Title: Up to This Pointe
Author: Jennifer Longo
Publication date: January 19, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Recommended for: 13+
Harper had a plan. It went south. Hand this utterly unique contemporary YA novel 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 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.
I really enjoyed reading this book and it was a nice quick read. The characters are very well written, and I found myself relating to the main character, Harper. Up to This Pointe expresses many life lessons such as “its ok to fail,” and “success isn’t always what’s important.” The chapters in the book alternate between past and present. Switching between times can be confusing for a reader, but Longo does a wonderful job balancing the two different time settings and it was easy to follow through. It added a bit of mystery for me which I liked because certain details wouldn’t be revealed until later. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction.