Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton



Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

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.


Hi Amy here! I’ve always been interested in ballet and dance and the summary spoke to me so I decided to give it a try (also the cover looked really pretty) and I loved it a lot! The story really shows you how things go down at a conservatory/ballet school and that the competition is fierce.

The one thing about this place, is that it brings out the worst shit. The worst shit in all of us. 

The story is told from three pov’s: Gigi, the new, black girl who surprisingly gets the lead role in the Nutcracker which makes the others dislike her immediately. Then you have the half white/half korean girl June who doesn’t have a lot of friends and is focused on losing weight. And last but not least Bette. Bette has been at the conservatory since she was six and together with her boyfriend Alec, they make the conservatory’s power couple. But that’s about to change. Now Gigi has the lead role instead of Bette and she has to dance with Alec. And Bette, is to say it kindly, not pleased about it.

We’ve never danced with other people before. Alec and Bette are always paired. Our names ahve been listed beside each other so often it’s burned into my memory. I don’t want his name next to Gigi’s. 

While Gigi climbs up the ranks, Bette does everything to throw her off her game. And so does June, because she is tired of always being the understudy and her mother threatens to remove her from the academy if she doesn’t get a lead role. Jealous girls: don’t underestimate them, that’s all I’ll say about the plot.

I like to know everything about everyone because it all matters at this school – what you eat, what you wear, where you came from, how much you weigh, your ballet training, who your friends are, how much money you have, if you have good feet, if you’ve won any competitions, what kind of connections you have, if your parents have season ballet tickets, if your mother or father was a dancer, if you know the history of ballet. And I plan to know it all. About every single dancer here. That’s the only way to be on top. 

Dancing for these girls isn’t for fun. It’s a lifestyle. They don’t know anything else. They dance six hours a day, and most of the time even more and even then it’s not enough, because they all want to be the best. It’s an intense book, but I loved reading it and it gave me a clearer image of how things are in the ballet world. The characters are really well written, even though I dislike Bette and June a lot, yet it was interesting to be in their heads and I admire their determination to push and push and be the best they can be.

Now, I get rid of most things I eat. Even Korean food. I bury those thoughts, though. It’s all for ballet, for my love of the dance. 

amy calloway sisters

One thought on “Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

  1. Pingback: Recommendation Saturday: standalones | Calloway Books

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