Wednesday reading roundup (on Thursday): July 14

My Wednesday reading roundup (on Thursday) includes the ballet novel Tiny Pretty Things.

My Wednesday reading roundup (on Thursday) includes the ballet novel Tiny Pretty Things.With my annual summer relocation happening this week, I’m behind. I could let it go and plan to catch up next week. But I won’t. It’s like with working out: If I let myself go one week, it’ll be too easy to let it go the next one. And the next one after that.

So my thanks, as always, to Taking on a World of Words for hosting WWW Wednesday and Coffee and Cats for introducing me to it!

What are you currently reading?

Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus by Harry Mount. I discovered it through this review in The Guardian. Oddly, it was the first title that came up when I googled “what’s the best translation of The Odyssey?” Mount’s project – to follow Odysseus’ journey from Troy back home – intrigued me. Busy days haven’t left me as much time for reading as I’d like, so it’s still early days for the book and me. So far, though, I’m enjoying the voice and writing quality.

What did you recently finished reading?

Earlier today, I finished Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton. I enjoy ballet books and had this one on my list since it came out. And would you believe: All those e-book sales I get finally paid off: Last week, Tiny Pretty Things was on sale for $1.99, and I scooped it up.

It’s about high school students at an elite New York City ballet academy, where the pressure to excel pushes students to the brink physically and emotionally. The story unfolds through three first-person viewpoints. California girl Gigi feels the weight of being the only African-American student at an academy where “ballet blanc” is the unspoken code. June wants more than the understudy roles she’s been getting, especially since her mother has given her an ultimatum to get better roles or leave the academy. Bette, a legacy student, fits the prima ballerina description to perfection but struggles to replicate her older sister’s success.

The story begins with a student, Cassie, falling during a class, then fast-forwards to the following year. We discover Cassie is not longer at the school. She was injured in the fall. It turns out she was also the victim of intense bullying/harassment by other students, Bette at the head of the list. The bullies find a new target in Gigi, with the “pranks” becoming increasingly alarming. We spend the book not knowing exactly who is doing what. I raced to the end hoping to find out what was going on only to find the last page is the biggest cliffhanger of them all – sneaky! I guess I’ll have to read the sequel, Shiny Broken Pieces.

I also finished An Accidental Greek Wedding by Carol Grace. More of my thoughts on it are here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s hard to say at this point. I have quite a bit of Harry Mount’s Odyssey ahead of me. Earlier this week, my parents were showing me photos of their recent trip to Norway. As ridiculous as this sounds, the photos kind of made me want to read the first book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. A Hamish Macbeth mystery also sounds appealing.

So it remains to be seen what book lands on my “next up” list.

How about you? What books are on you read, reading, and to read list?