The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Published: 7th April, 2015
Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: Publisher ARC from Reading Teen for review
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…
Content warning: bullying; mentions of past abuse;
What I liked: I really like how, despite everything that happened to Sage as a kid, she tries her best to cheer people up with little Post-It notes on the lockers of people who have a bad day. It was really nice to see how she went out of her way to watch everyone she could and cheer them up with a little reminder, it was sweet. That doesn’t mean that Sage is all happy and content with everything, far from it, but it spoke a lot about who she is as a character. Sage has a best friend, Ryan, and while his actions are questionable (really questionable, I mean, what he does is shown early on, but still) I don’t think Sage overreacted, I would have done the same thing she did, but I was glad to see how things stood between them by the end of the book. There is a large focus on the relationship between Sage and Shane, a boy who has just moved to the town who’s a musician who ends up helping the environment with Sage.
What I didn’t like: I thought that Sage’s past would be a lot more emotionally punching than what it was. I mean, I still don’t really get the whole “Shadow Sage” thing, because yes what she did wasn’t a good thing and the fact she had seemingly no qualms about it was a little worry-some. Truthfully though, I thought it had to do with her having like, murdered someone for no reason or something. I feel like if there had been more focus on her time in the group home (where apparently she beat kids up but we get scarce glimpses of those memories) it would have had a more emotional impact to me. I’m not trying to downgrade what could have happened to her, but the thing is I just really don’t get why she had to do what she did. Plus, social workers wouldn’t have put her in such a home and would have monitored Sage for a few years after putting her with her mom anyway. For me though, Shane’s past was a bit more emotionally gripping to me because it felt more realistic.
Overall Review: Even though some parts were confusing and let me down on what I was expecting this was a nice read that I didn’t have to focus on too much and I really enjoyed it. The characters were fun and mostly realistic to me, and it was more of a fluffy read with a darker undertone to it than anything. The focus on how far bullying can go and what it does to people was touched upon really well and I liked that addition, though it really wasn’t always fought in a good manner (despite the fact things turn out okay in the end for Sage and crew) but overall I thought this was a fun read!
Recommend?: If you’re looking for a more fluffy read then I suggest this one!
My Rating: 4.4/5
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