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

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

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!


This post was inspired by a campaign launched by RNIB to counteract some of the many stereotypes about blindness. “How I see,” is something I’ve never really attempted to explain in depth before, so let’s see if I can make this semi-coherent!

There are many different levels and causes of visual impairment, but sighted people, or “sightlings,” as I would say, tend to lump us all together as though we’re all exactly the same. In the eyes of a lot of people, we all look alike, act alike, think alike, and do everything the exact same way. That idea isn’t helped any by the mainstream media that tends to portray blind people as all wearing dark glasses, plain clothing, and blending into the background of society. I hope that this project can lessen some of those misguided beliefs and give everyone a better understanding of what us blind people are capable of. 

As I mentioned, there are many different types of visual impairment, ranging from enough residual sight to read magnified print, to no light perception at all. I fall into the minority among blind people with no vision. I have no light perception in either eye. The cause of my blindness is very rare and complicated, so I’ll try to simplify it. I started losing my sight at seventeen months old after several shots of antibiotics for chronic ear infections. Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, meaning that my immune system attacks my liver and has to be suppressed with medication. No one could give a real cause of my vision loss, so we believed that it was triggered by an allergic reaction to the antibiotic shots. Then, at the age of five, we discovered that my adrenals and parathyroid weren’t functioning properly. To skip over a lot of very detailed medical information, we found out about two years ago that genetic studies had linked the disorder affecting my parathyroid to vision loss in rare instances. 

When people find out that I can’t see anything, the first question they usually ask is whether I see black or white. The real answer is that I don’t know. Sometimes I will tell people that it’s black if I can tell that they’re the type who just won’t get it, and my smart mouth answer is, “I see the absence of light.” I honestly don’t know because I don’t know the difference between black and white. I lost my vision so young that I don’t remember color, but I do have my own ideas of color now. Maybe a better answer is neither, because there really doesn’t seem to be anything in front of my eyes. I have a friend who is totally blind in one eye and can see contrast in the other, and she says that there really is nothing there. I won’t name names because I don’t know if she’d be ok with it, but she has a very good way of describing blindness. She compares it to your hands. You have no sense of sight through your hands; you only have the sense of touch. We have no sight in our eyes, but we can still tell if something is touching our eyelid through touch. That’s still pretty obscure, but maybe it helps. 

I don’t mind answering questions like these, but a big problem that i face is that sightlings are afraid to ask me things. When people see me walking with my cane, I know that they immediately think, “blind girl.” I’m not talking about my friends and family who know me, but I know that the average person on the street or in a store is going to have that be their first impression. I can feel the stare, hear kids ask their parents why I have a stick, and hear the parents hurriedly shushing their children and rushing them away before they can pursue their line of questioning. It’s very isolating to know that people think of me this way, but I’ve learned not to let it bother me. However, when I can tell people have questions but they’re afraid to ask me to my face, that makes the isolation worse. I don’t mind questions, and I will be more than happy to answer any question that you have for me as long as it isn’t anything majorly personal. I feel that it’s disrespectful to not let children ask questions, especially when it’s perfectly clear that I’ve heard the question being asked. Something happened the other day that I’d like to share as an example. I was standing a little behind my Mom and brother in the line at the doctor’s office as Mom was checking my brother in, and a little girl to my left said quite clearly, “Mommy, why does she have that stick.” The mother gave the usual response of shushing her child in a whisper and pretending that nothing had happened, as though I wasn’t standing three feet away in perfect hearing range. That’s the point when I would have absorbed myself in my phone, but of course I didn’t have it on me when I needed it… Then the child asked again, (louder), and I guess the mom decided she didn’t really have a choice but to ask me. She had her daughter ask me, and I explained that my cane keeps me from falling over things in front of me because I can’t see them. Then, I thanked the mother for asking me and told her that not many would have done that. And it’s true. Very few people would have approached me, even if they knew I’d heard them. I love it when people come up to me and ask things. It’s very rare that questions are directed to me rather than whoever I’m with, so it always makes me happy when someone is brave enough, considerate enough, or embarrassed by their kids enough to come to me and get an honest answer. 

