Whuddup, book nerds? It’s Tyler from Team Epic Reads, back with another live read! I finally dipped my toes into the contemporary waters and after a super close Twitter poll, settled down to read TINY PRETTY THINGS! This book’s been on my list for a while—I’m a sucker for the drama of teens-behaving-badly, and with Pretty Little Liars having just ended and The Dazzling Heights still months away, I needed something to fill that hole.
And boy, it did not disappoint. For anyone unfamiliar, TINY PRETTY THINGS follows students at the American Ballet Conservatory who are willing to do literally anything to nab the top spot. I’m not kidding. They’ll do literally anything. It’s actually kind of terrifying, but in an omg-I-cannot-look-away kind of way. I seriously could not put this one down.
Anyway, enough of vague synopsis—scroll down to read all the thoughts I had while reading this rollercoaster of a novel!
1. Okay first off I LOVE when books jump right into it
2. Cassie giving us some visceral af descriptions I feel like I need to stretch just from reading this opening paragraph
3. And she went out last night!! A legend
4. Last time I went out I slept for twelve hours the next day
5. Oh by the way the chapters alternate between Gigi, Bette, and June but this opening bit is from Cassie so you KNOW something’s gonna happen
6. Bette just showed up tho hey
7. *Fat Amy voice* Womp there it is
8. All right, roll call time: Bette is dating (?) Alec, Cassie’s cousin. Also, Cassie has not been mentioned yet. Will is Bette’s ex-friend, a notable departure from how they seemed in the opening chapter. INTERESTING.
9. Lol I’m so here for this drama already
10. Ohhh injury CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS TO RUIN ALL HER DREAMS LATER
11. I’m gonna be honest I don’t know anything about ballet but this Nutcracker casting is so tense I’m like, anxious FOR them
12. “I hear the words new and black and girl whispered in various combinations.” Ugh you do you Gigi don’t let them get you down
13. “You could get sick. You could die.” Lol Gigi’s mom is my mom
14. Oh okay update, June is Gigi’s roommate. Gang’s all here
15. WAIT Henri is here now. Omg
16. It’s never a good sign when the good girl starts out on top
17. Well not for her anyway. The fallout from this is going to be AMAZING.
18. Alec and Gigi are a better couple than Ezria and Spoby put together and they’re not even dating (yet)
19. (They better date)
20. These girls are really going to take the term ‘breaking point’ literally aren’t they
21. You know I always have a soft spot for the minions
22. What happened between Bette and Will?!
23. All these girls are on a collision course with self-destruction and bad karmic destiny and I just?? can’t look away???
24. Oh June nooo
25. June is going FULL DARK NO STARS
26. Honestly?? I’m a little surprised Gigi’s still ALIVE a week and a half later
27. I can’t believe I just typed that about a book about ballet
28. Bette really reminds me of Regina George but like… more passive aggressive and also more murderous
29. I’m so here and ready for June to give Sei-Jin a verbal beatdown
30. Ugh no June
31. I am now here for June to give Sei-Jin a real, physical beatdown
32. OR STEAL HER BOYFRIEND HAHA
33. I forgot we don’t know why Henri is here now honestly there is so much going on
34. But like also… give me more
35. Who knew stretching could be so steamy
36. “I’m sorry. You just remind me of my ex.” Okay slap him
37. “You should be careful,” he says. “Cassie wasn’t.” WHAT HAPPENED
38. These girls are literally killing themselves this is insane this won’t end well for ANYONE involved I’ll tell you that right now
39. Real enjoyable for me tho!!
40. I don’t think there’s anything in this world that I care about as much as these girls care about becoming dancers. Petting dogs, maybe?? Keeping up with Ryan Murphy’s television empire???
