• Alex Lopez

Brightly Burning Stars

First position: Heels together

Keep yourself together

Second position: One foot is in front of the other

Be calm even as your best friend moves ahead of you

Seventh position: En Pointe

Don't forget to smile!

For childhood friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders, ballet is life. Kate dances to fill the absence of her mother's abandonment and Marine's musical precision earns her the nickname 'the pulse' as she continues her ballet journey in the name of her deceased twin Oli.

Both girls have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood and have bonded over ballet, Would you? games, and Beyoncé karaoke nights. To survive the harsh training regimen at the Ballet School, Marine and Kate pledged to be Moon Sisters where they watch over each other in their quest to reach the coveted first place at the ballet board.

However, as the fight coveted position in the Opera's corps de ballet intensifies, Marine and Kate must reexamine their past confidences and learn what they are willing to sacrifice to be the chosen one on selection day.

The spirit of both girl's radiate like brightly burning stars. Yet, how much darkness can a light face before being absorbed completely.

Told in the flourished narrative of Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton Tiny Pretty Things, A.K. Small writes a compelling story about the underside of ballet that emphasizes on the grueling, sacrifices, and emotional commitment behind the euphoria of the dance. The author's own foundation the world of ballet is transparent in the backbone of Brightly Burning Stars.


About the Book

Brightly Burning Stars

by A.K. Small Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers Release Date: May 21st 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery


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.

Book Links

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About the Author

A.K. Small is thrilled for her debut novel, Bright Burning Stars, to come out May 21, 2019 through publisher Algonquin Young Readers. Her talent for writing and passion for classical ballet fuse together in this novel and earned A.K. Small the honor of an Entertainment Weekly review.

In addition to Bright Burning Stars, A.K. Small spends time on short stories. Her short story, Anthrocon, 2017 was just nominated for a Pushcart prize by the Bellevue Literary Review. Other stories such as the Flour Baby and The Interior Designer were also nominated or runner-up to prizes.

She also ran a column titled, "A French Girl's View Du Monde" at Barrelhouse Magazine.

A.K. Small graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2009 with an MFA in fiction. When she's not reading her favorite authors (Rainbow Rowell, Angie Thomas, Anna Gavalda, Jandy Nelson, Ann Hood, Sue Miller, Anais Nin, Tayari Jones, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wright, and J.R.R. Tolkien, to name a few!), she's studying her favorite dancers: Sylvie Guillem, Noella Pontois, Marie-Agnes Gillot, and Aurelie Dupont.

A.K. Small grew up near the Sacré Coeur in Paris and married her Tobagonian soul mate. She has three gorgeous daughters and owns a min-chi named Dallas.

Author Links

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Bright Burning Starsby A.K. Small

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End Date: May 27th 2019

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