{Review} Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

March 4, 2021 Reviews, Uncategorized, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

{Review} Bright Burning Stars by A.K. SmallBright Burning Stars by A.K. Small
Pages: 304
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on May 21, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance.

When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

YA Review My Thoughts
Bright Burning Stars is a young adult contemporary novel by A.K. Small. It features two friends as they enter into the world of competitive ballet. I wish I was a better dancer, but I’m awful. But I have always been really intrigued by books about dancers, so when I saw Bright Burning Stars was about the cutthroat world of ballet, I was all in. I really enjoyed this book. I devoured it in one sitting because once I picked it up, I just couldn’t stop reading. This was as addictive as a reality TV show for me (which is very high praise from my reality tv loving self!) I think this book is perfect for both fans of ballet, as well as newbies in this space (like I am!)
In Bright Burning Stars we meet our two main characters, Kate and Marine as they both get into their dream school- the Paris Opera Ballet School. The book is told in alternating points of view between the two girls.  I loved how character focused Bright Burning Stars was. We really got to know Kate and Marine. Watching everything they go through individually and how their successes and/or failures impact them and impact their friendship was fascinating. And of course, there is a boy. One the students at the school dub the demigod no less. This drives a wedge between the girls who are both dealing with their stressors in very different ways.
I really hope that A.K. Small writes more novels in the dance world because I loved this book! I will note that it is an intense ride. There is a lot that goes on in the competitive world of any sport, and Ballet is no different. There are extreme physical stress the dancers have to endure as well as extreme mental stress and distress with the competitive aspect itself as well as all of the mental mind games that the students would play to try and get an edge. I think this book was a fascinating peek inside the intense world of competitive ballet as well as an intriguing look at some of students. I really enjoyed Bright Burning Stars.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

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