ARC Review | Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small


Small_BrightBurning_HC_rgb_jkt_HRNanterre was famous for its mysterious lists and destructive games. 

Published: May 21, 2019

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 304 (Kindle)

Series: N/A – Standalone


4 Stars


“I’d be careful with that. Getting too close to the sun, as we say, will likely get your burned.”


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.


Hi my lovelies! Today I have a review I am so so so excited about! I shared my excitement for this release last week when I hosted the blog tour, but I had no idea what I was in for. This debut is a haunting and intricate look at the competitive and cutthroat world of ballet. It was an incredibly well-done novel, and I cannot thank Algonquin Young Readers enough for reaching out to me and inviting me to read this.

I do need to highlight the massive amount of trigger warnings that this book should, and doesn’t, come with. There’s drug abuse, eating disorders, suicide, even teen pregnancy/abortion. I have to admit I was shocked by how deep this book gets with those topics and how well-written and constructed it is. These harsher topics aren’t used at plot points, but are more important to the characters and central story, which I genuinely appreciate.

What I enjoy most about this book are the two main characters, Kate and Marine. They each have their own little quirks and flaws and go through so so many ups and downs during this story, it was hard to tell what the major plot points were. These ups and downs make this an incredibly fast-paced and deeply compelling read. I couldn’t believe how quickly I devoured this book, once I started it was impossible for me to put down.

I can’t highlight enough how well-done this book is. It had such an air of authenticity that I really felt like I was at this ballet academy. We get to see some really great character arcs through this novel and at the same time we leave characters falling back into their normal patterns, but in some strange way I found it immensely satisfying. I don’t want to talk too much about plot because I don’t want to give anything away, but I absolutely adored how this ended, it literally brought tears to my eyes.

This novel was nothing short of a roller coaster ride, but damn I enjoyed it. From the spectacular writing, to the intriguing and haunting plot, to the perfectly imperfect characters, this one powerhouse debut that YA lovers shouldn’t miss.

Happy reading


Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM



One thought on “ARC Review | Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

  1. Pingback: Wrap-Up | May 2019 | Tonkin About Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s