I think that perhaps a lot of the fear about asking questions comes from the belief that most blind people don’t function on the same level as sightlings-that we have some sort of learning disability like autism or mental retardation. That’s because we’re portrayed that way in the media, and yes, some blind people do have those problems as well as their visual impairment. But the reality is that some sightlings have those issues as well, and not all blind people fall into that category just like not all sightlings fall into that category. Also, some blind people do have some odd movements, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect any mental disability. A lot of that simply stems from a lack of spacial awareness, or sometimes from a visually impaired person trying to bring something into focus with their remaining vision. But some of us are perfectly normal other than the fact that we can’t see. I have several friends like myself who are at the top of their classes and perfectly capable of doing anything they want to do! 

The thing is that people want to help, and they don’t know how. They think we aren’t capable of doing certain things, but most blind people can do anything that any sightling could do with the exception of flying an airplane, driving a car, or operating some other piece of machinery that might injure themselves or innocent by standers. My favorite line when people assume that I can’t do something is, “Don’t dis my ability!” and I’d love to see more blind people pick that up. If you wanna know if I can do something, just ask! I won’t be offended unless you make prior assumptions. I think most blind people feel that way, and we’ll happily answer any questions you have if you’re respectful about it and don’t treat us like we’re fragile little creatures who might break if you ask the wrong thing. With that whole thing out of the way, I’d like to share a poem that I wrote for my ninth grade english class about uniqueness. A version of this poem was actually published in the NFB magazine, but this is the version that i didn’t edit to fit the word count requirement because I think it goes into more depth. 


Faith alone 


Blindness can be many things, 

To each the meaning is their own. 

To some it is a dark expanse, 

To others it’s an empty room. 


To some it is a barrier, 

A wall between two worlds. 

To some it may be all of these, 

Just a sightless, sound-filled swirl. 


But to me the fact that I am blind, 

Is not a handicap. 

For smell, and sound, and taste, and touch, 

Create for me the perfect map. 


This world that I inhabit, 

Is like nothing you’ve ever known. 

Each day I walk from place to place, 

Not by sight but faith alone. 


For to me sight is many things, 

Though my eyes see not a thing at all. 

Sight is sound and smell and taste and touch, 

And echoes bouncing off a wall. 


The colors in their many hues, 

I see in a whole new light. 

Red is anger, 

Blue is water, 

Black is calm and cool as night. 

Gray is stormy skies above, 

While white is pure and diamond bright. 


My mind’s eye holds no faces, 

Of my friends and family. 

Instead my thoughts are filled with sounds, 

Of voices, words, laughter, 

And all the memories between. 


And so even though my eyes are blind, 

It does not mean I cannot see. 

The way in which I view things, 

Is simply what makes me unique. 


Tell me what you think! 


That was all probably very confusing because blindness is something that’s very difficult to put on paper, or a screen in this case… I didn’t want to ramble on forever, so I thought I’d just share some of the basic stereotypes I see on a daily basis. Like I said above, I love questions, and I’m happy to answer just about anything you throw at me in the comments! I’ll be happy to make another post if you want to know about something really specific that has a lengthy explanation. If you wanna know how I blog, just ask me! I get that question a lot too, and I’m sure some of you were going, “Huh what?!” when you figured out I was blind… Oh come on… You know you were! 🙂

If any of you reading this are blind or VI, tell me what you think in the comments or drop me a link to your own #HowISee post! Also, Us blind people aren’t cookie cutter people anymore than you sightlings, so every #HowISee post is going to be different. Feel free to check out the #HowISee on Twitter for more awesome posts if you’re curious. And you know you’re curious… I’m signing off for now, but I’ll leave you with this song because it just came on Pandora, and oddly it fits this post amazingly well! 

From Cheyenne 🤗 

Book Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On Cover

Title: Carry On 

Author: Rainbow Rowell 

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press 

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance 

Published: October 6, 2015

Pages: 384 


Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.


