Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book
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.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published April 10, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Brandy Colbert

24 books1,096 followers
Brandy Colbert was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,249 (26%)
4 stars
1,739 (36%)
3 stars
1,282 (26%)
2 stars
394 (8%)
1 star
135 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 875 reviews
Profile Image for Julianna Helms.
277 reviews140 followers
Want to read
May 20, 2012
I saw the word "ballet" and went, meh.

Then I saw "childhood friend's abduction" and went, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IFJIOJREJIJJWERIJGIEJROJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

I think that says something probably wrong about me. :)
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
April 12, 2014
I have mixed feelings towards Pointe and it leans closer to a 3.5 read. For one, it ended up being an incredibly heartbreaking, tragic, and important story. For another, it's well written with a compelling narrator who's a realistic portrayal of a teenager with a shattered self-esteem. And all of it is very very gritty. But, before you realize what it all has to do with the heart of the story, the book feels like it's dodging the real issue at hand with the introduction of tons of others. It kept circling around the actual kidnapping for so long - which was what attracted me to this book in the first place - that I started to feel let down at about the half way mark. It makes us wait until the end for it to finally become the focus. While I can't say I was ever bored exactly, I was starting to feel as if the book was trying too hard, which had me doubting how well rounded it was going to end up. You know that feeling when you're convinced the book will end up disappointing you and you lose enthusiasm for it? Fortunately, my worries went unwarranted as I ended up highly satisfied - even impressed - at the end, but I can't say I loved it the whole way through. I think part of it is the angle it took to tell the story was not what I expected, but this ended up being a good thing. Am I making sense? >.< Like I said - mixed feelings!

We have everything from eating disorders, to dance, rape, love, cheating, manipulation, kidnapping, friendship, drugs, sex, altogether with a disturbing underlying story… Now do you understand why I was wary of this all holding together? Nevertheless, even through my wariness, I found the narrator so real, so raw and obviously broken, that I found myself greedily devouring it all. She's not the kind of character you will like, but the kind you will feel sympathy for. The choices she makes, the illusions she makes herself believe, all stem from something very dark deep inside of her. So while her decisions are not ones you will approve of, while the romance she craves is not one you will root for, we come to understand that this personality of hers is the product of a tragic past - even if she doesn't realize it.

Aside from the main character, I found memorable personalities inside her group of friends, and the others who come and go were given equal importance in the story. In the end, this is less about the kidnapping itself, but rather a story about giving your fears a voice. About learning to love yourself!

Let me rate it like this:
-Once I turned the last page: definite 4 stars
-While I was reading up until the last 40 pages: 3-3.5 stars

So there you go! Worth the read? Definitely! Just give it some time to come full circle.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.4k followers
September 8, 2017
Some contemporaries are cute and fluffy. This is not one of them. This book is brutal, and emotional, and yet so fucking real. Pointe is a book about ballet and sexual abuse, but in some ways, it's really a book about finding yourself, no matter what you've been through.

Theo is one of the most believable YA heroines I have ever read about. She's passionate and desperate to succeed. Shes insecure, but not in the “I'm beautiful and don't know it” way; her insecurities feel real, and would be relatable to any teen. She's not lying about her past– she is completely convinced that she was mature for her age and nothing bad happened between her and her boyfriend. She's a flawed yet likable character.

♔ Also, a brief shoutout for diversity: the aspect of Theo and Donovan's race is integrated into this novel perfectly. It's not the focus of the story, but it's definitely not ignored either.

♔ Colbert paces the plot and reveals perfectly. The story unfolds slowly, with flashbacks scattered throughout the book. Every reveal feels natural within the story, with no twists feeling abrupt or out of place. It's not a book about plot twists, but man, are the reveals powerful.

Pointe also manages to neatly avoid common tropes. In any other book, Ruthie would be a rival and stereotyped as a bitch because she's competitive. But in this book, she's Theo's friend and supports her when she talks about her rape. I loved the attitude towards ballet and dance, it managed to avoid the usual "they all hate each other and the teacher is crazy" trope.

♔ I don't know how exactly to explain what made this story tick for me, but it's undoubtedly a character-driven and intriguing story. I can't recommend it enough.