41. They sent her to an INSTITUTION
42. I can’t believe Alec is dating the conservatory’s very own antichrist and doesn’t even know it. Typical guy am I right
43. What are the odds that Eleanor and Sei-Jin are secretly hooking up
44. Haha wow this is great but in less good news Bette is going to SNAP
45. ……… Yikes
46. Omg THIS IS THE SCENE FROM THE OPENING
48. Bette!!! Yikes!!!!!!!
49. Gigi keeps butterflies in a terrarium in her room and I just frickin’ know that someone’s going to kill them and I’m already upset about it
50. I just want Gigi to be happy!! Don’t kill her butterflies!!!
51. I looove that whenever anyone compliments Gigi for being different she speaks up and makes sure they’re not just referring to the color of her skin
52. It concerns me that Bette refers to Gigi’s foot as “easy to break”
53. Omg yay Eleanor! Score 1 for the minions
54. They know who her dad is?!
55. “Will you be my girlfriend?” he asks, not yet having taken her on a single date. YA novels are truly magical
56. I bet it was the stretching
57. “My solo ends. I curtsy and hear the roar of applause. I recognize Mama’s whistle.” Omg yes I was literally holding my breath but yay and also aw
58. Ugh that was so nice
59. But ok tbh the one thing you can always be sure about in YA novels is that the happier part one ends, the more tragic and shocking part two will be
60. And if the cast list tells me anything it’s that boy am I right about that
61. Yesss BLACKMAIL starting out strong
62. The best kind of love triangle is no love triangle sorry Bette you’re out
63. Actually you know what that’s a lie the best kind of love triangle is a love triangle motivated by spite and vengeance so June let’s get to it
64. Gigi and Alec are so cute wtf end the book here let them be happy
65. Oh my god
66. Seriously WHO DOES THIS
67. Every time I read one of Gigi’s chapters I’m hit with this immense hatred for Bette but whenever it goes back to Bette’s it’s like ugh no wonder you’re so screwed up
68. God she’s such a bitch though
69. The girls in the car with Liz like:
70. Of course Eleanor is so naturally above all the trash and Bette is lowkey reveling in it
71. I 👏 love 👏 when 👏 sidekicks 👏 become 👏 the 👏 alpha
72. Score 2 for the minions, honestly
73. Okay I know June is really struggling but this is making me SO HUNGRY
74. Well-written food scenes are so dangerous
75. June: I kissed someone!
June: But you can’t tell anyone
76. Gigi I get that you’re in love and I’m happy for you but you need to dance right now you cannot be thinking about the spark you felt when Alec’s fingers brushed the back of your neck or the fire you felt in your veins
77. A HONEYMOON-PHASE RELATIONSHIP WILL NOT SAVE YOU FROM YOUR HEART CONDITION, GISELLE
78. Honestly these girls… thinking love and passion can somehow overcome serious health issues… smh
79. Ugh Alec you naïve simple boy
80. Gigi’s response to Bette spitting the word ‘ghetto’ at her is amazing
81. Every book should have a Gigi
82. I imagine Glamorous by Fergie constantly plays on loop at the Abney household
83. Bette, while her bones are literally splintering apart from within and inhibiting her ability to live: “It’s psychosomatic, probably.”
84. “The pain is making me a little dizzy. Either the pain, or the fact that I have to spend the evening with my mother and with Alec.” PROBABLY THE PAIN
85. “… little missives calling her his tiny, pretty thing…” I love when a line casually includes the name of the book!!
86. More blackmail!!!!
88. Will and Eleanor may be the last people she wants to see right now but I personally love them and all of this
89. June just DECIDING SPUR OF THE MOMENT to become a crusader of vigilante justice like she’s a character on a gritty CW show
90. The hero we need and certainly not the one these girls deserve
91. Ugh jk definitely the hero these girls deserve
92. Why does everyone always have to turn on Gigi!!
93. A LOVE LETTER
94. Ohhhh my god
95. Wait a minute ISN’T THAT ALEC’S DAD’S NAME?!
97. Oh nope blood nope
98. Oh nope glass in her shoe nope!!!!!!!
99. Who DOES THAT?!?!?
100. WOW I WONDER WHO RECENTLY SHATTERED A MIRROR
101. WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT HER BEING MURDEROUS?!
102. I mean, accidentally this time, I guess, but STILL
103. Wait did she… actually not do it…
104. Me: June, you are playing a dangerous game
Me to me: They’re all playing dangerous games!! This is a dance school and they can literally die at any time!! What kind of place is this!!
