It feels like ages since our last debut (it was Colleen’s BEFORE I GO in January), and I couldn’t be more excited to cheer on Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton’s fantastic TINY PRETTY THINGS. You can read the description of it on Goodreads then you’ll want to order your very own copy. Trust me – it’s amazing!
Here are five things I loved about the book:
1. I love books that give me a peek behind the curtain (pun intended). While I took ballet, dancing at eight in Manitowoc, Wisconsin is very different than dancing at a prestigious NYC ballet school as a teen. So much is demanded of these students. I love seeing the details of breaking in new shoes and costume fittings and the descriptions of the amazing moves these bodies can perform.
2. These are not nice girls. Their concept of what is acceptable is way beyond social norms. They take bullying and abuse to a whole new level. But even though they’ve all done reprehensible things, I still found myself rooting for them all to find a happy ending, to get what they want. That reaction is all on Sona and Dhonielle for creating such complicated characters that still remained sympathetic despite all the bad things they did.
3. In our conversations, Sona introduced me to the word hangry — hungry and angry. And that is exactly what these girls are. It’s a subtle thing, but excessive and constant hunger takes a toll on humans. Without being obvious or repetitive, Sona and Dhonielle mined this physiological trait to it’s fullest. I couldn’t help but think many of their problems could be solved with a daily turkey sandwich.
4. Each chapter in TINY PRETTY THINGS is a from a different character’s perspective: June, Bette, and Gigi. Even without the POV’s name at the beginning of each chapter, Sona and Dhonielle worked hard to differentiate these voices so the reader could distinguish them. Switching voices each chapter has the added benefit of propelling the story along. I couldn’t wait to get to a character’s next chapter to find out what happened.
5. On top of telling a gripping story told with beautiful writing, Sona and Dhonielle tackle the tough issue of eating disorders. Sadly, starvation and obsessive eating habits go hand in hand with the body conscious world of ballet. The topic is handled boldly, showing the devastating effects it can have on bodies pushed to their limits, and the way it takes over the lives of those it effects. As readers, we get a glimpse at the lies anorexics tell themselves about being too fat and the extent they go to keep it hidden, like sewing weights in their underwear to be just heavy enough for weigh-in. To offset the internal torture, we also see it from the other character’s perspectives, making the internal lies even more obvious.
I can’t wait for you all to read this gripping book. Check back in on Saturday for a chance to win your very own copy!