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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
I underestimated this book so much.
Out of the three books I received from HarperCollins for review last week, this was the one I was least interested in. Which is why I picked it up first (you know, saving the best for the last and all). I went into it quite blindly, having just skimmed through the back cover summary. All I knew was that it was about a ballet school, and no joke, I just expected lots of YA drama about white girls dressed in tutus (which would be great, but a little cliched).
I was blown away with the diversity in this book, in terms of race and sexual orientation. What I loved more though was that no specific race was specifically victimized and the girls were defined as separate human beings, instead of being cliche portrayals based on skin colour.
I know practically nothing about ballet. But that didn’t really prove to be much of a problem, because the story mainly dealt with the personal lives of the teens, not the technical ballet side of it. The cutthroat competition, desperate moves, it was all so well described, I didn’t need to be a ballet expert to appreciate Tiny Pretty Things.
The characters of this book are really complex and well-formed. I initially loved Gigi the most, but later on I felt like she is the one with the least amount of dimensions. Bette and June have much deeper tones to them, and throughout the course of the story, I started having a neutral opinion about the characters.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a heavier and more thought provoking young adult novel. The name of the book is terribly misleading, and I am finding it hard to classify into a genre, but this is one eye-opening book that is worth a read.
Somebody please get me the second book in this duology.
~ Sreepurna. 💜