105. Ok Henri is a creep
106. Ew no no nooo
107. As bad as the girls are Henri is certifiably WORSE
108. I don’t care if he is getting revenge you don’t CLIMB IN THE ICE BATH
109. “It’s that you have no friends.” HAHA to anyone else I’d feel terrible but lol
110. Push her down the stairs, June
111. PUSH HER DOWN THE STAIRS
112. Oh my god
113. She pushed her down the stairs
114. Lowkey love the Bette/June alliance we’ve got going on
115. Live look at me trying to figure out who did what to Gigi:
116. Why is even Will just having a love interest so suspicious
117. Ugh Mr. K stop being so sketchy
118. Everyone here needs to stop being so sketchy!!
119. Bette NO this is not what you should be doing
120. Omg I’m so embarrassed Bette please stop
121. I’m cringing this is so uncomfortable
122. “I’ve got to find a way to let Gigi know about this.” WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU.
123. Like I know there are serious problems here but this is so twisted!!
124. “… his father as a younger man and a gorgeous Asian dancer…” JUNE’S MOM
125. “I’m not crazy.” You’re literally crazy this is what a crazy person says
126. Jeyhe has moved past pushing hair behind June’s ear and directly to poking her in the boob my test of the OTP has shattered
127. Aw she didn’t want love she only wanted vengeance
128. But now she has BOTH maybe
129. Or not DON’T KEEP HER A SECRET, JAYHE
130. “There was a time when you really liked me. Remember that?” Yoooo
131. What are the odds that this will actually make June start being nice to Gigi
132. 2%, probably, but a guy can dream
133. Bette’s really just embracing the crazy now isn’t she
134. ELEANOR! How could you?!
135. Minus one for the minions smh!!!
136. Gigi is her own worst enemy at this point and that’s saying something
137. I don’t know if anyone actually dies in this book but I hope it’s Henri
138. Okay I don’t care how hot Bette is, Cassie’s ex is NOT about to go pursue any kind of relationship with her. What tf is he up to?!
139. These kids are so cunning I don’t know if I should be impressed or terrified
140. Omg who is Will’s new guy
141. HENRI you INSATIABLE fiend
142. Yesss calling out white privilege 👏
143. “He has to change things for himself, like I do,” Uuum, sure
144. Oh. My. GOD.
145. THE F#&KING BUTTERFLIES I KNEW IT
146. Ohhhh my god I hate this
147. THAT HAPPENED AND HE’S ASKING HER ABOUT BETTE’S RUMOR
148. I can’t I CAN’T
149. I am so stressed out right now
150. BETTE ARE YOU KIDDING ME
151. “I think she killed them all.” I’M GOING TO SCREAM
152. THANK YOU WILL oh my god thank you finally
153. They’ve literally all lost it everyone has LOST IT
154. Omg I so called the dad yes this is amazing
155. There’s SO MUCH GOING ON I need to sleep but I CAN’T
156. Happy Gigi is sooo much better than crazy freak-out Gigi can we keep it like this forever pls
157. “I’m so glad you have friends,” Gigi’s mom says, referring to Bette (lol)
158. Bette: “And tonight, I will make something happen.”
159. I can’t believe after all this I still want June to be happy
160. Omg do NOT trust a drink from Bette right now Gigi it’s the night before the performance please don’t be this naïve
161. Oh no oh no oh no
163. Oh my goddd
164. Oh my god was it Will??? It had to be
166. IS THAT WHAT THIS RELATIONSHIP IS??? Oh my god
167. Is Gigi okay?!?!
168. AND NOW JUNE?!
169. So many things are happening I need a nap
170. THESE GIRLS ARE SO TWISTED
171. If I was a character in a YA novel I would’ve just let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding
172. Noooo Gigi YOU’RE BEING MISGUIDED
173. I’M SO STRESSED
174. Haha omg forgot she’d be dancing with her brother
175. CASSIE’S COMING BACK?!
176. This… is going to be… amazing.
Okay wow I can honestly say that I did not expect this novel about teen ballerinas to be so intense? But like… wow.
Well, I’m gonna go start SHINY BROKEN PIECES now. Kinda gotta know what happens next. And thanks for sticking with me through another live read! As always, drop a comment below and let us know what you want me to tackle next!
Have you read TINY PRETTY THINGS yet? What did you think of the reading (or re-reading) experience? Let us know in the comments below!