Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Books I've Loved: Shiny Broken Pieces

I think I mentioned last week that as soon as I finished Tiny Pretty Things, I turned around and bought the sequel.

I didn't regret it.

The book starts a few months after the first one finished, with the girls heading into their final year at the conservatory.  Well, all the girls except Bette who has been suspended for her role in last year's tragedies.  More is at stake this time, with only two spots in the Company and every dancer hungry to take one of them.

The cutthroat, competitive world of the ballet school was set up well in the first book, but in this one, everything is taken up a notch.  Even sweet, lovable Gigi gets in on the action, not wanting to be a victim anymore.  And she's learned from the best.

Interestingly, my least favorite character from the first book, June, the bulimic, Korean dancer who had no friends, became my favorite character in this one.  She is the only one who doesn't get in on the endless and increasingly dangerous pranks.  Instead, she starts to recognize she has a problem and works on it, albeit under pressure from others.

With their future careers at stake, the other girls are ruthless in their competitiveness, stopping at nothing to keep one step ahead of the next dancer, to be seen, to shine.  While I know ballet is super competitive, I hope dancers aren't as vicious in real life as these girls are.  I suspect though, what we're seeing here is the tip of an iceberg and the reality is even more horrific.

While I didn't love this one quite as much as the first book, there is still a lot to enjoy here. It's just harder to find a character to side with because they're all behaving so badly.  But in a way, don't we all secretly wish we could?  If there were no consequences?

If I haven't convinced you, here's the blurb:

June, Bette, and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan’s most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice.

June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?


  1. I remember how interesting that book sounded, as I'm a real sucker for imperfect female characters. I'm glad the sequel wasn't disappointing.

  2. This sounds like an interesting series. And I do love fiction that pulls young readers into the arts. But I don't think I would enjoy the meanness of these girls. I'll probably pass on this series.