Monday, April 6, 2015

Something Big - Blog Tour and Lori's Review of THE QUEEN OF BRIGHT AND SHINY THINGS by Ann Aguirre

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…

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The sophomores can't hear us down the table, as it's loud in here, but I pitch my voice low just in case. “Basically, Ryan was never my boyfriend. He just let people think we were together. Because I'm an idiot, I didn't guess why.” Those last words come out bitter.
“So why did he do that?” I hear all kinds of nuances in his voice, questions, doubts.
Here's where it gets tricky. “It's complicated. He lied to me, though, and that's what I can't just get over. Maybe someday we'll be friends again, but for now...” I shrug.
“Friends?” he repeats.
“Yeah. Friends.”
“So he didn't break your heart.” He sounds relieved.
“Did you want him to?”
“I was afraid he had. That maybe you were talking to me...” His eyes cut away from mine.
“Because I was trying to make Ryan jealous? Not my style.”
I want to say, OMG, Shane, you think I'm a dude magnet? I've been Ryan's sidekick, his not-girlfriend so long, that I have no idea what this is or what I'm doing. But I love it.
“I'm not looking for drama,” Shane tells me.
I understand the reason for the pronouncement immediately. Ryan's watching us from across the cafeteria, but he won't be shoving Shane into any doorjambs or cornering him in the boys toilet. In some ways, his silent, wounded eyes are worse. I can tell he feels horrible and that he misses me, but what am I supposed to do? After what I've learned, I don't want to be his girlfriend, which is what he was shooting for when he made his big confession. I feel like I hardly know the guy, and that hurts most of all.
“There won't be any.”
“I just... I can't afford any trouble,” he says softly, not looking at me. “Any more, and I'm off to juvie until I'm eighteen.”
Possibly he thinks this will scare me off.But I have my dark side, too. The staff at the group home pulled me off an emotional ledge years ago, so I know what it's like to feel completely out of control, doing stuff you know deep down is a terrible idea and yet you cannot stop. I study the rigid line of his shoulders. Did you put that post-it on my locker?” I ask.
He's dead silent, but his eyes answer where his lips do not. I see the yes written in aquamarine.
In this moment, I want to kiss him so bad it hurts.

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About Ann Aguirre:
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.


This book came out of no where and surprised me completely. I have read some of Ms. Aguirre's New Adult novels and I guess I was expecting similar stories, but for the YA crowd. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things follows the life of Sage Czinski, a quirky teen who is known for the bright pink post-it notes that she leaves of random lockers, complimenting people who appear to be having a hard time. She has her best friend, Ryan to keep her company and to help her in her quest to be perfect. 

Sage prides herself on being in control; of her future, her emotions, her life, but then Shane Cavendish suddenly appears at her school, rocking Sage's carefully laid plans. Shane is obviously a loner. He gets picked on and rebuffs Sage's attempts to be friendly. To a girl like Sage, this is a grievous offense. She pushes her way in to Shane's life, but what she finds once she's there may be more than she is prepared to handle.

Shane is a super sweet and often swoony character. I love the relationship that he and Sage build together.  Separately they are good people, together they are amazing. They each lend the other strength and encourage the best from the other. It is really quite impressive.

I was completely enamored with this story. There are so many subtle things going on in this book, but I never felt overwhelmed or confused. My favorite part is that I didn't really fully comprehend all of the intricacies of the story until after I had finished reading and was pondering my review. Ms. Aguirre impressed me with the way she handled making a Young Adult novel and made it interesting to someone my age. (Decidedly NOT a young adult)

4 out of 5 stars

Shawn Mendes - Something Big
This song has a great 'teen' vibe and I definitely think it fits well with the story.

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