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Author: Ann Aguirre

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann AguirreThe Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Published by Feiwel & Friends on 07 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: I Want it That Way

Place(s) Traveled To: Farmburg, Illinois

First Line: I know what they call me.

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre is actually a hard book for me to review because I read it so long ago. I brought this one with me on my trip to Paris last October because I thought that it would be a fun, light and fluffy read. I also have a good memory for the things I read but I found that not long after I finished the book that the details of this one had escaped me. And then much like the details I also misplaced my copy of the book so I wasn’t able to do a skim re-read of it. But as I said I do have a good memory so the more I thought about The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things the more that returned to me. The most prominent detail of which was Sage’s tendency to leave post-it notes for people.

I loved this idea and if I was still in high or college then I think I might find myself doing something similar. I like the idea of leaving a little note for someone to find just to brighten up their day a little with a small compliment. Sometimes its the little things like that, that take nothing for someone to do, that can make a world of difference to someone else. And I do know that since I finished The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things I have tried to be a little kinder and pay more compliments to those around me. And if the book was more about this then I think that I would have liked it more but The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things wasn’t all light and fluffy and it had all this added drama to it that just kept taking me out of the story.

Queen of Bright and Shiny Quote

I thought that Sage fell just a little too quickly for Shane and I also thought that she strove too hard for this idea of perfection. The reason of which we learn as we read the book but until that big moment there are all these cryptic references to her dark past and how no one would love her if they knew. And it was just ALL TOO MUCH. By the time the big reveal came I just didn’t care anymore. I also thought that Sage was too passive and forgiving. Especially when it came to her best friend Ryan who used her for several years. And the fact that he managed to keep something so big from her for so long just has me shaking my head in bafflement at the blinders that Sage wore.

For me, The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, is a forgettable read. I read it quickly, as per Goodreads, but as I was in a foreign country with no English language TV to distract me that may not mean much at all. I think that part of my disconnect with the book was that there felt like there was this wall between the reader and Sage’s thoughts. There was was a lot of telling and not showing and so I never really connected with the story or the characters. And by the end I just didn’t really care all that much.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Queen of Bright & Shiny

Add Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Past Perfect by Leila Sales to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: I Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Blog Tour, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: I Want it That Way by Ann AguirreI Want it That Way by Ann Aguirre
Series: 2B Trilogy,
Published by Harlequin on 26 August 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

Place(s) Traveled To: Mount Albion, Michigan // Ann Arbor, Michigan // Sharon, Nebraska

First Line(s):  There’s always a meet-cute, right?

 

I first became familiar with Ann Aguirre when I read her young adult series, Razorland, which I really enjoyed and so was excited to try her New Adult Contemporary titled, I Want it That Way. (A title that is impossible to say without getting the Backstreet Boys song stuck in your head.) Unlike her YA series, I Want it That Way was a book that frustrated me on many levels. First there was the insta-love of the two main characters, Nadia and Tyler. Oh how I dislike insta-love in books. I get that its a tool that’s used as a way to accelerate a story but I always feel as though something is lost when there is no time given for a relationship to build over the course of a story. Then there was just how Nadia would seem to over react at the littlest of things. Tyler would tell her maybe and she’d cry for days as if her entire world had just collapsed. The reactions just never seemed to match up with the actions that were happening.

The language of I Want it That Way was also a bit off and was overly flowery, using a dozen words where only 5 might be needed. And then there were all the times when Nadia would use phrases that were inconsistent with a normal 21 year old. At least, a character outside of a John Green novel. A phrase that particularly stuck out at me was when Nadia used the phrase “exquisitely taken” during one of the sexy times scenes and it just pulled me out of the story as its something out of a bad 80s romance novel involving a much older character. This overly flowery way of thinking and many of Nadia’s other mannerisms just made it so hard to connect with her character in any meaningful way.

Tyler was also hard to connect with as he often came across as stiff and two-dimensional. There were many times when reading I Want it That Way that it was also told from Tyler’s POV as then maybe he would have seemed like a more realistic person. As it was he only really seemed to exist in a very superficial sense. He’d ignore Nadia when his son was around, not even saying hello, because that might let someone get too close or give his son the wrong idea. Say what now? The man had no friends and while I get that its hard for a single dad to keep up with the lifestyle of his friends when his son was born its not outside the realm of possibility that he would have made other friendships over the years. Heck, there are teenagers who end up as young parents and while they can’t go out and party every night they still have friends to hang out with and occasionally help with the child. Especially when you stay in the same town that you grew up in.

For me, I Want it That Way, was just one frustration after another and I could go on and on with all the different things that bugged me. But I think that you get the point that this book wasn’t a book for me and at this time I don’t have plans on continuing this series. But I will not give up on Ann Aguirre’s stories as I did love her debut YA series and I look forward to reading her next YA book, Mortal Danger.

irishdarkblue

I Want it That Way Quote

People who liked this book better than I did:

What a Nerd Girl Says – “The story of Nadia and Ty is really beautiful, and I think I loved it so much because of the involvement of Ty’s child. It was hard enough dealing with the complications of Nadia and Ty trying to make their romance work, but throwing in the addition of a child just throws everything through a loop.”

Bittersweet Book Love – “I Want It That Way took me by surprise in a couple of different ways. There is real depth to these characters, each contributing something to the story. Furthemore, there’s just something about this book that urges you to turn the pages.”

Stuck in Books – “I Want It That Way hit me right in the heart, and I loved it. The writing made me feel, the characters made me love, and the romance made me swoon.”

two-stars
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