Hi! I have had this ARC for a WHILE but I never got around to reading it. Someone was interested to trade for it, so I decided I would read it before I sent it off to a new home!
Title: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author: Ann Aguirre
Rating: 4/5 stars
This book was cute! It follows the story of Sage and Shane, who meet at school and become friends. Shane had just moved from another town and he is kind of a loner, where Sage tries to include him in whatever she can to make him feel more welcome. I usually don’t read too many contemporary romances but I felt that this was adorable and the cover has a nice aesthetic to it.
I have to say I was surprised at a few turns in this book! On the outside, it is a fluffy and adorable romance between two teenagers. But, there are some darker elements to this book and it examines things such as bullying and tough pasts that were a surprise to me. I thought that Sage was such a sweet character and she reminds me of… Well, me. She tried to help Shane out the best she could, all the while struggling with her own best friend and other people she meets. I think the story of how they fall in love is very cute and that they truly are meant for each other by the end of the book. It is heartwarming to read romances like this every once in a while, I find. Shane is also an interesting character. He is a bit mysterious in the beginning and I was unsure of how I would feel about him. Now, I want my own Shane! He really grows to care for Sage in a way that I have only seen in a few romances in the past. He is truly selfless and It think that is so refreshing to see in a book sometimes.
I thought there was a very realistic portrayal of bullying in this book. It happens between Sage and a boy named Dylan and I think that needs to be spotlighted for a second. Nowadays, bullying both goes online but also in the school, but in more violent ways. These violent ways include verbal harassment and stalking. It needs to be addressed in schools today ad this book does a great job of that.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of romances and really likes to be tossed and turned a bit along the way. Not everything presents itself as peachy keen in this book and that down-to-earth reality makes it soar!
Happy reading! ~ Taylor