Thursday, April 9, 2015

Release Blitz - Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre


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The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann AguirreThe Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
by Ann Aguirre
April 7, 2015
328 pages


Goodreads Summary:
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…

Excerpt
When I walk past the music room, I hear something that stills me in my tracks. People push past; I've become a rock in the middle of a rushing stream, but I can't move. Then someone shoves me from behind, not on purpose, but the result is the same. I slam into the lockers past the classroom and bounce. The underclassmen who were wrestling don't even notice that my brain has stopped firing.

Shane Cavendish plays like it's his reason for living.

I don't write that on the Post-it, of course. That would just get him beaten up even harder. Instead I scrawl, You’re awesome on the guitar, because the jocks might think that’s cool and leave him the hell alone. It's a long shot, as I don't have any particular cred with their crew, but being a musician is pretty spectacular. I can't breathe for how good—how remarkably talented—he is. And I suspect that if he found out anyone was paying attention, he'd stop playing.

Backtracking to his locker will make me late for class, but it's worth it. I stick the note just below the vents, as I always do, but this time it feels weightier, more somehow, like this is a turning point. Shaking off the odd sensation, I dodge into Econ with a mumbled excuse. Sadly, it holds no weight with Mrs. Palmer. Unlike the male teachers, she isn't impressed with talk of 'female problems', so I get my first detention of the year, only the second I've ever had.

Since tomorrow is Friday and I have standing plans with Ryan, I ask, “Can I just get it over with tonight?”

I calculate; school lets out at 2:45. An hour of sitting in silence, and I’m supposed to be at work at four. If I hurry, I can still make my shift at the Curly Q. Which sounds like a diner, but it's actually a hair salon. I'm not qualified to do anything but wash hair, sweep up, and answer the phone, but it's better than fast food. I work two afternoons a week from four to eight, which earns me spending money for the week. Since I'm under eighteen, I get paid fifty cents an hour less than an adult; that makes me a bargain.  After detention ends, I’ll just need to ride hard to keep Mildred from yelling at me.

Mrs. Palmer glances up from scribbling down my doom. “Can you get a ride home?”

“Yeah.”

I’ve always got my bike out front, and the town is small enough that I can ride anywhere I need to go from school. This is the one positive aspect of living in a tiny berg like this, especially given my opinion of privately-owned fossil fuel burning vehicles, which covers nicely for my lingering fear.


Ann AguirreAnn Aguirre Bio:
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.
Website  Author Goodreads

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things Quote

Review

I'm so happy I was lucky enough to snatch a review copy of Ann Aguirre's newest book, The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. Things were indeed bright and shiny for me ;) I want to start off by sharing some really great quotes I couldn't pass up on sharing.

"Don't interrupt my emotional ramblings with relentless logic." (Loc 503).

"I have no idea how all the color could've drained away overnight.... Deep down, I realize I'm being dramatic; there are still trees dressed in gorgeous autumnal hues. I'm just choosing to focus on the bleak, barren ones instead." (Loc 2452).

"But the heart isn't logical. You can't force it to make sense all the time. Sometimes only the dumbest thing in the world can give you any peace."  (Loc 4008). 
I love how logical these quotes are! 
Sage was an all around well-developed character. Her and her post-its made the book for me. If someone's had a bad day, she tries to brighten up their day by putting post-it notes on their locker. People not-so-secretly nicknamed her (not with the best intentions) but she insists on carrying on her post-it routine which I thought was awesome. Even if her positive energy did serve as a mask for the negativity she harbours for herself. "I've heard if you pretend long enough-or maybe wish hard enough-faking normal becomes real." (Loc 26). You can't blame her for having such a thought given her crappy life before she moved in with her aunt. Her fear was rational. Very fittingly, Sage refers to her old self as Shadow Sage. It's always lurking in the shadows ready to be unleashed should she feel threatened or vulnerable. Good thing she's in complete control. Sometimes I found Sage to be a little too stubborn but then again I admire her for standing by her principles and giving it her all. "I don't have to scream to be heard. I just need to believe in what I say matters." (Loc 4085).

Shane has had a hard life. He wanted to be invisible and it turned out to be impossible around Sage. For the most part he was super sweet. When he was inconsiderate to her, it was understandable. Even I would've felt uncomfortable with some of the matters relating to Shane that Sage felt she needed to be involved with. Granted it was part of who she was and he liked her for her so hey, no complaints.


The romance in this book is what I would define as smart. The attraction wasn't purely physical since both parties have quite rational thoughts regarding their relationship. Sage is aware she hasn't known Shane for very long but is already falling for him deeply. She doesn't have a definitive reason for liking him but she tries to make sense of it. "There's no way to explain why some people like coffee and others prefer tea." (Loc 1915). I love this example she uses. It literally doesn't clarify anything but is loaded with meaning. Shane too, doesn't forget to encourage Sage (with her own words nonetheless) when something awful happens to her. "Remember, you're the one who says life doesn't get better if you look away." (Loc 3640). They're so good for each other~

Dylan's story surprised me. I felt for his protectiveness over his mother but it didn't excuse how horribly he treated others. Nothing excuses bullying. Sage was a much bigger person for still wanting to keep his secret after everything he's done to her and those she loves. Another reason to love Sage!

By the end of the book, Sage's nicknames are nothing short of positive and she embraces them. So meaningful. I'm going to finish up this review by once again, quoting Sage's wise words. "...sometimes I like a world somebody has created so much that I want to stay in it a little longer, dreaming of the possibilities." (Loc 503). The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things was such a place.
4 Cats
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.


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6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the excerpt! I am so glad you liked this so much!!

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  2. SO happy to hear that you loved it! I cannot wait till I can get my hands on a copy of this one!

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    1. I know you're a big fan of Ann Aguirre but not of the genre but I really hope you'll love it Pili!

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  3. I may have to add this one to my TBR. I'm just getting into contemporary and this one sounds interesting. I also like the idea of reading a contemp from an author who has also written genre fiction. Great review.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. Definitely let me know what you think if you do end up trying it :D I really want to try her dystopian series, just need to find more time to read ahhh....lol

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