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 an ARC of this from the publisher, this does not influence my review.
I have heard great things about Ann Aguirre’s NA books so when I heard about a new romance YA from her, I was definitely interested!
Sage has been living for 3 years with her aunt in a small quaint town. She’s been mostly trying to keep her head down and make sure that everything goes according to plan. But when Shane enters her geometry class, everything changes. As things between Shane and Sage grow, the two must struggle to recover from their pasts before they can learn to be themselves.
I’ll admit the beginning of The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things was a little slow to start but once Shane was introduced, I couldn’t keep my eyes away. I loved the instant attraction between Sage and Shane, and how their relationship grew more realistically (they even went on a date!).
The plot was definitely full of high and lows (for the main characters) and I savoured every minute of it. The romance was a huge focal point of this book, but I loved the sub-plots of family relationships, dark pasts and complicated friendships. The characters were fully fleshed-out and felt real.
Overall, The Queen of Bright & Shiny Things was a great romance-driven novel that explores family relationships and how one person can really change a life.