Tiny Pretty Things
“I absolutely loved this YA novel of catty competitiveness among elite teenage ballerinas. Competition for the top ballet spots, of course, but also for boys and attention and love and identity. I would not want to be friends with many of these characters, but they were so fun to read about. And the ending was perfect.”Claire, East City Bookshop
Shiny Broken Pieces: A Tiny Pretty Things Novel
Soon to be a Netflix TV show!
Featuring a diverse cast of characters, plenty of gossip, lies, and scandal, Shiny Broken Pieces continues with the soapy drama readers loved in Tiny Pretty Things.
June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls...Read more »
“In her gracefully written new work, the author of NW and White Teeth addresses the frustrations of family relations, the complications of race, the tyranny of celebrity, and the travesty of cultural appropriation. Smith looks at the fragile threads that tie friends together and how easily they can snap, and her prose flows without effort, granting even the most flawed characters --and there are many -- a modicum of redemption.”Peggy Latkovich, Mac's Back-Books
“In the spring of 2014, I picked up Maggie Shipstead’s Astonish Me at a book signing. I hadn’t read her first novel, Seating Arrangements, but I’d heard great things about it, and I was thirsty to learn as much as I could from good writers, especially women. Astonish Me turned out to be my favourite read of the year. The writing is lovely and the structure is rich and complex in a way that adds to the book and that I hope to learn from as I rework a previous novel of my own. It is packed with things I like in books: doomed love, the Cold War, characters who are exactly my age. It won me over.”Claire, East City Bookshop
I Wanna Be Where You Are
A debut young adult rom-com about an African American ballerina who finds love on the road to an audition.
"Chloe's determination to be a professional ballerina is palpable in Jeanette Illidge's narration of this realistic YA romance...Dancers and non-dancers alike will enjoy this romance and root for Chloe and Eli to get together." —...
The Cranes Dance
“This book is a fascinating world into the world of dance, through the eyes of a jaded, cynical, aging (so, mid twenties maybe?) ballerina whose acerbic voice reflects this jadedness and cynicism so well. This was one of those unputdownable books – especially if you love a deep dive into the mind of a brilliantly drawn character. Bonus: the author was herself a dancer, so you know that everything about that world is (wait for it) on pointe.”Claire, East City Bookshop
The Walls Around Us
“This book is beautifully written, and it’s weird and spooky in the best way. There is ballet (which is how it hooked me) and there are possible ghosts and there is murder and there is prison and there are girls who are meaner (hopefully) than anyone you went to school with. This was unputdownable. There was less ballet than I was hoping for, but what it lacked in that it made up for in every other way. Dark and creepy and heartbreaking and beautiful, and oh my gosh, the writing.”Claire, East City Bookshop
Life in Motion
An Unlikely Ballerina
"Picture a ballerina in a tutu and toe shoes. What does she look like?"
As the only African-American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to... Read more »
Raising the Barre
Big Dreams, False Starts, and My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker
When Lauren Kessler was twelve, her ballet instructor crushed not just her dreams of being a ballerina but also her youthful self-assurance. Now, many decades and three children later, Kessler embarks on a journey to join a professional company to perform in The Nutcracker. Raising the Barre is more than just one woman's story; it is a story... Read more »