Review: Bright Burning Stars
Title: Bright Burning Stars
Author: A. K. Small
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
My Review: While I enjoyed this book it was still a little lacking for me. I was hoping for something a little more magical but this book is darker and harsher than I was expecting. That being said it does a fantastic job of pulling readers into the intense world of ballet and the near deadly competition and cutthroat fighting to get to the top. I loved the dance scenes and descriptions and thought that they were fantastic. While I didn’t like the gritty scenes and the drug use I can see how they might be necessary for an accurate portrayal of a ballet school. I did think there a couple weird plot things that didn’t quite make sense and made me raise an eyebrow. Overall I think if you are looking for a dark, gritty ballet story then this would be a great fit for you.
About the Author:
A.K. Small was born in Paris. At five years old, she began studying classical dance with the legendary Max Bozzoni, then later with Daniel Franck and Monique Arabian at the famous Académie Chaptal. At thirteen, she moved to the United States where she danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet for one summer in Seattle and with the Richmond Ballet Student Company for several years. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary and has an MFA in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband, her puppy, and her three daughters, and practices yoga. Bright Burning Stars is her first novel.
*I received this book from Algonquin Young Readers in exchange for an honest review*