VERDICT: This book is polarizing, according to the reviews, but I think there is a huge chance this could be a new favorite for you. It is a character-driven masterpiece and I can't recommend it enough.
Profile Image for Meli.
617 reviews398 followers
June 14, 2017
En todos los sentidos. Es una historia mega dura, que nos enfrenta con una realidad distinta, pero lamentablemente, verosimil.
Theo es una protagonista ejemplar. Más allá de sus traumas, problemas y enfermedad, es una de las protagonistas más sanas con las que me he cruzado en este tipo de libro. El final es simplemente brillante y liberador.

Ojala hubiera más libros así, que enseñen a tener amor propio, autorespeto, autosuperación y plantarte al mundo, y menos dramones cargados de golpes bajos que te quieren hacer creer que son buenos porque te hicieron llorar, buuu.

En fin, si quieren la típica novela para adolescentes con prota perfecta e incomprendida que al final es más corriente de lo que piensa, chicos malos que en realidad no rompen un plato y dramones que no son tan dramáticos si se los pone en perspectiva, alejense de este libro porque no les va a gustar.

Pointe es un libro duro, con personajes marginados en serio(no el marginado estandar de las novelas YA),lenguaje muy explicito y situaciones y escenas muy violentas emocionalmente. No es una lectura sencilla.

Me encantó, no por lo que narra, sino por lo que deja.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,392 followers
April 20, 2017
Oh my good lord, this was so freaking good. It's such an unconscious subversion of pretty much every single trope and stereotype I've become exhausted of seeing in YA lately. It's neither a celebration of flaws nor a celebration of perfection, but rather successfully gets the point across that flaws do not eternally damn a person or his/her character, and perfection has its price and its cracks too. The characters within are just so believable, and real, and I love how morally gray it is in so many different ways that feel so true to life without ever being moralizing.

In truth, Colbert could've just had me with the fact that these kids smoke weed and it's not some cautionary tale. Because in high school, that was pretty much allll my friends. It happens, and yet, in YA, it's one of those things we pretend doesn't. But there was so much in this story that I felt like were genuine depictions of everylife, even though the premise suggests really unique characters in a very specialized scenario. But really, it's a bunch of kids who make some bad decisions and some good decisions, have some talents and some downfalls, and have feelings and experiences they struggle to understand. And it's nice to see a main character who screws up time and again but ultimately comes to her own rescue, though not without support.

Theo's not perfect, but she's not a character who hates her parents, or other girls just for being girls, or her competition just for being her competition. She is a fully fleshed, fully realized person, and one of my favorite main characters in a long while. That it's nice to finally read contemporary YA with a black main character is just the icing on the cake. Theo's a girl worth spending time with, and now that I'm done with the book, I'm admittedly a little sad to be finished with her. It's rare that I actually care where and how a main character ends up, but with her, I really do.
Profile Image for Monica.
Author 4 books267 followers
April 24, 2020
Una historia fuerte, con muchos matices y que hace que sientas muchísimas cosas.
La vida en el ballet no es fácil y si tienes que lidiar con otros asuntos igual de complicados es todavía más difícil sobresalir pero es algo que no es imposible y en esta historia nos lo demuestran.
Algunas veces hay que tomar decisiones duras que nos duelen por lo que nos hacen hacer o no hacer, pero tener la madurez de distinguir aquello que nos daña de lo que necesitamos aunque al principio nos cueste verlo es algo que nos enseña este libro.
Más historias como esta que de verdad vale mucho la pena.
Profile Image for Kate Quinn.
Author 52 books557 followers
August 14, 2013
There is A LOT going on in this book: ballet, eating disorders, an abducted friend, and a potential love interest, but WOW every bit of it comes together and creates a complete portrait of what feels like a girl so very real that your heart can't help but ache for her. The author unravels the truth bit by bit, so that you get an idea of what's going to happen, but you keep reading white-knuckling the pages, hoping you're wrong, wanting a better ending and a happily ever after for Theo. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful novel, and I feel very lucky to have been able to read an advance copy.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,723 reviews1,277 followers
June 9, 2014
(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
This was an okay story, but I got bored.

Theo was an okay character, but her actions and her thoughts didn’t quite marry up. She claimed to love ballet, and wanted to dance professionally, but then at the same time she was smoking – both marijuana and cigarettes, and drinking alcohol! Surely if she was that focused on ballet she wouldn’t be ruining her lungs smoking!

