About the book:
Title: Tiny Pretty Things
Authors: Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult
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.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Goodreads
One day, I was looking through some book recommendations on Goodreads, and I found Tiny Pretty Things. It looked like such a unique story, especially because it centres around dance. I love dancing, and I’d been having a bit of trouble finding stories about girls who share similar passions.
Let’s just say that this book definitely met more than my expectations of an awesome, unique book about dancers!
This story is about three ballerinas named Bette, June, and Gigi, who go to an elite ballet school. All three of them strive to get the lead part in all the acts, and as they compete, they become part of a ton of drama. Will they still be able to become friends, despite all the drama and competition that they will experience as professional ballet students?
This book follows the perspectives of the three protagonists, who are all very different from each other, especially regarding their ethnicities, families, how they were raised, and more. Still, I really like how they all come together as a group of ballerinas, again, in spite of all the nasty drama.
First, I want to talk about Bette. I didn’t like her very much. Her POV sort of bored me, and I have to say that it was definitely my least favourite out of the three. Anyway, she is a WASP whose older sister, Adele, had also been an elite ballerina at the school. Her sister was considered as one of the best of the best, thus everyone had really high expectations for Bette.
I just found her to be a bit of a snob. She was pretty selfish and whiny, and many of her schoolmates feared her because she was seen as a bully. Bette always expected to get the lead part in everything, and she would rage if she didn’t. If I were her, I would still be secretly disappointed, but at the same time, I’d still be happy for the person who ended up getting it. Bette was not a very good sport throughout the book. Kids, I don’t suggest you follow her ways🙅.
Next up, we have June, a Korean girl, who is a bit underweight. She needs to be a certain weight in order to secure her spot at the school, but she has a lot of trouble maintaining it. Hence this, there are many times in the book where she is really close to being sent home. I sort of felt bad for her, as she received a lot of pressure to reach that specified weight. Her mom also did not support her wish to dance, and said that if she didn’t get the lead, she’d have to come home and attend her local public school.
June was a really sweet girl, who was pretty underestimated in her abilities, as all she was able to get was the understudy. She was honestly my favourite POV to read about, as she was really agreeable and relatable.
The last character is Gigi, who was the new girl, and so far she had been getting all the leads, the parts that Bette was expecting to get. I felt really sorry for her as she was treated quite poorly, maybe because of her sudden reign, and/or maybe because she was black. (This book does cover a little bit of racism, so if you aren’t okay with that, I don’t suggest you pick it up.) She also had a condition that didn’t really help her in terms of dancing, and excessive exercise could put her at very dangerous risk.
I thought that she was really courageous as she put up with everything. Her condition made her need to minimize her dancing, but she still put on a smile every single day and danced to her heart’s desire. She honestly had a lot of fight in her. If I were to follow any of the characters’ values, I would DEFINITELY want to follow hers for her bravery and kindness!
This story does have quite a bit of romance, but that truly isn’t the point, and it’s mostly part of all the drama that goes on. This book is more about finding yourself and being the best you can be, and understanding that even the most successful people have flaws, too.
Overall, this was a pretty good book with a unique prose and writing style. It’s also SUPER diverse, which is more of what we really need in YA. I’d recommend it to, well, of course dancers, and also readers wanting to get a glimpse of a lot of drama and competition, because this would be the perfect read for you! I know I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.
Rating: 4/5 Stars