By: Melanie | July 24, 2015 | (51) Comments

Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle ClaytonTiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Drama
Pages: 448
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!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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51 Responses to Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

  1. Can’t say I feel bad about not getting to this one in time. xD
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{ARC Review} The Heartbreakers by Ali NovakMy Profile

  2. Hannah says:

    Ah, I loathe drama and backstabbing, so this definitely isn’t for me. I don’t mind unlikeable characters, but they at least have to be interesting/compelling!
    Hannah recently posted…5 Alternate Takes on YA Love TrianglesMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Honestly cannot recommend this one 🙁 Yeah I agree with you. Sometimes unlikable characters are good if they have an interesting backstory and have lots of complexity.

  3. Amber Elise says:

    I like mean girls until a certain point, and as I have no interest in ballet, I think I’ll pass.

    I actually tried the audiobook for Burn for Burn but didn’t enjoy the narrators. I’ll have to try it again soon!
    Amber Elise recently posted…Book Review: RookMy Profile

  4. Vane says:

    Ehhh, I think I will pass this. I mean, the drama would annoy me too much. I don’t mind multiple POVs (except if they’re excessive), but the drama can be exasperating.
    Vane recently posted…Review: The HeirMy Profile

  5. I’m torn about this one, because Emily loved it and I TRUST EMILY. But I trust you too, so OMG YoU GUYS. DON’T TEAR ME LIKE THIS. XD I’m really not a fan of backstabby “friendships” (they totally kill the word “Friendship”) but at the same time I love diversity and I really would like to read more books on ballet. So I’m definitely stuck in a quandary here. I suppose I’ll just have to read it and see, amirite?! XD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…The Wrath and the Dawn // only the best book in the entire UNIVERSEMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ME OR HER, CAIT. *GIVES YOU ALL THE PRESSURE* No but really, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this one, girl!

  6. I have trouble with “mean girls” stories myself, so I can see what you mean. I’m kinda bummed… I was really looking forward to this one. 🙁
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Blog Tour | My Thoughts + Giveaway: Chasing the Sun by Karina HalleMy Profile

  7. Aww, what a shame, I LOVED THIS BOOK. It’s like one of my favourites this year. But your opinion seems to be the more popular one – I guess it just clicked with me for some reason 🙂
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…More Mini-Reviews! Finding Audrey, The Potion Diaries and Cameron PostMy Profile

  8. Valerie says:

    This was not my book as well. It was way too much drama, and I only connected with June, BUT ONLY A LITTLE. And ever since reading this, I’ve wondered “Is this really how ballet is like?” Because that sucks.

    Hope your next read is drama free Mel! Or close. Not as much as this 😛
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: We Are All Made Of MoleculesMy Profile

  9. Lexa Cain says:

    I like the description of Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars. (I guess that pitch is how they managed to get it pubbed.) I adore dance, but completely understand the trouble you had with the other facets of the book. It wouldn’t be my cup of tea either. Thanks for the great review!
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Relative Success & Giveaways!My Profile

  10. Oh no, the synopsis made this book sound intriguing, but I really hate SUPER HIGH amounts of drama in books. 🙁 Bleh! Definitely doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 178: Prodigy (Marie Lu)My Profile

  11. Sigh. This is one of those books where people I trust are in two opposing stance. I don’t know who to believe. Consequently, I end up putting this book in the future-reads shelf. Like, way, wayyyy into the future read. Lol. You made some bullet points on why I think this book will not work for me, though. So I’m leaning towards, a “no”.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…[548]: Burying Water by K.A. TuckerMy Profile

  12. Naban says:

    I’m sorry this wasn’t your thing. I was quite interested in reading this but now I think I’m more on the “oh well i’ll read in when my tbr consists of no books at all!” (see also: never). Also ballet? Drama and backstabbing? Noooope. Hope your next read will be better, and great review!
    Naban recently posted…Book Review: More Happy Than Not by Adam SilveraMy Profile

  13. Aentee says:

    Oh, this book sounds very definitely not my thing – my number one pet peeves in books is catfights and girl drama. Multiple POV is a tough one as well, I usually love it so much when it’s done well – but sometimes it just falls flat on its face when the author can’t give characters distinctive voice.

    Fabulous review as always <3
    Aentee recently posted…Book Review: Cruel BeautyMy Profile

  14. Oh no! This one does not sound like fun….I hate when characters don’t develop at all throughout the story arc. What’s the point?! Why are we even reading this?! It’s a shame that the multiple POVs didn’t work out. People praise this book for the “dark” nature, but I agree that back-stabby stuff is just not fun. It’s pretty tacky, and I can only handle so much. Ugh the romance sounds dreadful too… Great review, Mel!

