Title : Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things #2)
Author : Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra
Genre : Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date : July 12th, 2016
Publisher : HarperTeen
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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?
I am so sad to see this duology end, but here’s the thing. This book, like its prequel, has diversity at the forefront. Not only that, it has diverse authors. The way Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces have been written make me feel like these are authors who know what they’re talking about, know what issues they’ve addressed, maybe even personally gone through some of these problems. This isn’t research in these books—it’s their own life and their own hearts. And that, reader, is exactly why I’ve been pushing people to read these books.
After I’d completed reading Tiny Pretty Things, I thought I knew which characters in the story I was rooting for. Of course, in hindsight, I should have realised that life doesn’t work in blacks and whites, but that’s how this book worked out for me. More than a year later now, with Shiny Broken Pieces, the authors have redefined my stance on all characters, even making me go so far as to question if I read the first book correctly or not. This book marked a change in all the people in this story, and it marked a change in how I feel about them. A summer had passed between the events of the two books, and with all the things that had happened to and with the girls, I felt like some of them went through fundamental changes that just could be not be overlooked, notwithstanding who they used to be.
With Gigi, the change was phenomenal. This was a girl who had almost died because the dancers in her school were spiteful and jealous of her, and she realised this too late. This led to her becoming someone she wasn’t in SBP, and while it did not surprise me, it most definitely saddened me. I rooted for her quite a bit, but it just seemed like she was absolutely consumed with the goal of getting her revenge against everyone who had wronged her. The bright girl she was and her generous nature she had did shine through some of her actions but, as a reader, I was left quite breathless by most of her choices and decisions. It was a surreal experience to watch her unravel in this book, it truly was.
June, I think was the one I was truly surprised with. She wasn’t very different in this book, but she was…lighter? She had all the issues that come with being a perfectionist if its to the point of harming yourself, and all the problems that eating-disorders bring, but she was also more willing to reach out this time around. It was the last thing I expected of her, and it convinced me to start seeing her in a completely different light. I absolutely loved the changes in her, the kind of person she started to become in the last 60% of the book, and I can genuinely say that June may have gotten her happy ending after all. Bette, on the other hand, I’m still undecided about. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to seeing her as the villain that to me, its all she’s going to be. She, too, was very different this time, and very subdued, but that may also be because she was trying to clear her name in the eyes of the school. At the risk of giving away a very tiny spoiler, I’m going to say that Bette will probably never be a favourite of mine, simply because her motivation in the last book was to be THE star, and in this book it was to be proved innocent. I just don’t see myself ever liking Bette, ever.
I remember loving Eleanor in TPT, and it was so good to see her back again! She, too, is an important character in this book, and everything, including her friendship with Bette, is different this time around. Eleanor made her own choices—some bad, some worse—but she grew up, and that was good to see. All the supporting characters had depth and they made me feel and it was as beautiful an experience as book one, you guys.
READ THIS BOOK, everyone. It’s a dark, compelling story, but more than anything it talks about things that need to be talked about. It’s written with beauty that goes hand-in-hand with its content, and it will leave you a different person for having read it. No matter what you fancy—drama, romance, character development—the Tiny Pretty Things series has it. Also, the covers are going to look gorgeous on your shelves, think about that!