Note: Yesterday was our very own Sona’s book birthday – TINY PRETTY THINGS is now out in the wild, and I can’t wait for all of you to read it!
Blurbed as “Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars,” this high-drama, deliciously dark and absolutely addictive book features three teenaged girls — Gigi, Bette, and June — trying to dance their way to the prima ballerina status at an elite NYC ballet school. I have no idea how Sona and co-author Dhonielle Clayton did this, but the writing is seamless and the voice as perfect from chapter to chapter, and character to character as the ballerinas’ pirouettes. I read it cover to cover in about 24 hours, and shouted, “Nooooo!” when I turned the last page and realized I had to wait another year for the sequel. *shakes fist at Sona and Dhonielle*
So here are 5 things you’ll be glad about when you read TINY PRETTY THINGS:
1. That you don’t have perfect feet.
Seriously. While I loved reading about this fictionalized-but-certainly-somewhere-close-to-the-truth-somewhere story, I’m pretty glad I never lived it. Three cheers for short, muscular legs and mediocre turnout!
2. The diverse cast of characters.
This is not an all-white cast, and as Colleen said, nothing about the characters felt contrived. And along with the diversity in background and skin colours, Sona and Dhonielle have layered these characters to feel three-dimensional and distinct, which is no small feat when you’re alternating point of views chapter by chapter.
3. That this is not a cute ballet story. TINY PRETTY THINGS is much more Black Swan than Swan Lake … which was one of the things I loved so much about this book. These characters are dark and tortured and incredibly disciplined and quite angry (which probably has something to do with them starving themselves, as Amy pointed out), and will do just about anything to get to the top, which makes for excellent reading. There’s a particularly traumatic ballet shoe incident that still makes me shudder and feel faint when I think about it …
4. That YA is a perfectly acceptable genre for grown-ups to read. Though young adult books are written for, well, “young” adults, it’s fantastic to find crossover stories grown-ups can enjoy as much as the teens. My kiddo is only 6, so TINY PRETTY THINGS is a tad out of her depth at the moment, but I look forward to keeping my (hopefully signed!) copy on the shelf for when she get s a little older.
5. That there’s a sequel. HALLELUJAH.
Check back on Saturday for when Sona takes the Deb Guest chair, and for a chance to win a copy of TINY PRETTY THINGS!
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