Creepy Book About A Beautiful Subject

I am finished with book #63, and it was very “Pretty Little Liars,” which is to say intense and sometimes confusing, but mostly chilling and gripping. I read Tiny Pretty Things (the name might be a little too similar to the show…) by two authors: Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.

This was a young adult book about teenage girls who will do literally whatever it takes to be the best at their incredibly competitive American Ballet Conservatory in New York City. There were a few different main characters, and the story’s narration switched back and forth between three of them.

So there were a lot of twists and turns, and a lot of who-can-we-really-trust moments. I don’t want to ruin any of the twists, and there’s going to be a sequel so I still don’t know how some of the twists will be resolved. The story worked really well because of the characters, though.

The girls in the story were so crazy-intense and all so one-track-minded about succeeding in the ballet world, an intensely restrictive and physically demanding world as it is. But because these characters were young girls, and young girls tend to be very immediate and harshest toward themselves, it added that much more to the immense pressure.

I saw these two authors speak at the Brooklyn Book Festival (that’s why I bought the book, it’s like a disease where I have to buy the book if there’s a chance the author(s) will sign it for me) (which they did) and it was really fascinating to hear about their writing process.

I tend to think of writing as a very individual and solitary hobby, but these authors talked about how it was much easier to work together. One was a very big planner, so she’d start with laying out the skeleton of the story while the other could then fill in details. They each allotted themselves one character perspective to write by themselves, and the third perspective was a combination effort.

I thought this was so interesting, and now having read the book I really want to contact the authors and find out who wrote whom. Either way, if you enjoy “Pretty Little Liars” or any of those teen suspense story lines, you’ll probably love this book.

I also cannot dance for the life of me, but I so badly wish that I could. I do love watching it and (turns out) reading about it, though, and some of the passages in this book about the act of dancing were so beautifully written. ◊

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