    • Melanie says:

      Right? Like I don’t mind unlikable characters but at least grow and change through the course of the book? Alas, not here ._. Thanks, Rachel <33

  15. Hilary says:

    I haven’t read backstabby YA books yet (does partially watching PLL count? Even though I haven’t read the books?) and I don’t generally veer towards these sort of things because I consider myself an angel *preens*.

    *splutters* Sorry. I couldn’t hold it in anymore.
    Hilary recently posted…Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn SchneiderMy Profile

  16. I mean, I don’t mind a scene or two of drama in a book if it’s completely necessary; but if the whole book is filled with drama that sounds a little less interesting. 😐 I’m so conflicted because I really do like the ballet premise, but the drama has me hesitant. Thanks for sharing Mel and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Crimson BoundMy Profile

  17. HAHAHA OHMYGOSH Yes to all of what you said. It was still kinda fun reading another Kardashian style book hahaha it was stupid but I couldn’t stop reading because I really wanted to know what happens next and sadly I’m excited for the sequel LOL
    Chyna @ Lite-Rate-Ture recently posted…Find Me Book Tag featuring my photography skillsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Okay I am totally outta the loop. What do you mean by Kardashian style book? *think I have a vague clue but can’t be sure* I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series, tbh 🙁

  18. Lyn Kaye says:

    *kicks the wall* I was looking forward to this one! I physiological thriller – yes, please! But now, I am disappointed.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens AgendaMy Profile

  19. Ahhh, mean girls, backstabbing people, gosh I don’t know if I’m going to be reading this but at the same time I sort of want to because I need to read more diverse books. So we’ll see 😀
    Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things recently posted…Review – Write For Me by Michelle HoltMy Profile

  20. I am so sorry you didn’t like this one! I am torn on reading this one. Some people loved it and others . . . not so much. Sigh. Great review though.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Two Boys Kissing by David LevithanMy Profile

  21. Ehhhhh not too sure how I feel about backstabbing and bitchiness. I find it quite annoying most of the time to be honest. I’ve heard so many mixed things about this book so I kind of want to just see what I think about it. However, it’s definitely not at the top of my priority list. 😛 Thank you for the lovely review Melanie!
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Book Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie RutkoskiMy Profile

  22. Siiri says:

    Eh, so sorry Mel that these characters let you down 🙁 I like the sound of diversity, but I really need some 3D redemption and character growth etc not just drama llamas and no growth. The romance doesn’t appeal to me that much either. Sorry to hear this was a miss for you especially since it has a pretty cover and a promising premise, but I hope your next read is better 🙂
    Siiri recently posted…Review: PS I Still Love You by Jenny HanMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Haha drama llamas xD It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone say that! Yeah, the pretty cover was what mainly drew me in in the first place *sad sigh*

  23. Rebecca says:

    Sorry this didn’t work for you, Melanie! After reading your review, I don’t think this book is for me. I like dance, but it sounds quite s0ap-ish and Mean Girls-ish. But I do love the fact that it’s a diverse read as we need more of those!
    Rebecca recently posted…Reading Wishes Turns 4 & GiveawayMy Profile

  24. Ksenia says:

    Sorry it wasn’t a winner for you, Melanie. It’s hard to pull off multiple POV, I’ve come across just a few books where author managed to make it good.
    Ksenia recently posted…Mini-reviews: On Dublin Street and Until Fountain Bridge by Samantha YoungMy Profile

  25. Hmmm, a bit disappointing how this one has a lot of drama and not that much character development. I would have expected some of the backstabbing and stuff but it sounds like it’s mostly about that and offputting you know? Lovely review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman Review: Diving into SchizophreniaMy Profile

  26. I haven’t read any to do with ballet, so that side of things kept me reading, plus the diversity was awesome, and I didn’t have a hard time distinguishing the characters perspectives from one another either, but I had the same connection problem. I just couldn’t connect. Didn’t feel sorry for them, although, let’s be honest, it was hard to empathise with the two psycho’s, and although I did feel sorry more for Gigi, but honestly, I just kept wondering how stupid she could be. Sooooooooooo much drama, but luckily for me, I hadn’t read one for a while, so it didn’t bother me as much as it would have, but YES, the romance. I just…didn’t get it. At all. I mean, also, the chemistry, attraction? Nope. Felt none of that.

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