Tiny Pretty Things
Author: Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
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.
Well, Tiny Pretty Things is not pretty, and not in the way you think. Tiny Pretty Things is a dark, twisted and honestly, completely cutthroat. I avoided all reviews of Tiny Pretty Things going in, I think I only read one a week before it, which made me worry about the drama, because you know me and unnecessary drama, so I was surprised by how much I actually loved the drama, and I think that is mainly because the drama in Tiny Pretty Things isn't unnecessary and is completely realistic in its setting, because Tiny Pretty Things shows the dark side of ballet, how competitive and ruthless it is.
Here's the thing about the characters, I'm very confused on how I feel about them, which is rather weird because in any other setting I honestly would have hated them, so I'll get to that in a minute. Firstly, diverse characters, yay! And I mean, completely diverse, not just one or two, we have a well defined diverse cast. But, my favourite out of the three we follow is Gigi, mainly because she's the nicest, but she has a lot to learn, and that makes her naive and an easy target, because she's nice, and just wants to dance. Now, the ones I should and would have hated? Bette and June. They are...mean, twisted, bitter but complex. They have their reasons, and as bad as it sounds, with their family situations, I completely get it. You know Gigi has a very supportive family, despite their worry for her. Bette and June? Do not. There's not a lot of character growth to them, because psychologically speaking, the damage is already done, and they have a lower place to fall from, but karma's a bitch, and in such a fitting way.
Tiny Pretty Things is harsh. And intense. And did I say twisted? The best side to it though is definitely the inside look at the ballet school, and how ballet literally takes over everything. It's compulsive and hard work, and it's not all fun, glitz and glam. Tiny Pretty Things also delves into issues, such as racism and prejudice in ballet, and bulimia and anorexia , in a blunt and oppressing way.
The two issues I had with Tiny Pretty Things is that ending, it didn't feel finished, but now I know it is part of a series and not a standalone, so it's not as much as an issue now. My second issue was the romance, Gigi and Alec felt a little insta-lovey, but they were cute together, maybe a little too cute at times. But, also, Tiny Pretty Things shows the darker side of "getting ahead" by sleeping with a teacher, which was...well, uncomfortable.
Tiny Pretty Things is intense, and uncomfortable and slightly twisted with characters that aren't entirely likeable but are true to its setting, the look into the world of ballet and the pressure that can push you into doing whatever you can to get what you want, is definitely what kept me reading and was addictive.