I received this book for free from HarperCollins International, HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on May 26th 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Dance, Girls & Women, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: HarperCollins International, HarperTeen
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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.
Nothing compares to the revenge of Prima Ballerinas. This story is definitely filled with many horrors of back-stabbing. I cringed so much while reading this story. Some of the things these girls did to each other were horrible. “Tiny Pretty Things” by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton was a great book. I feel like it really got into the nitty-gritty of the behind the scenes of ballet.
Side not about ballet and dance in general. I have never been to a professional academy or company like this book portrays, however I have danced for many, many years and yes dancers are a lot like this. They don’t like when someone is doing better than them. I would like to say that I am a lot like Gigi. Being innocent and not playing the revenge game. I knew a lot of dancers that did play the revenge game. There was even a dancer once that pushed my sister on stage in the middle of rehearsal. Things like this do happen. I also know a few dancers that suffered from anorexia and bulimia from dancing and trying to keep a certain weight.
I could not put this novel down. It was so addicting. “Tiny Pretty Things” is written from three different perspectives. Then we have Gigi, who is the African-American new student from California. Then there is Bette, who is the rich girls of the bunch and also the sister of one the prima ballerina’s that was accepted into ABC (American Ballet Company). Lastly we have June, who his have Korean and a perfectionist. June also doesn’t know who her father is, and so she is trying to track him down at the same time as ballet school.
I loved how different and diverse these characters were. We had so many different characters from many different backgrounds. I think it was great to have so many different nationalities and watch how each character interacted with each other. Not to mention it was great showing the tension that the characters have too. I think that really portrayed what happens a lot in life. This novel is so much like a telenovela or a soap opera. It pulls you and hooks you. I am desperately waiting for the sequel because I think it will be excellent.
Bette is the image of perfection. She has an amazing body, the cute boyfriend, and she expects to have every lead this year. Bette is also having to follow in her sisters shadow since Adele was one of the biggest stars the academy has ever seen. Bette becomes very aggressive with her scheming and trying to knock the girls on top to the bottom of the totem pole. Bette is a characters that I felt sorry for. Since she had a bad attitude and felt so entitled all the time, I feel like she missed out on a lot. Bette only ends up getting in her own way.
Gigi is the newcomer and life hasn’t been easy for her. She has a heart disease that she has to be careful of and all she tries to do is think the best of people until she ends up being the one attached. Gigi is a very innocent character but she is very vibrant at the same time. She tries to be sweet to everyone and she enjoys helping the little dancers even though they can be an annoyance at times.
June, I think is the character that surprised me the most. At first I liked her but then the more I got to know her, I felt like I was unable to relate. She seemed to be so focused on getting what she wanted that she didn’t care who she hurt. She wants to be on top but believes the fact that she is part Korean that she will never get to be the lead. Her mom continues to try to pull her out of dance school but June refuses because dancing is her dream.
I really liked the writing in this book. I think Charaipotra and Clayton did a fantastic job. I think they brought a lot to the story and the characters. I would love to see more. I think the guys should become more developed int he sequel though. I was disappointed how little the reader knew about Henri, Will, and Alex. I would love to get to know them more. I will be anxiously waiting for the sequel.