Did you hear? Tiny Pretty Things is coming to Netflix in 2020! The new drama is based on the electrifying book series by B&N Teen’s very own Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton in which a group of young, gorgeous, elite-level ballet dancers from disparate backgrounds prove they’re not above fighting dirty to achieve their goals. While you’re waiting for the show to drop, check out these incredible YA books set in the world of ballet.
Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
This might seem like the obvious place to start, but if you haven’t already read (or recently reread!) this dance drama—pitched as Pretty Little Liars meets Black Swan—well then, get ready. Three backstabbing ballerinas spin and shine at the center of this vengeful thriller, but their need to take center stage might just bring out some murderous tendencies. Tiny Pretty Things is all about clawing your way to into the spotlight, whatever it takes, while the sequel, Shiny Broken Pieces, focuses on redemption.
I Wanna Be Where You Are, by Kristina Forest
When Chloe’s mom forbids Chloe from auditioning for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams—a place known as a haven for dancers of all colors and sizes—she takes off on a clandestine road trip anyway. Rom-com antics kick into gear when Chloe’s former crush and nosy neighbor, Eli, inserts himself into the adventure. Eli’s determined to join the fun—and threatens to blow the lid off the whole thing if Chloe won’t let him and his dog crash the 200-mile car trip. A delightful, self-assured debut about following one’s heart.
Bright Burning Stars, by A.K. Small
First Division ballet students and BFFs Marine (who is French) and Kate (who is American) met at the cutthroat Paris Opera Ballet School when they were 12. Now 16, their bond has begun to fray; after all, only one of them can be selected to join the corps de ballet, the ultimate prize for all their hard work. How far will they go to win the coveted spot? Eating disorders, drug use, and a possible love triangle involving “The Demigod” (the most talented boy at school) bring both young women to the breaking point in this compelling and detail-rich dual POV story from an author well-versed in the world of dance.
Unlovely, by Celeste Conway
During summer vacation after freshman year of college, Harley discovers he can’t go home again. His island town feels different to him now, probably because his former girlfriend is with someone new, and pregnant to boot. Seeking solace in his own new relationship, he begins dating Cassandra, a stunning ballerina at the nearby academy. Like most of the townie locals who resent the wealthy dance students, Harley’s aware of unsavory rumors about the school and a death that occurred there–but he’s unprepared for Cassandra’s eerie transformation once she achieves the lead in a classic ballet. This looks to be a dark romance with plenty of thrills.
The Walls Around Us, by Nova Ren Suma
In the author’s own words, this Edgar-nominated, spine-tingling tale is “a ghostly story of suspense set in a girls’ juvenile detention center and a ballet school, told in two voices—one still living, and one dead.” Meet Violet and Orianna, two beautiful and talented dancers who were torn apart after a tragic incident. Once Ori’s been locked up at Aurora Hills for a violent crime, Vee gets the chance to shine on stage, but can she truly embrace her future at Juilliard knowing what it cost her and her friend? And how does Amber, committed to Aurora Hills for murder, tie in to the supernatural mystery?
Pointe, by Brandy Colbert
Growing up in suburban Chicago, Theo is a driven, dedicated teenage girl on a mission to become a top ballet dancer, regardless of how rare black principal dancers are. Her eating disorder is in the rearview mirror (or so she wants to believe), and her friends are supportive. But when the childhood best friend she can’t forget suddenly re-enters her life, all bets are off. Four years ago, Donovan was kidnapped, and Theo inadvertently played a role in his abduction. Now Donovan needs her help, and Theo must make sense of the past before she loses control of her future. Bonus: Colbert’s fourth YA novel, The Evolution of Birdie Randolph, hits stores August 20th and is also set in Chicago.
The Cost of All Things, by Maggie Lehrman
In this debut novel with four compelling narrators, readers learn about the art of hekame, or spellcasting. Want to look more attractive? Erase your depression? Stop your friends from leaving? There’s a spell for that—but each decision has gut-wrenching consequences, especially for Ari, whose promising career as a ballet dancer seems doomed when her passion and abilities for the craft start to fail her. Could her latest wish—to erase all her memories of her late boyfriend—be to blame?