2 stars · fiction · young adult

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Isn't this cover beautiful?
Isn’t this cover beautiful?

 

Pointe

author : brandy colbert

pages : [hardcover] 352

favorite characters :

summary :

Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

review :

I wasn’t really certain of what to think about this book, honestly. I really wanted to like it. There was an interesting premise-I’m not sure that I would have picked up Pointe if it hadn’t mentioned Theo’s friend’s abduction-and I have to admit that I really liked the writing in this book. The plot just didn’t do it for me, though I do believe that this is one of those books I didn’t enjoy that others might like better than I did.

I feel like Pointe tried to do too much at once and the ending was too sudden and perfect, considering all of the problems introduced. Theo has an eating disorder. Her friend Donovan had been kidnapped for four years and is now returned. Theo has some traumatic past experiences that come to light throughout the novel and intertwine with Donovan’s story. Theo also meets a new guy, who happens to be a drug dealer. I think something that took out a great deal of my enjoyment throughout the book was spending it annoyed that I was supposed to think that  a drug dealer was a good love interest.

Another thing that annoyed me was Theo dabbling with drugs and smoking. I know, there are many YA novels dealing with drug use and such things, but Theo only ever uses casually and she uses her eating disorder to escape from her problems, not the drugs. I simply couldn’t understand why she would put these things into her body when she’s training to become a professional dancer. It probably wouldn’t be best for her to destroy her lungs by smoking, then. It just completely distanced me from her character and took me outside of the story as I thought too much about how Theo had been constructed. And I know that all different sorts of people have different views on drugs and things like that, but I would have at least appreciated the lingering message that it isn’t in fact cool to do those things.

I’ll definitely pick up whatever Brandy Colbert writes next. I’m looking forward to seeing what she can come up with. Pointe, however, is most likely going to remain one of the most disappointing books of the summer for me. I’d recommend for the writing but can’t guarantee you’d like the plot.

2/5 stars

If you like this book you might also like Bunheads.

3 stars · fiction · young adult

Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Bunheads

Author: Sophie Flack

Pages [hardcover]: 294

favorite characters:
bea & hannah

summary:

As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah’s universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other “bunheads” in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?

review:

I already knew a bit about the world of dancers coming into this and was excited by the prospect of a fresh in-depth view coming in a YA novel. While I wasn’t exactly disappointed and can say that Bunheads is both enjoyable and memorable, it fell bland at parts and I never actually got to feel for any of the characters.

Hannah, the main character, isn’t very happy with the way her career is going. It’s looking like she’s going to get promoted, become a soloist, getting everything she’d always dreamed out. But she’ll also miss out on her chances at life. With little free time, she can’t go out anywhere, or date anyone, make friends outside of the company, or even finish a book. She’s not sure she wants to commit the rest of her youth to becoming completely dedicated to dance. The reader is only given hints as to the hobby’s and passions she might have possibly developed if she had the time, from the ever-present copy of Frankenstein she has sitting around and her scribbling in her notebook every fifty pages or so. But, as this is told in first-person, I would have thought there’d be more insight into what she was thinking. The majority of her uneasy feelings don’t happen until near the end, and then I felt like I was reading about an entirely different person as there was little transition.

Her change of heart begins not because of something she wants for herself, but because of boys. Of course. There’s Matt and Jacob, and she’s inevitably confused for a while over which she should start liking. They both annoy me in different ways and while there were a few redeeming qualities to balance things out, Hannah’s own choices in response didn’t make much sense. What girl would react like that? Unless she was already considering something other than dancing, which I suppose the constant complaints from her were supposed to allude to, but all of the dancers in here complained a lot. They had much to complain about.

The ending . . . I didn’t like it, at all. While parts of it were good and natural, most of it felt forced as well as rushed. There was a neat little trick to tie it all together, which I thought was awesome, but by the last page, I still couldn’t feel much toward any of the characters. And I wanted to. I really did.

DANCE ON BY THIS ONE. 3/5 STARS