*Synopsis and cover art from 



I am giving Cary On five out of five stars because it is absolutely amazing! If you’ve read Fangirl, (click here for my review), you will understand the meaning behind Carry On a bit better. In fangirl, Cath is writing fictional fan fiction for a fictional fantasy series, and Carry On is Cath’s fictional fan fiction brought to life by Rainbow Rowell! A lot of people are criticizing Cary On for being a rip off of Harry Potter, but honestly I don’t see that. Yes, it features a school of magic, a dark creature trying to harm magic, spells that relate to common words and phrases, and a young chosen one who seems like the worst chosen one ever, but the story still seems to be a world away from the Potterverse in my opinion. Harry Potter has a more fantastical flow to the words, like it’s set in a far away world, while Carry On is set in the modern world, and has a more modern flow to it. I would consider HP full on fantasy, while Carry On to me is “modern fantasy,: if there is such a genre. 

I absolutely LOVE the romance in Carry On, and that coming from me is a huge complement since I’ve been called an “anti romantic” for my views of romance in YA literature. It’s amazing to me that Rainbow Rowell was able to turn two complete enemies around and make them fall for each other in one single book.

**Possible romantic spoiler alert!!! Baz and simon are sO awesome together, and I was shipping them even as I was reading Fangirl. I love how the little bit of diversity in Carry On seemed perfectly natural, unlike in some books when it seems forced, or like it’s there simply for the sake of being diverse. 

**Possible spoiler ended… 

Carry On is meant to be the eighth book in the fictional Simon Snow series that is portrayed in Fangirl, and I would honestly love to see Rainbow Rowell publish the other seven books. I really like how Carry On encompasses so much world building and character development in one novel without it seeming overwhelming, but I really would love to spend more time in the Simon Snow universe. In short, Carry On is amazing, and you should totally read it if you A: read Fangirl and loved it, or B: like YA romance/fantasy and want something a little bit different to read. 

Buy it now at: 
Let’s start a discussion! 

Have you read Carry On? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? I’d love to know what you think in the comments or on twitter @writergirl1999! 

Book Review: Fangirl

Fangirl Cover

Title: fangirl 

Author: rainbow Rowell 

Publisher: st. Martin’s Press 

Copyright: September 10, 2013 

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance 

Pages: 445 


Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath it’s something more. Fandom is life. It’s what got her and her sister, Wren, through losing their mom. It’s what kept them close.

And now that she’s starting college, introverted Cath isn’t sure what’s supposed to get her through. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? 


*Synopsis and cover art from 


☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

I am giving Fangirl four out of five stars. I really love the characters, but I wasn’t that impressed with the plot… Honestly there was nothing that surprised me about it, and I would’ve given it a lower rating had it not been for the amazing characters. Cath, the main character, is someone I can really identify with. She’s the nerdy girl who loves books and writing, and who doesn’t really understand other people her age. I could totally see myself feeling the way Cath does about college. She’s the kind of person who over-analyzes every situation before she actually gets into it, and that is one of my biggest faults. Cath also writes fan fiction for a fictional fantasy series, and you get little snippets of what she’s writing at the start of each chapter. It’s almost like you’re reading two books in one, and I was completely fascinated with how that was done. Rainbow Rowell also published the story that Cath was writing during Fangirl, and I am currently in the midst of reading it. I can’t wait to review that as well because so far it is amazing! Cath’s writing in Fangirl features some diverse, (LGBTQ), characters, and I think that incorporating them into a YA contemporary novel was very well done! 

Fangirl is not the sort of thing I normally read, (I usually won’t touch it if it doesn’t involve magic or SciFi), but lots of people kept telling me to read it. I’m so glad I did, mostly because I’m a sucker for character focused stories and well-written diversity of any kind. It’s the kind of book that anyone can pretty much enjoy because it captures a bit of real life between the pages. It really gives you something to connect with because it demonstrates how you are going to grow up and away from things, and how it’s ok to let that happen. It shows that the things that used to make you who you are will not always define you as well as they once did, and that it’s ok to let other things define you as you grow and change. In short, (before I continue to ramble), Fangirl probably isn’t for you if you like twisting, surprising plots, but it does give you some things to think about. I’m really glad I stepped outside my fantasy bubble and gave it a chance. 


Let’s start A Discussion 

Have you read Fangirl? Do you agree with my thoughts? I’d love to know what you think in the comments!