Up to This Pointe Review


Title: Up to This Pointe

Author: Jennifer Longo

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (Random House)


“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.”

So the publisher also says this, “Hand this utterly unique contemporary YA to anyone a who loves ballet or is a little too wrapped up in their Plan A.” To say that this sums me up perfectly is an understatement. Y’all know how much I love a good ballet book or want one.

This book was amazing!!! It was the perfect balance of ballet and regular person. It hit me right in the feels.

All I can say is if you are looking for a fun read that also will punch you right in your emotions, I recommend this.

Would I have acquired this? So this is a bit of an interesting question: I would have loved to acquire this, but I am not sure it would be right for the imprints I work for. I would certainly have taking it to our editorial staff meeting.


On the Radar!

Okay, party peeps, I am going on a short hiatus of a week or so since my mom is in town. In the meantime, know I am thinking ahead. With that in mind, I present my recommendations for books that will be publishing in the next couple of months that I am looking forward to.

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Bunheads Review


Warning***Minor Spoilers***

Title: Bunheads

Author: Sophie Flack

Publisher: Poppy (Hachette)

Flap copy on the book cover:

In a crowd of beautiful ballet dancers, how can one girl stand out?
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances, and complicated backstage relationships. But when she meets a spontaneous and irresistibly cute musician named Jacob, her universe begins to change.
Until now, Hannah has happily followed the company’s unofficial mantra, “Don’t think, just dance.” But as Jacob opens her eyes to the world beyond the theater, Hannah must decide whether to compete against the other “bunheads” for a star soloist spot or to strike out on her own.”

I wanted to like this book. I needed to like this book. Ballet books are what I have wanted to read for a few years. Granted this book published in 2011, but it was time to read it. And for the actually ballet portions, I liked it.

But the characters killed me. How this book got a starred Kirkus review, I will never know. I get that Hannah meets a boy and re-evaluates her priorities to ballet. I can even support that. But OMG, can someone just smack Jacob?

First off, any man whose pick up line is that you are “different from other girls” must not have a high opinion of those girls. My instincts proved right. Throughout the book, Hannah has to keep explaining why she can’t meet up with him. She has a job, dude, and it is not a 9-5er. I got so angry at his clinging, “you never want to hang out” attitude. As a result, I actually got mad at Hannah when she felt guilty. Never let a man make you feel guilty for working towards goals!

By the end, I was just glad to be done so I could move on to more important things. Like this blog.

Final Question: Would I have acquired this if it came across my desk? No. I don’t know who was smoking what over there at Kirkus but this book would not have been something I wanted to work on for a year. Which is a shame since I really wanted it to be the ballet book of my dreams.

Throwback Thursday: Of Swans, Sugarplums and Satin Slippers

So I have decided to do my own version of Throwback Thursday and look at books from my past or the back-list (aka, not new within the last year).  These posts will probably be a mash up book review and my thoughts on how I might repurpose it.

To commemorate the inaugural post of the series, I am going back to elementary school and the only book I would ever check out. If you read some of my previous posts, you might notice I am a little ballet obsessed. Truth? If things had gone differently, I would be an anorexic ballerina now and not the brilliant YA addict that I am. So without further ado, I present Of Swans, Sugarplums and Satin Slippers.


It is a collection of classical ballet stories (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, etc) written by Violette Verdy and illustrated by Marcia Brown. I LOVE this book. My first memory of going to a library involves this book. I would always go to the school library and pick this out. Nothing else.

Now that I am older, I still love it…but I would change things. My aesthetic is very different. I love whimsical drawings, and I am a fan of detailed drawings. Brown’s illustrations just aren’t working for me.

Though this is still very pretty.

For a picture book, it’s long. I mean 86 pages long. (As I am sitting here looking at the book, I feel like this explains so much about why I was an advanced reader. My favorite PICTURE book was 86 pages longs with several pages WITHOUT pictures.) The stories are wonderful and detailed, but it really doesn’t fit.

If I had the opportunity to republish this book, I would break the stories into their own books, and get paper engineer, Yevgeniya Yeretskaya, to illustrate.

I mean, look at this gorgeous pop-up from her book Snow Queen.

I would then do a compiled version, more like this book, that features the text along with some of the best illustrations.

Of Swan, Sugarplums and Stain Slippers  remains my one of my favorite picture books, even if it is 86 pages long.