Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Drama
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
It has been a long time since I’ve read a book featuring ballet so the synopsis for this book attracted me instantly. Unfortunately, this one turned out to not be my cup of tea.
Why I didn’t like Tiny Pretty Things:
– The multiple perspectives. It’s always a hard task to get multiple POVS pat down, and while I had no trouble distinguishing the voices of the three main characters, I felt no emotional attachment towards any of them. Charaipotra and Clayton’s novel follows three girls; Gigi, June and Bette who are all vying to be the prima ballerina at their elite ballet school. I loved the diversity that the authors brought to the table (Gigi is African-American and June is Korean, as well as some LGBTQ side characters) but it just became overwhelming as it was too hard to keep up with all of the drama in each of the girls’ lives.
– Zero in terms of character development. Another reason why I failed to click with any of the characters was because they were all just so unlikeable. I think this was more of a “it’s me, not you” situation but they all just seemed lacking in depth. I was hoping that the girls would develop and grow in terms of complexity as the story went by but nope, that clearly just wasn’t happening.
– It was too back-stabby and “drama drama” for me. I do love a good revenge/drama read. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, just for example. However, this one didn’t seem to really have anything else in terms of plot asides from the constant competitiveness of who shall be the next prima ballerina and all the back-stabbing and mean girl drama. I feel like it was too intense, I soon found myself just skimming sections and sections.
– The relationships made my head hurt. Yes, this is romance in here but it fell completely flat, and I’m sure many reviewers have already pointed this out. Bette and Alec are known as the ‘power couple’, but when Gigi replaces Bette by getting the lead role in The Nutcracker, it’s like Alec is suddenly all interested in Gigi and their romance felt rushed and well, shallow. The romance felt like a competition too, so it really just lost all of it’s meaning.
Why you might like Tiny Pretty Things:
– If you’re into books featuring ballet. Yes, there is ballet. If you didn’t know already…
– If you like drama, backstabbing and “mean girls”.
In all, I can’t say that I would recommend this one, but if you’re into ballet, like reading about it, enjoy drama (as in, LOTS of it), maybe you’ll enjoy this one more than I did.
~Thanks HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~
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