Shiny Broken Pieces, (Tiny Pretty Things #2)

Shiny Broken Pieces

Title: Shiny Broken Pieces
Author: Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Series: Tiny Pretty Things #2
Pages: 385
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: July 12th, 2016
Amazon
iBooks
Goodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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?

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Wow… I have kind of fallen in love with one of these characters. Remember how I said the characters were kind of underdeveloped in my review of book 1? Shiny Broken Pieces almost completely turned that around! All of the characters had more depth, but I was able to connect with June in particular. The others seemed less relatable by comparison, but I also think June had more of a story to tell than the others.
The plot was still as much of a roller coaster as it was in Tiny Pretty Things but I felt like it was a bit tighter. The first person narrative that I mentioned as a downfall in Tiny Pretty Things was one of the biggest strengths in the plot of Shiny Broken Pieces. It allowed the readers to know who was doing what and why, but it still allowed a bit of mystery because one of the key players was not a narrator. There weren’t a ton of plot lines like there were in Tiny Pretty Things, and that made it a whole lot easier to follow! Shiny Broken Pieces picked up right after the massive cliff hanger ending of Tiny Pretty Things and wrapped up all of the loose threads that it created.
The ending of Shiny Broken Pieces did leave me a bit disappointed, not because I wanted more of the story or thought it was a bad ending, but because I didn’t like where some of the characters ended up. Honestly I felt like the ending was dragged out longer than was really necessary simply for the sake of throwing in one last plot twist. It could’ve ended about three chapters earlier than it did, and life would’ve been great! But it didn’t, and that’s what caused some characters to end up in places other than where I wanted them to go. Without totally spoiling everything, June did not make the choice I wanted her to make, Gigi did lots of unnecessary traveling but eventually landed right where I wanted her, and Bette got exactly what she wanted and she did not deserve that by any stretch of the imagination!
I love these characters and have become invested in this story by now, but I really hope there won’t be another book in this series. It’s starting to feel too much like Pretty Little Liars, and that series went on forever and ever and eventually got to where it just didn’t make any kind of sense at all… I don’t want that for this story. One more book might be good if it were done well, but the plot and writing style of the first two books makes me doubt that it would contribute anything to the series besides another plot roller coaster that would intrigue the reader at best and make them exhausted at worst. The potential for a third book is certainly there, but I don’t think it should be expanded upon.
In the end, Shiny Broken Pieces gets a solid four stars. I have criticized it, but id told a good story, added some depth to the original characters, tied up all the dangling strings, and provided me some entertainment as I listened to it and cleaned out iCloud Drive so my iPad would stop yelling about not being backed up. When it comes right down to it, books are supposed to entertain, and entertain this series does!

Tiny Pretty Things — Spoiler Free Review

Tiny Pretty Things
“The moment you think you’re on top is the moment you’ve lost your passion.”
-Tiny Pretty Things

Title: Tiny Pretty Things
Author: Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Series: Tiny Pretty Things #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 448
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: May 26th, 2015
Amazon
iBooks
Goodreads

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Are you a Pretty Little Liars lover? You’ll probably like Tiny Pretty Things! I can’t help but agree with the majority of the Blogosphere and say that Tiny Pretty Things is basically Pretty Little Liars in a fancy dance school with minority characters, but also the fact that I gave it four stars begs to differ with that statement. This is probably gonna earn me some angry bookworm screeches in the comments, but PLL doesn’t even register on the rating scale for me. Honestly the only true comparison I can draw between the two is the plot. The plot lines are very similar, but Tiny Pretty Things outshines Pretty Little Liars in every other aspect.
I must admit that I was pretty confused at first, but then I figured out what was going on. Tiny Pretty Things is told through the eyes of three POV characters, and what’s interesting is that it’s written in first person. Publishers warn against that, and now I see why… For the first three or four chapters, all of the characters kind of sounded like the same person, and it was hard to tell who was narrating, especially since I listened to it in audio and therefore didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the chapter headings. It also began in the past, but it looked like the first chapter instead of a prologue. Publishers warn against prologues too, but come on! If you’re gonna start a book in the past, please don’t confuse my poor little bookworm brain by making me think it’s the first chapter!
The characters didn’t seem to be well developed in my opinion, but the cast was definitely diverse! The main focus of the character arcs was how African American and Korean girls fit into the ballet world. The redeeming quality of the characters was getting a look at several different cultures instead of dealing with the average cast of prissy white girls competing for head diva status. It almost seems like the characters were intentionally poorly developed to direct focus towards the plot, but I also think that the plot would’ve been enhanced if there had been more emphasis on the character arcs.
The plot was… classic. What happens when you throw a bunch of girls in a ballet school and make them compete for major parts? They fight, people get hurt, and lives are ruined! Everyone does something horrible to look out for their own status, and you spend the majority of the story wondering who you’re supposed to trust! You go through plot twist after plot twist, and that is what reminded me of Pretty Little Liars the most! But thankfully the writing of Tiny Pretty Things was much better, so I was intrigued enough to keep reading.
I feel like I have thoroughly trash talked this entire book now, so you’re probably all wondering why I gave this thing four stars. The answer to that is actually very simple! It provided mindless entertainment and a good mystery after a crazy school week. You know those weird reality shows that are kind of pointless and stupid but still manage to hold your attention? That’s Tiny Pretty Things in a nutshell! The plot and character motivations were just flat enough to be ridiculous and hold my attention, and I even got a good laugh out of it when the title of the book was directly stated in the context of the story. It was hilarious because it really seemed like it was just there to relate the plot back to the title in any way possible!
All that being said, I really did enjoy the story, and I’d recommend it to anyone who needs an easy read that will keep them guessing. I’m invested enough now tat I want to know what happens to the characters because some of them did have some serious issues, (they just seemed a little underplayed to me), and that cliffhanger ending was epic! I actually have Shiny Broken Pieces downloading as I type this because of that ending. I don’t think this series will be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely worth a try if you want something different and entertaining!