Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
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.
Tiny Pretty Things was a book I requested to review really on a whim. I don't usually gravitate to contemporaries, in fact, I tend to avoid them like the plague. However, being a former Dancer myself, I can't help myself but love books based in the ballet world. For me it's strangely cathartic to read all the trials and tribulations all the protagonists have because I've been there as well. Thankfully, unlike other stories set in the dancing world, Tiny Pretty Things turned out to be a book I rather enjoyed reading and was everything I was hoping for in a contemporary story and here's why:
Tough Love - These dancers are elite and they know it but that doesn't mean they don't have room for improvement. You can't be the best without working for it and sometimes that means developing a persona of being a backstabbing b*tch. A don't mess with me attitude can be a dancer's saving grace or in the case of certain characters who took things to the extreme, their downfall. It's a delicate balance of sorts and the Authors wrote the characters perfectly to reflect that.
The Dancing - I read some reviews that said the book was too technical for them but personally, that is something I admired. The Authors chose to explain each movement as it should be as well as the injuries that result from being on your feet 8-12 hours a day.
The Characters - I loved June and Bette probably the most out of everyone. Bette because she was a bit crazy and a little rebellious and June because she was emotionally complicated. I also liked the Male Dancers Will and Henry, they were both extremely different but ultimately wanted the same goal and that of course is to be the best whether in love, friendship or dancing.
Now although I really liked the story I did take one small issue with the ending and that was how abruptly the story stopped. When I read this I didn't know if it would have a sequel or not so I felt very unsatisfied with how things wrapped up. Also I just felt like what should have been everything coming to a boiling point, it instead felt like a cheap plot twist since Gigi was involved. Events would have been way more shocking if things happened to someone else.
Overall, I liked Tiny Pretty Things, I'm not sure if this was a debut for these Authors but if so the story was well done and I can see a bright future for the pair. Now that I know a sequel is in the works I will definitely be looking out for it and highly recommend reading Tiny Pretty Things before it does.
Want to learn more about this book or Author (s)? Click the links below!
Follow Her on: Twitter - Goodreads - SonaCharaipotra.com
Dhonielle Clayton was born in the suburbs of Washington, DC and spent her childhood Saturdays at the comic book store with her father and most evenings hiding beneath her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books. She earned a BA in English at Wake Forest University. She was an English teacher for three years and worked with educational curriculum. Being surrounded by children, Dhonielle re-discovered her love of children’s literature and earned a masters in children’s and young adult literature from Hollins University. Currently, she is working on both middle grade and young adult novel projects. She moved to NYC where she earned her MFA at the New School's MFA Program
Follow Her on: Twitter - Goodreads - cakeliterary.com/