The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

Author: Ann Aguirre
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

I loved Aguirre’s zombie series, so even though I’m not the biggest fan of romance novels, even in the YA genre, I thought I would give this one a try since I like Aguirre’s writing style and plots.  But though I enjoyed the Enclave series, I couldn’t get into this novel.

And it wasn’t just the fact that it is a comtemporary romance novel.  Our narrator, Sage, just feels so fake.  After the trouble she got into as a kid, she over compensates now as a teenager to try to make up for the fact.  And while the idea is nice, the execution leaves a lot to be desired.  For example, she likes to leave inspirational sticky notes on people’s lockers when they are having a bad day.  But then when someone gives her a rough time, it’s all about Shadow Sage and she wants nothing more than to set him on fire.  What the what?

And if Sage’s characterization isn’t enough, there’s her relationship with Shane, who is an equally troubled teen trying to leave his murky past behind him.  Sage falls for Shame, the new kid in school, as soon as she sets eyes on him.  And though he just wants to keep his head down and stay out of trouble to keep from drawing attention to himself, he is quickly smitten with her as well.  And then there’s their relationship itself.  It feels so forced on Aguirre’s behalf, and I really don’t see any real chemistry between the characters, except for what Sage tells me.

After her 100 mile bike ride in a day, I just really couldn’t get into this novel anymore.  And I’m all for standing up for what you believe in, but she’s already admitted she is perfectly fine with public transportation.  So why wouldn’t she have just taken a bus instead of riding all day?

This novel is definitely not one of Aguirre’s better works.  Hopefully she’ll go back to zombie writing.

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