Its the start of junior year, and Sage Czinski is doing everything she can to be perfect. There are things in her past that no one can know about, and being perfect will help keep those incidents a secret. Shane Cavendish is new to the small school, and he’s just trying to lay low and stay out of trouble. He’s had trouble in his past too – things he’d also like to keep secret. Sage and Shane have an instant connection, which seems too good to be true – until their pasts come back to haunt them.
This is the thing, if you can make it past the giant pile of cheese that is Sage at the beginning of the book, you’ll probably do okay. It gets better (or you become immune to the cheese – I’m not 100% sure). Also, her big dark past is pretty big and very dark, but the foreshadowing teases are a little overdone. Shane’s past is pretty dark too.
Honestly, with the title being what it is, I was expecting something a little more light and fluffy and the meat of this story just isn’t. I liked being surprised by that. I also liked that Sage is a vegetarian. I’m not sure I am totally on board for her reason for it, but I get it and it just isn’t something you see often in YA books.
Bottom line is that I found this book to be a little better than average, though I did have some issues. I think that 15-17 year old teens will probably like this more than I did, as they may be a little more forgiving of the over-dramatized bits that annoyed me.
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
by Ann Aguirre
Feiwel and Friends, 2015