ARC Review: Learning The Ropes by Monique Polak

March 22, 2015 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 3 Comments

ARC Review: Learning The Ropes by Monique PolakLearning The Ropes
by Monique Polak
Genres: Contemporary, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publication Date: May 1, 2015 by Orca Limelights
Pages: 158
Format: ARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4 Stars
Source: Publisher

Mandy dreams of a career in the circus, working as an aerialist who specializes in rope climbing. When she is accepted into the prestigious Montreal Circus College summer program, she feels that she is finally on her way to fulfilling her dreams. At circus camp she is befriended—and challenged—by young circus performers from around the world. Circus camp turns out to be a magical combination of work and play, but when a veteran aerialist is killed in a fall, Mandy must confront the reality of circus life.


I got Learning The Ropes through LibraryThing and I have to admit, I was engrossed by the cover but not so much the synopsis. Everyone knows that if I am going to read a book, it better have a romance and this book doesn’t have romance so I thought “I might not enjoy this.” Well, let me tell you that I was completely wrong! I really enjoyed reading this story so much. It is very short and light and definitely taught me a few things that I will not be trying or I will end up in a wheelchair for life.

The story starts with Mandy, a rope climber, at an airport about to leave for Montreal Circus College’s Summer Circus Camp. Each year, only twenty-five teenagers from around the world are accepted into this prestigious program. Mandy needs to stand out in order to get into MCC because only the best go to the summer camp.

Of course, in camps like this one, there will be rivals and in this case, Genevieve, an aerialist, is against Mandy. Why? Because only one of them will get into Montreal Circus College.

What I really, really liked about this story was the way it was written and how direct Monique was. I loved that I could see everything in my mind so vividly and I felt as if I was a part of the story. You see, normally when there’s a book that involves ballet or these difficult techniques, it is very hard for someone to picture them unless the reader has participated in doing some of the techniques. I have only been in gymnastics and that was a long time ago (when I had MySpace…loooong time ago, I tell you) so I don’t really remember much.

Monique described everything on point and everything was so understandable. I felt like I was watching everything from the stands, as if I was really in the public watching everything unfold. Now that, has never happened to me before, to the point where I could understand and imagine it.

This book is for ages 11-14 but I honestly think everyone can read it and enjoy it 🙂

If you liked my review, would you mind liking it on Goodreads? Thank you 🙂

About Monique Polak

Monique knew from a young age that she wanted to do something creative. She would have liked to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and become a painter, so for her tenth birthday, she asked for an easel and a book about painting. She got the easel and the book, but discovered she was not very good at painting – so she decided to become a writer instead, because she’d always loved inventing stories.

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3 responses to “ARC Review: Learning The Ropes by Monique Polak

  1. A different setting for this one, which is a good thing. And if the writing is as good as you say, I should definitely give this one a try. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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