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?
Disclaimer: This review may contain some things you consider to be spoilers. You have been warned. If you haven’t read our review of Tiny Pretty Things you can read it here and then come back.
Why we chose it: We really liked the first book.
Review: It is possible for some people to thrive on drama and darkness. It delights them, feeds them with something simple happiness cannot because darkness is full of complexity and emotion. However those same people who were once delighted with the dark can find themselves bored and burnt out. Left as nothing, but cinders among ashen and broken pieces.
Shiny Broken Pieces evoked very mixed feelings from us throughout. Right from the start it was obvious things had changed. The perspectives of June and Gigi and Bette were quite different to what was given to us in Tiny Pretty Things and while we enjoyed the change in some cases, we hated it with others.
Gigi is recovering from the events of last year. She’s healing,but it’s hard. Physically and mentally she’s different. She’s more determined to be the top girl. Be a prima ballerina, but this year she’ll be meaner and far crueler in her pursuit of it. For us we found the change to be all kinds of wrong. There was an artificial quality to it and so for a large chunk of the book we hated Gigi.
What we loved was how June and Bette really developed and truly became better people.
Bette had to fight to get back into school after everything that went down outside the club. After the car and the push. She really had to work for it. It was really nice being able to read from her perspective without Alec motivating her moves and manipulations. She had to do everything for her and we got tot see a larger vulnerability in her voice. Being lonely and down really worked for Bette. It forced her to own up to things even if she never lost her devious streak.
June was also great in Shiny Broken Pieces. Her bulimia really took over her story arc and because of that we got to go deeper into June’s relationship with her mother. It was interesting to read a changing of opinion within her. We got to see her regret past actions we didn’t even know she committed! She was uplifting to be honest.
One very large character in the book who we will forever detest and wish a bloody death on is Cassie. She was such a horrible character. Disgusting and dangerous, she was one hundred times worse than Bette or June and even Gigi in this book. Throughout the book we noticed how there were no limits with her. She’d hurt anyone, do anything to get what she wanted and pain was her main goal.
There were no redeeming qualities to her character.
The only good thing that came from her inclusion in this novel was how Bette overcame her. It was glorious and justified and we think everyone will agree.
It was so utterly refreshing that the romance took a backseat in this book. It was far less prominent and considering how heavy it featured in the previous book we had to admit the authors made a wonderful decision in focusing on the girl’s growth.
And of course destroying that wretched Cassie. That was great. We could rave about it forever.
The way the authors closed this book and the series made us smile. After everything that had happened in Tiny Broken Pieces and everything that happened in the Shiny Broken Pieces we can honestly say we didn’t expect to read the last word and feel joy.
We did feel though that it came across as more of the Bette and Gigi show even with the great ending given to June. We’re only a little bit bothered about it though because after all Bette and Gigi were always the main rivals despite June’s talent.
While Shiny Broken Pieces was not as enjoyable for us as the first book, it did have some wonderful parts to it. It showed us that
girls anyone can beat eating disorders and bullying. People can find strength within themselves and achieve their dreams.
They may not get them in the most moral way, but they don’t utterly degrade themselves to reach them. Shiny Broken Things teaches a lot and is definitely worth reading.
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