ARC Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

June 14, 2015 Review 44

ARC Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Tiny Pretty Things by Dhonielle Clayton, Sona Charaipotra
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 448
Release Date: May 26th 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Dance, Girls & Women, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


TINY PRETTY THINGS promises a “soapy, drama-packed novel” and that is exactly what it delivers: drama. Well, drama in the form of pretty much every character wanting to stab someone in the back. Ah, the smell of friendly competition.

This is my first DNF review in a long time. It’s not that this novel was terrible or anything, I just felt like 448 pages of “I deserved that more, I’ll show her!” was about 300 pages more than I could take. So I read about 20% and the next thing I knew, my hand had slipped and I was at the last page.

My main problem was with the characters. Besides the issue that I thought most of them were unlikable, there are just so many of them. What do multiple characters generally mean? POV changes. Just when you think you are beginning to understand something or finally getting to know a character, the POV switches and leaves you wondering what happened with that particular plot line.

Some characters were introduced only to never be heard of again, just adding confusion and bloat. Another thing that suffers because of this is the character development; some characters were just there and the ones that actually had vital roles in the story didn’t really grow at all.

On the plus side, I did enjoy the writing and the look into the world of ballet. This one will be a fun pleasure read for a lot of people, but it fell short for me because I felt like it lacked anything truly notable.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.2

44 Responses to “ARC Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton”

  1. Rabiah

    Awwww, I’m sad you DNF-ed this one. I love drama but if it’s TOO much it gets annoying, I totally agree with you on that. I have this one up for review so I’ll just have to see for myself. Great review!
    Rabiah recently posted…Summer Reading #2

    • Alise

      I agree, drama can be fun! I just wish this one had more substance, the drama in this seemed a little pointless. Thank you, let me know what you think when you read it!

  2. Kelly

    Oh no, you’re having a crappy time with books lately poppet. Urgh, anything more than three points of view and I quickly lose interest. How many did there end up being? Including random points of view never to be seen again? Sounds like too much filler. Pity, because the cover is absolutely lovely. Wonderful review poppet, hopefully your next read is much, MUCH better <3
    Kelly recently posted…The List Book… The One With The Really Long Title

    • Alise

      I review books out of the order I read them so it’s not so bad :P I believe there were four up to the point where I read, I kind of stopped after that. Not too many POVs but so many filler characters D: Thank you! :D

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Yikes! This book sounds like a hot mess. I’m sorry you had to dnf a book ALise, it always sucks when you get a lemon like this, especially after not dnf-ing anything in a long time. I’m also curious about how many random POVs there ended up having thrown in there? Anyways, lovely review all the same and I hope your next read is/was MUCH more to your liking ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves 47 – BEA Edition

    • Alise

      That’s exactly how I would describe this one. It’s a shame because it’s not THAT bad, I just don’t really see the point of it. I believe four, but it was more of a problem of having filler side characters that you learn the name of and then they never show up again. Thank you :3

  4. Amir @ Not So Literary!

    I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you Alise! I’ve seen this book around a lot but I didn’t know it was about ballet. I understand why the constant backstabbing would be annoying for you, it would be for me too but if I was given a chance to get to know each character then I would have been okay with it…too bad there were way too much POV changes. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn’t! I love this:

    “So I read about 20% and the next thing I knew, my hand had slipped and I was at the last page.”

    LOL. Damn our hands for slipping sometimes! :P Awesome review!
    Amir @ Not So Literary! recently posted…What’s on my Kindle (do you really want to know?)

    • Alise

      No worries! The backstabbing wouldn’t have bothered me if it was substantial, you know? It just seemed really pretty to me. Yeah! As soon as you were starting to get to know someone the POV would switch.

      BAHA, yes yes, it is such a shame ;) Thanks :D

    • Alise

      I believe it was first person, there were three POV switches but my main problem was how many filler characters there were, they didn’t get POVs but they just had little bits in the story never to appear again. Definitely.

  5. Kirsty-Marie

    Oh crap, oh crap oh crap, I have to read this soon, and oaky, I can maybe deal with all the drama and uhm, “friendly” competition, buuuuuuuuut so many characters, help. And I hate when characters just feel there, and I mean, come on, with the main ones, you would expect growth. I think I’ll love the whole ballet side of things, but everything else? I’m back to oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. :(
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Deadfall (I’m so not forgiving you, Anna Carey)

    • Alise

      It’s not exactly a bad book, it’s just one without much substance, in my opinion. Let me know what you think when you review this one! There are only three or four POVs but the amount of filler secondary characters makes me want to tear my hair out.
      Alise recently posted…My TBR Jar and I are Frenemies

  6. ShootingStarsMag

    Yeah, this doesn’t’ sound like a good fit for me. I like characters the most in a LOT of my novels, so not really getting to know them/keep track of them is a bit of a turn off right there.

