Title – Tiny Pretty Things
Authors – Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Publication Date – May 26th 2015 by HarperTeen
ISBN – 9780062342393
My Rating – ★★★★/5
At one of the most elite ballet schools in America a lot of girls are desperate for their time to shine. But beneath their pretty, polished surface these girls are hiding horrible secrets and telling twisted lies.
Bette is a legacy – tiny and beautiful, just like the ballerinas inside a jewellery box. Living in her sisters shadow and the under the weight of her mothers expectations brings out the darker, manipulative side of Bette.
June is a perfectionist and is determined to keep her weight under 100 pounds. She’s tired of never getting a lead role, of always being the understudy. This year she’s decided she won’t rest until the lead role is hers – even if she has to resort to less than perfect methods to get it.
Gigi is the new girl and isn’t a traditional ballerina – she’s a free spirit from California and not used to the fierce competition. But that doesn’t stop her from out-performing all the other girls. Gigi is also keeping a secret, one that could be used against her. Even dancing could expose it.
Being a prima ballerina isn’t all satin and lace, sometimes you have to play dirty. As the competition gets fiercer with every performance and the pranks go from harmless and become personal it’s only a matter of time before a spark ignites and they all get burned.
I received a copy of Tiny Pretty Things to review from HarperCollins New Zealand. I think this is the first time I’ve read a book about ballerinas.
This book is not only full of drama and really malicious behaviour but it also has diverse characters and covers some important issues. 2/3 of the protagonists are girls of colour, June is half-Korean and half-Caucasian and Gigi is African American.
Tiny Pretty Things covers a range of issues like racism, eating disorders, drug addiction, bullying, medical issues and being scared of who you are. Some characters in the book are openly gay while others are hiding who they are.
The way Charaipotra and Clayton wrote about the racism in the world of ballerinas was an eye opener. I don’t know if this actually is what happens because I’ve never been to a show but when I see ballerina on TV they’re always white. Like I said, I don’t know if this is the way it works outside of fiction but if it is that’s really sad. Ballerinas should be judged on their talent not the colour of their skin.
I’ve never suffered from racism, eating disorders, drug addictions or homophobic people. But all of the topics are covered very realistically, well to me anyway. I have been bullied and I know how that made me feel but I never went through anything close to what goes on at this school.
The writing in Tiny Pretty Things is gritty, dark and absolutely flawless. I couldn’t put it down and was drawn into the drama and the stories of Gigi, June and Bette. If this book was this cutthroat I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next one, Shiny Broken Pieces.
*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*
Have you read Tiny Pretty Things? Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.