Blog Tour Review: Bright Burning Stars

Title: Bright Burning Stars
Author: A.K. Small
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley, Thomas Allen & Son (book distributor)
Format: Ebook, Paperback
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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. 


This story shows the dangers within the world of dance. It is a beautiful art form, but there can be hidden tragedies behind the scenes.

One of the girls had an eating disorder, because she has always been a little bigger than the other girls. The other girl gets into some complicated relationships which lead her to make dangerous decisions. Though they are friends, they are ultimately competing to become number one. They can only stay friends for so long, since only one will win.

I used to dance, so I enjoyed this story. I was never a professional dancer like these girls, but I could imagine some of the dances they were performing. This dance world was scary to read about, because it was so cutthroat. Their teachers encouraged the dangerous behaviour by putting the girls down and criticizing them all the time. It was heartbreaking to read.

I really enjoyed this story! It had a twist ending which I didn’t see coming!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers and Thomas Allen & Son for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett

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.

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Have you read Bright Burning Stars? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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