Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Published: July 12th 2016 by HarperTeen
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 have had this book on my TBR since I found out they were making a sequel to Tiny Pretty Things. I absolutely adored the first book and the cutthroat world we were introduced to that is Ballet. I’m still wondering whether ballet is really that competitive and whether dancers are actually that bad – because it is kind of scary! I loved this book and I loved the difference we could see in all the characters! We also got to know Cassie – who probably deserved what she got from the people around her before her return and before her accident.
The book starts off at a new school year for all the dancers and follows the characters as they each deal with the consequences of what happened the year before. The characters are all suffering in one form or another based on the actions from the previous year and it is interesting to watch how they all deal differently with the things that happened.
I think Gigi changed the most – and is also the person who went through the most within this series. In the first book, her redeeming factor, and the thing that made me like her, was the fact that she stayed above all of the bullying. She kept her chin up and didn’t let it get to her like it did in this book. I think what happened to her in the past book at the end, snapped something within her because she becomes obsessed with hurting those who hurt her in some way, rather than putting everything into her dancing and becoming better than she was before, despite her accident. She actually scared me in this book – I also don’t think it helped that she befriended Cassie – who seemed to have gone completely off the rails!
What I also loved about this book was the various problems it dealt with. Anorexia, bulimia, inappropriate relationships, crime, the lengths some people will go to to be better than others (cutthroat competition) etc. The book dealt with a lot of issues that plague society, but it did it in a way that flows and it all fit together within the story itself.
I liked to follow June’s story the most, I think. She struggled the most with her ballet and she suffered from eating disorders, which didn’t help anything! I found myself really rooting for her to get better and make herself a better ballerina through that – so that by the end of the book, she hadn’t lost everything! I loved the way she powered through everything and really tried to get better! She was definitely an inspiration!
I think Bette also changed a lot within this book. I think the accident with Gigi and her being blamed, made her see that what she did to the other dancers within the first book was completely wrong. I also think that she truly feels sorry for everything that she did to the others around her and I think she wants to make it right, but doesn’t quite know how? I also think that she definitely understands what she did when Cassie starts bullying her to the extent that she does. She makes a complete 180 turn around in this book and I am definitely glad that she did!!
I really enjoyed this book and this series as a whole and I am kinda sad that we won’t get to revisit this cutthroat world in a new book that follows Gigi and Bette in their apprenticeships!! The ending definitely had me feeling like I was leaving school all over again and I was really depressed! I gave this book 4/5 stars.
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?