FICTION

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

320p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250047502.
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Gr 8 Up—Sage Czinski just wants to do her time in high school. Though not popular, she is not relegated to burner status either. Her calling card is leaving positive Post-it notes on her classmates' lockers, earning the nickname "Princess Post-it." She used to have a crush on her best friend Ryan, but otherwise has never really fallen for any guy—until Shane Cavendish arrives at her small-town Illinois school. He plays guitar, has dreamy eyes, and lets Sage meddle in his life, despite his hardened surface. Sage knows that he is hiding something, but then, so is she, and she is afraid to let him know the real girl behind her upbeat facade. Aguirre's first stand-alone novel has a slow-building story line, more focused on character development than external action. The reveal of the secret that the protagonist hides so closely from Shane and her friends will feel anticlimactic to readers. Though she claims to be holding back an angry and reckless girl, Sage's actions rarely suggest that. Additionally, the author fills the narrative with minute details of Sage's life, slowing the pace considerably. "Good girl" and "bad boy" falling for each other has been done time and time again and while this work does not put a new spin on the trope, Sage's positive nature is a hidden gem in this pleasant tale.
VERDICT For teens who can't get enough of YA romance.

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