2016 Reviews, 5 stars, Book Review, RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS


UP TO THIS POINTERating: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (January 19, 2016)



Harper had a plan. It went south. Hand this utterly unique contemporary YA to anyone who loves ballet or is a little too wrapped up in their Plan A. (It’s okay to fail, people!)

Harper Scott 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 Amundsen and Shackleton to the South Pole. Amundsen won because he had a plan, and Harper has always followed his model. 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. It will take a visit from Shackleton’s ghost–the explorer who didn’t make it to the South Pole, but who got all of his men out alive–to teach Harper that success isn’t always what’s important, sometimes it’s more important to learn how to fail successfully.Review-logo_1

If you’re looking for an out of this world and unique contemporary to read this year, UP TO THIS POINTE by Jennifer Longo is the one to choose.

So what do you get when you add, ballet, penguins and Antarctica? A damn good book, that’s what. Now I know what you’re thinking—how the hell does ballet, penguins and the frozen tundra known as Antarctica go together? Well it just…does. I don’t know how the author does it but she pulled it off. Not only is UP TO THIS POINTE delightful but it’s original in its concept and so goddamn unique.

Meet Harper, a senior in high school and an ambitious ballerina who wishes to turn this passion into something professional. I’m talking about Julliard, I want to be the lead in Swan Lake type professional. Seriously, Harper and her best friend have a plan. A plan that’s been in the works since they were literally in the womb. The plan of all plans. I mean there’s no plan b bish. That’s how serious this plan was to Harper.

As you can guess that plan didn’t work out for Harper. So what do you do when your one and only plan in life fails you? The case of Harper, she pretty much has a nervous break or mini crisis if you will and packs her shit and goes to Antarctica. There on the frozen plains, known as the South Pole she finds herself while making friends, rediscovering her love for ballet and learning that this thing called life is not always easy and sometimes things might not work out the way you want them to but like the old say goes “If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Now before I go, I will say that the whole going to Antarctica to solve your problems is beyond far-fetched. Unless you’re rich as hell or got some banging connections, like my Harper does, there’s no way any of us normal folks can do that. But I will give credit to author Jennifer Longo because her writing skills are superb and even though this scenario will never happen to the average person, she makes you believe that it can. That everything will be alright if you just take a casual trip to the South Pole and watch the penguins grow.

So do yourself a favor and add Up To This Pointe to your summer reading list, your tbr and any other reading list you have because this book won’t disappoint.

P.S. I want a penguin. I mean how cute are baby penguins?

*I received a finished copy from the author via a giveaway . My opinions are my own.


Author Jennifer LongoJennifer Longo’s debut novel SIX FEET OVER IT published August 2014 courtesy of Random House Books. Her second Random House novel, UP TO THIS POINTE, will publish January 2016. UP TO THIS POINTE is the story of a ballerina (Who is also an ancestor of famed Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott) whose dreams of dancing professionally die, sending her to winter Over in Antarctica in search of meaning and a new path in life. A California native, Jennifer holds a BA degree in Acting from San Francisco State University and an MFA 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. A recent San Francisco transplant, Jennifer lives with her husband and daughter on an island near Seattle, Washington.

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