    Thanks for sharing though!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Favorite Color Swap Reveal!

    • Alise

      I’m the same way, I prefer a character driven novel so when the characters are bad, I can’t really get into the book.


  7. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Ohhhh. This is the second not so great review I have read for this book, and now I am standing by my decision of not adding it to the TBR.

    It really sounds like it tries a bit too hard, to be honest. There are so many POV changes that someone can handle, and whilst it works in soapies on TV, I don’t think it works in books.

    Plus – characters that appear and then disappear with no point? *shudders* And besides, I am not into teenage drama, especially of the back stabby persuasion, so I know that i wouldn’t enjoy this one.

    The cover is super pretty though *heart eyes*

    Thanks for your review, dearie <3
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…What Do You Do With Your …

    • Alise

      Trying too hard would be how I would describe it as well. There are only three POV changes but the amount of secondary and filler characters is completely unnecessary, along with the length of the book. I feel you, I had enough teenage drama when I was in high school.

      Sure! :)

  8. Romi

    Having had a background of ballet that… wasn’t so great, as it came to an end, I can’t read ballet books without being intently uncomfortable, and this definitely doesn’t sound like an exception to that. The whole judging, bullying, competitive thing is not something I can happily read, in any genre, and it sounds really intensified in this and I don’t think I’d cope.
    I don’t know how it is in professional ballet/dancing circles, but I guess… I hope books that focus on the competition- and not just books, I suppose- and the bitterness, rivalry, don’t turn people off . It’s not all like that, not in my experience, even if it can be.
    Sorry it wasn’t for you, Alise! xx
    Romi recently posted…Mini Reviews (10)

    • Alise

      I used to be in ballet as well, although I quit before it became really hardcore. Still, I know what you mean, even back then there were issues with rivalry and competition and sadly, eating disorders. True, there is definitely friendly competition. No worries!

  9. Kyra

    I’m not a fan of very dramatic books and I’ve heard this book is quite dark as well, which I don’t particularly like, so I don’t think I’ll be reading this. Great review! :)
    Kyra recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #79

  10. Valerie

    I’m just letting you know you didn’t miss anything! Just more drama! Harassment at every single corner!

    I think I rated this 3 stars, because I did like June a little, but that was it :P
    Valerie recently posted…Review: Mosquitoland

    • Alise

      Ha! Good to know, although I am not totally surprised. June was interesting, I didn’t stick with the book long enough to really know her though xD

    • Alise

      Haha, I can handle a little angst but this unnecessary drama AS the plot of the book, no thanks. I really should have took in that Pretty Little Liars comparison a bit more.

  11. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

    I remember starting reading the first page of this book and feeling like something as off, so I immediately closed it. Good thing I did that, since it absolutely does not sound like something I would like to read. I think ballet is better seen than read about anyway and even then I prefer gymnastics, lol! Great review! :)
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…18th Birthday GIVEAWAY! ❤

    • Alise

      Intuition? ;) You didn’t miss out on much, even those who have read the entire book said pretty much the same thing. True! Thank you :)

    • Alise

      I also requested this one for the ballet (an aspect that was done fairly well) but yeah, this was brought down by the characters, for sure.

  12. Olivia @ Fluttering Pages

    It’s a shame that you didn’t like this one.
    I just finished Tiny Pretty Things and while I loved the setting and the ballet aspect, i’ll agree, it got to the point where there was just too much drama.
    About the POV’s. There ends up being only 3 POVS that it switches between.
    Like i said, I did enjoy it but there was just so much drama. It just escalated to the point where you were thinking “these girls are absolutely NUTS” And maybe that was the goal. They wanted to portray girls with issues, and show how this competition slowly spiraled out of control to the point where it wasn’t safe.
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages recently posted…The Liebster Award

    • Alise

      I get that, the ballet aspect was my favorite as well. The drama just killed it for me but you make a good point about that probably being the goal. Agreed!

    • Alise

      PLL was fun because of the drama but there was at least a backbone to that series, you know? The drama here just seemed random and pointless. Thank you!

    • Alise

      Undoubtedly, I know that firsthand as I was in ballet myself. I guess I wanted the drama to have more meaning, but I can’t say too much because I didn’t finish the entire book. Thank you!

  13. Tiffany (About to Read)

    I actually really liked this one! A lot of the characters are definitely unlikable but I thought it was a great psychological thriller. It’s very open ended and I am dying for some more answers though.
    Tiffany (About to Read) recently posted…Tiny Pretty Things

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