Friday, August 19, 2016

Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Publication Date:  July 12, 2016
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages:  384
Series:  Tiny Pretty Things #2
Genre:  Contemporary
Synopsis:  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?

Review:  It turns out I was correct in assuming that things could only escalate after Tiny Pretty Things.  However, more than just the drama worsened.

Shiny Broken Pieces is as theatrical and entertaining as the last.  It is all too easy to get caught up in the drama.  It's like watching a train wreck--you just can't look away.  The writing is pretty standard if not stand-out, and the story is as entertaining as reality TV.  

This is what I've always dreamed of. This is what every ballerina dreams to dance. But today it feels like a nightmare.

The pages are rife with vengeance and mystery, forming a more focused and driven plot rather than endless backstabbing and rumors.  Unfortunately, it can be rather slow paced as the tension continues to build, only to fall apart in a rush in the denouement. Many of  the story lines that have been hinted at throughout the course of the novels are left unresolved and unaccounted for.

The characters' arcs are wrapped up for the most part, one way or another.  Their endings are agreeable, if not entirely satisfying.  Each one of them grow as they confront and accept the consequences of their actions.  I especially enjoyed how Bette proved herself and realized that change was necessary.  

She's perfect, flawless, the black swan with edge. The one, in the end, who makes the story worth reading, the ballet worth watching.

On the other hand, Gigi more or less completely falls apart and June's story, despite being moving and thematic, essentially has no greater impact on the main plot.  Other characters amount to nothing better than cardboard cliches while the relationships that intertwine them all are left unexplored.

What persisted on bothering me was the emphasis on drama and scheming that forms an unrealistic and exaggerated representation of the world of dance.  While these issues do exist, they are not so omnipresent.  

Shiny Broken Pieces is an enjoyable and engrossing book, but not believable.  All in all, it's rather exhausting.


  1. I've been debating whether or not to try these books - thanks for the review!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. They're super entertaining but they definitely have some issues. Thanks for commenting, Ellie!

  2. The drama in these books sounds off the scale. But also quite entertaining?! I understand how frustrating this book has the potential to be... Great review, as always ❤

    1. It really is so over the top, but it is really enjoyable. I would give it a shot. Thanks for commenting, Rebekah!

  3. Interesting review. I enjoyed the first book, but I loved the second book just because of all the character development. The drama definitely is a little unbelievable and crazy though, I do agree with you on that. That's partially what gave me mixed feelings on the first book, but I honestly didn't mind it in this one.

    1. I really enjoyed the character growth in the second book, even amidst all the drama and revenge plans. I really enjoyed these despite all the problems! Thanks for commenting!