Bright Burning Stars by AK Small (ARC)

Image courtesy of Instagram.com/Stacialovestoread

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First off, this book deals with some H E A V Y topics. TW include: drug use, sexual encounters, talks of suicide, attempted suicide, self starvation, abortion, and much more. Please make sure to take care of yourself before starting this one. Light and love always 💕


Kate and Marine have been best friends since they were young ballet rats at the most prestigious school in France. They’re in their final year and competing with the rest of their class for the top spot, The Prize: dancing as the principle dancer in a Company. The “Demigod”, Cyrille, has a reputation as a bit of a hit-it-and-quit-it kind of guy, and somehow both girls fall into his web: one becoming pregnant and later having an abortion, and the other as his partner for the final performance.

There was so much teenage angst and (frankly) stupidity in this book it’s not even funny. Suddenly the boy who is unattainable finds his way into your arms…..and because he compliments your backbends and spin outs, he’s the one? But it’s okay, we’ve learned our lesson…..W R O N G. Another cute boy comes in and does the same thing. And then things don’t work out with either so I guess we’ll just throw it all away with drugs and the like.

The other half of the story features a semi-sensible teen. She’s trying to do her best. But then the teachers keep harping on her about being a few pounds over the expected weight so, instead of exercising more, or shaping her meals to be healthier, or just ACCEPTING that she is a young woman who is filling out, she decides to starve herself to the point of end up in the school’s infirmary.

Overall, this was a book. It happened. I am thankful that the author wrote this. As a past dancer, she knows very well the sort of pressure that Kate and Marine are under. It was quite nice to have an inside look, but I don’t think I’ll be pulling back this window drape again.



Bright Burning Stars released June 4 from Algonquin Publishing. This is AK Small’s debut novel.

Published by stacialovestoread

I’m a firsttime blogger and a lifelong reader. Join my journey here, and on my bookstagram @stacialovestoread!

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