: Finally, a YA contemporary that I genuinely liked from start to finish.
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
You read that right, my friends. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was true to its name. Not only was it highly entertaining, filled with a cast of endearing characters, but the writing was excellent and the story itself moved along seamlessly. I was pretty surprised at how much I loved this book. I swear, I wanted to have this book on my kindle so that I could highlight my favorites lines, because there were plenty of them. So many funny, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and feel-good moments. I loved and enjoyed every minute I was reading this book.
I honestly can’t remember when, in a YA contemporary, I genuinely liked the female lead through and through. Sage was such an amazing character. She had a rough and emotional childhood, dealt with and suffered in her own way, and then she turned it around and became a bright beacon to her community. As you can guess from the cover, post-it notes represent a certain part in this book. Sage awed me with how caring and compassionate she was. She was known throughout her school as the girl who, when seeing another student down and out, would write encouraging words on a post-it and put it on that person’s locker. Who does that? An awesome person, that’s who. Those teen years can be pretty tough, I know from personal experience, so to have someone like Sage there to offer a single word of encouragement out of the goodness of her heart was pretty touching. I loved her willingness to ignore all the haters and negative people and instead choosing to focus on the positive. She truly was the Queen of bright and shiny things. Not only does she go around being such a positive influence in that aspect, she’s also very conscientious of the environment, being part of a group that helps to make the community a better place. She’s also wholly against cars and how they’re polluting and damaging the world. I loved how determined and strong-willed Sage was. She stuck by her principles, even when it caused her physical pain, and you really don’t see a lot of that. It’s definitely unexpected in most teens nowadays. Despite her troubled past, which you don’t know much of until close to the end, she turned into such an outstanding person and I loved seeing how much her presence positively affected those around her. That one scene, you’ll know once you read the book, was truly touching.
As for Shane, he’s such a sweetheart. He’s a good person, he plays guitar, and he’s a hard worker. But, honestly, I felt like this was much more the Sage Show and Shane as an individual, didn’t really stand out to me. Still, his presence in Sage’s life gave her the courage to open up and do things she’s never done and I really did like their relationship a lot. They was awkward, hilarious, cute, and heartfelt. The thoughts running through Sage’s head about Shane made me laugh so many times, but in reality, their relationship was built up slowly and fit with two characters with troubled pasts who didn’t know anything about love and relationships. It was overall very innocent and sweet. I really enjoyed watching them fall in love.
I would honestly recommend this to anyone and everyone, but especially teenagers. Reading about someone like Sage is definitely uplifting and could even be empowering at certain times in the book. This book doesn’t touch on any serious topics to that extent, of course, but it’s still empowering in its own right. I finished this book feeling all warm and fuzzy and thinking how I wish I knew someone like Sage while I was growing up. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things is most definitely getting a place on my favorites bookshelf.