Authors: Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton
Pub date: May 26th 2015
Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.
Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
Dark, suspenseful and completely engrossing, Tiny Pretty Things is a novel that you need to have on your TBR. Gigi, Bette, and June are ballerinas at their elite ballet school. They are all vying for the top roles, and are willing to do anything to attain their goals. Tiny Pretty Things is brutally honest, and doesn’t shy away from the darker parts of dancing, like the cutthroat competition, eating disorders, and ruthless dancers.
Tiny Pretty Things is written is alternating perspectives, told from the points of view of Bette, June and Gigi. Bette is used to being in the spotlight, and she’s well-known for her ruthlessness and backstabbing behavior. She’s shocked when newcomer Gigi is given the lead role in the upcoming production of the Nutcracker, and is willing to do whatever it takes to maintain her social status. Gigi is, by every definition, a flawed character. She’s treacherous and occasionally outright cruel, and her behavior often frustrated me. She was probably the character I liked the least, since she didn’t seem to develop very much throughout the novel.
Gigi is pretty–no, completely–shocked when she lands the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. She’s new to the academy, never mind the fact that she’s African-American, and ballet is known to prize pale dancers above all others. Gigi is sweet, although rather naïve at the start, and she was a fantastic character. You can feel her personality through the pages, and was really easy to understand.
June, a half-Korean ballerina, is used to being ignored and underestimate, especially since her so-called friends turned on her last year. To make matters worse, she’s roommates with the recently-arrived Gigi, who seems to be the latest star at the academy. June was an interesting character and I’m really glad that her perspective was included. She’s completely dedicated to ballet, and very much a perfectionist and while she has her problems, I think she was my favorite out of the 3 protagonists.
Tiny Pretty Things is an emotionally raw novel that shows a lot about the darker, ruthless side of ballet. Although I occasionally got tired of all the drama and catty behavior, I still really enjoyed Tiny Pretty Things. It’s an engrossing read, the kind that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time as you try to guess at what will happen next. It’s intense, for sure!
I’ve read very few co-authored books so I can’t really compare it to anything, but I think that the authors did a fantastic job. Their writing styles flow seamlessly together, and I’d be more than happy to read another novel by the pair!
The ending was pretty disappointing for me. The entire book has been spent building up to the big reveal: who did it? Instead of a satisfying conclusion, something shocking happens (no spoilers) and the book ends. I’m thinking the message might be that no one is safe, but I’m not sure. The good news is that the authors have confirmed a sequel in 2016, so I’ll get to learn more about what happened!
Despite a few minor issues, I still really enjoyed Tiny Pretty Things. It was an interesting, gripping look at the competitive ballet world, and I’d be more than happy to read a sequel!