Up to this Pointe

April 23, 2016

Author: Jennifer Longo.


Harper has been training with her best friend for most of her seventeen years for one day. The day they’ll audition for the San Francisco ballet and be accepted. She’s starved, sacrificed, and worked herself to the bone for this. When things start to fall apart a few weeks before, Harper keeps going… she just has to get past The Day.
Now she’s in Antarctica, trying to figure out what went wrong, why it went wrong, and most importantly, what she’s going to do about it.

My Thoughts:

This was a disappointing read for me. First of all, the characters weren’t engaging. I never quite connected with the main character; this may be because her solution to failure is running away to Antarctica. Her best friend is underdeveloped: she seems the perfect dancer, simply to offset Harper. She’s the best dancer at the studio, has a fast metabolism that lets her eat whatever she wants, doesn’t have to work as hard as Harper, etc. The first love interest was actually kind of sweet, being a genuinely nice guy. The second – I won’t spoil it for you, but we have no explanation for certain things, leaving his behavior confusing at best and contradictory at worst.

Second, I personally was thrown off by the lax moral standards at the station. Although the main character doesn’t really parcipitate in it, simply having a story set in such a place is extremely off-putting for me personally.
Finally, the arc as a whole flopped at the end. Harper finally comes to the realization and decision she had to go to Antarctica for, and it’s the obvious decision we all thought she should have made in the beginning. The only really enjoyable parts where the flash-backs in the ballet studio, and there weren’t enough of those to make up for the rest.
One sentence summary: Teen girl with connections runs away to Antarctica to sort out her future plans, self-image, and love problems.

Content Review:

Sexual content: Character says there are condoms everywhere in the Antarctic station. In conjunction with that, she also muses that the cold is conducive to indoor warmth-inducing activities. Character’s parents divorced (in the past) when her mother found out her father had a second family. Character watches a movie featuring dancers that get into “sexual hijinks and interpersonal relationships”. Girl spills water on her shirt and remembers that she’s not wearing a bra. Character comments on the “sexual hinjinks” of a poet. Character strips to her underwater to jump into water. Character finds out that a friend is pregnant – friend admits that she was “drunk at the time” and doesn’t know the father’s last name.

Language: 28 hell, 25 scatological terms, 7 d***, 4 anatomical terms, 3 f-words.

Violence: None.


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