Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo

January 29, 2016 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 14 Comments

Up to this Pointe by Jennifer LongoUp to this Pointe
by Jennifer Longo
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: January 19, 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC
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3 Stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

She had a plan. It went south.

Harper is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. Extreme, but somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

late chat with gen

Harper has her life planned out with her best friend Kate. They have a list of everything they will accomplish together like renting an apartment and auditioning and getting accepted at San Francisco School of Ballet. When this plan falls through the floor, Harper takes a chance and travels to Antarctica.

I’m frozen, paralyzed, no clue behind me to find the way back.

Harper’s story is a lot of finding out who you are as a person and what you want to do in your life. Sometimes things we plan aren’t necessarily for us but new opportunities are opened and this is the case with Harper, which I was glad to see grow more and more each day in a very far away place from home. I liked that the book had past and present chapters: past would be focused on Harper’s life as a ballet dancer before traveling to Antarctica and the present is focused on Harper at Antarctica. I preferred her Antarctica life. I feel she was free in that place even though she was confined to stay in if there was a snow storm. I felt like she got to discover more of herself in that place than back home with people she loves. She also met new friends in Antarctica that I wish had gotten more light in the book. They were very nice and were there for Harper, unlike her best friend Kate.

I didn’t like reading about her past because it was centered on her friendship with Kate and let’s just say I wouldn’t want to have a friend like Kate. While she was good, she was kind of selfish and ready to drop her plans with Harper for a better offer that concerned ballet. Harper was ALWAYS complimenting Kate and Kate wouldn’t even really bother to return back any compliment. I couldn’t deal with her at all. Also, note that this book has lots of ballet terminology and if you don’t know ballet (like me), you might be lost and not understand very well these terms.

Overall, I liked Harper’s character because I could relate to her a few times. Her story is also focused on discovering herself, which made me like this story even more.

About Jennifer Longo

Jennifer Longo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Acting from San Francisco State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing For Theatre from Humboldt State University. She is a two-time Irene Ryan Best Actor Award recipient and a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Best Full Length Script honoree for her play, FROZEN. After years of acting, playwriting, working as a literary assistant at San Francisco's Magic Theatre, then as an elementary school librarian, Jennifer told the occasional story at San Francisco's Porch Light Storytelling Series and decided at last to face her fear of prose and actually write some. Her debut novel, SIX FEET OVER IT (Random House Books) received starred reviews from Kirkus and The Bulletin, and was selected as a VOYA Perfect Ten and an Indies Introduce New Voices title. Jen's next novel, UP TO THIS POINTE (Random House Books) will publish January 19th, 2016. A California native and recent San Francisco transplant, Jennifer now lives with her husband and daughter on an island near Seattle, Washington and her every hour is consumed by writing, running marathons, taking her kid to ballet class eleven thousand times each week and reading every book she can get her hands on.

Genesis
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Genesis

Book Blogger at Latte Nights Reviews
Genesis is a 22-year-old girl who lives in Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean. She's obsessed with Instagram (@lattenightsbooks) and coffee shops. When she's not reading or on social media, she can be found eating, at the beach, being with her boyfriend and/or hanging out with friends.
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  • This book looks so fun, because Antarctica! But the ballet stuff DOES worry me, and now that I know there is quite a bit of ballet stuff, I am a bit scared. But hopefully the good stuff will outweigh the bad, because this one sounds so unique, and I love when characters are trying to find themselves- it seems so authentic! Lovely review 😀

    • The Antarctica setting is perfect for winter weather! I really loved it. For the ballet words, try googling them? That might help 🙂 Or even YouTube videos to get a full idea of what they are doing.

  • I have this on my list to read – mostly because Antartica. I am sucker for cool settings. Plus I love a self discovery type of story – Great review!

    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted: Mini Reviews ~ Clean Slate RAT Edition part 2
    • I requested it because of Nick’s review and the setting!

  • setting aside that it’s set in Antarctica, this really sounds like my type of read. I’m still not completely sure about the ballet part but I think I’ll be fine with it. I’d love get around this book but it’s not really giving priority to this though. Great review!

    czai recently posted: [REVIEW] This is Where It Ends
    • It really is good 🙂 You should give it a try 🙂

  • I didn’t really like Kate either but I adored the Antarctica setting as you know! I thought she really flourished there too. I’m sorry that the past scenes took away from your enjoyment of the book. :/
    Lovely review, Genesis!

    • The setting was lovely! That part, I enjoyed the most. I was most looking forward to reading the present, not the past. I would get stuck with the past and that’s why it took me a while to read this book. In the end, it was good 🙂 I’m glad that she didn’t have a guy that picked her up and showed her the way. She did it on her own and I loved that. I mean, I love romances (although lately I’ve been expanding) but in this book, I loved how she focused on herself through this discovery 🙂

  • This looks like a great book. I love the idea of discovering yourself because you never know what is going to happen in your life you need to roll with the punches.

    • I love the books that include that. Not many books have it and when they do, I can relate to the characters.

  • I think ballet terminology might work for me, but not the friend who might not be a friend, Gen. That’s the kind of thing that can make me so upset I stop reading, even…
    I’m glad you enjoyed some aspects of Up to this Pointe even if it didn’t completely wow you.

    • Her friend was so horrible!! I couldn’t deal with her.

  • Antarctica is definitely a unique setting! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set there. But the sucky best friend would makes me all kind of ragey. lol

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: Review: Letting Go by Molly McAdams
    • It is!! No, her best friend was the worst!