The storyline in this just didn’t sit right. Right at the beginning we found out that Donovan was alive, but then didn’t actually meet him until the 90% mark, and even then it was a very brief cameo. I mean really? I thought that was the main point of the story, and in the movie this would be a non-speaking role!

Then we found out a little bit about Theo’s eating disorder, but it was more a past-tense sort of thing. We were told that she had had an eating disorder, and her not eating properly still was alluded to, but not enough time was spent on this to make it feel like an important part of the story, it was more like a side story.

Then we had the mystery over what had happened to Donovan, which again wasn’t explored until the very end of the book, which was again disappointing. I expected much more about Donovan than was actually in here.

There was some romance, but I wasn’t impressed really. Theo picked the wrong person, the wrong time, and the wrong situation, and basically set herself up to be hurt. It was a disaster of a romance really.

I also don’t really know why this book was called ‘Pointe’, because there wasn’t much about the ballet in it, and Theo didn’t even really act like a ballerina! Another disappointment.

The ending was also less than special. We did eventually find out what happened, but not totally, and even when we did find out I was bored.

I have to say that I was disappointed with this book overall. The eating disorder wasn’t given enough air-time, the mystery was dragged out for too long, we didn’t even get to meet Donovan properly, the romance was a disaster, and there wasn’t really much about ballet at all. Not to mention that the pace was too slow, and I was bored for the majority of the book.
Overall; not impressed,
4.5 out of 10.
Profile Image for Bailey.
434 reviews115 followers
April 3, 2015
This is not a book about ballet. This is a book about coming of age and growing up too quickly, and about knowing when the right time is to tell the truth. Brandy Colbert really nailed it.
Profile Image for Sarah.
281 reviews55 followers
September 30, 2015
Books that make me uncomfortable are always the hardest to rate. This is one of them.
2015 is definitely the year of books that mess with my head and leave me conflicted.
Up until 75%, I absolutely hated this.
I was with Theo, watching her every wrong move and her mess-ups, as she spiraled further and further down.
This is an extremely frustrating book. I couldn't stand our MC, she was so annoying that I wanted to DNF.
Never has it been so difficult for me to care for a character. Theo is very flawed and unlikable.
Not Parker Fadley straight-up bitchy, with humor and a small lovable side to her, but the straight-up horrible person with few redeeming qualities.
Theo cheats, lies, pushes everyone away and is self-centered.
She makes a billion and one mistakes, hurts so many people, and I did not like her.

It’s easy if there’s a villain in a story, one you can just point fingers at and hate as much as everyone else. But when the most unlikable person in the book is the one who’s telling it, how do you make it work?
In the end Theo is the one who has been hurt, the one who has fucked up so many things because other people ruined her.
It wasn’t until the last 50 pages that our narrator felt human to me. What happened to her was horrible and sad and far too real. That’s when she grew immensely and gained my sympathy, but not enough for me to like the book.

This is not a mystery: it’s a contemporary story about the struggle of one girl who is afraid to speak up. It’s about what the silence means and how it can change things.
It’s about a girl who makes poor decisions and hurts people because she herself has been hurt. It was so frustrating that I sometimes felt like throwing it out the window.

Based on the cover and title Pointe appears to be a story of ballet.
Based on the blurb, it seems like a mystery dealing with kidnapping.
In reality, the main focus lies elsewhere.
What’s next is a big spoiler, but it’s something I honestly wish I’d known starting this book, and it can be very triggering for some people.
At its core, this deals with two very heavy topics at the same time, one that you know right from the start, and one that is later revealed: eating disorders and .

Pointe isn’t pitched as the story of a , it’s pitched as a kidnapping story and a mystery, and you will be very disappointed if you expect that.

These two themes are described rather graphically and it is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. This author has some balls to write about it in such a convincing and detailed way, but I was personally disturbed by it rather than emotionally affected by it.
Please don’t read this if you don’t consider yourself mature enough or can be triggered by the topics I just stated. I haven’t experienced any of them, and I still felt very unsettled and shocked by the content.
It made me uncomfortable, scared, sad and most of all angry.

This wasn’t necessarily a bad book, but it was difficult to read and I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been so surprised by the actual plot.
It messed with my head, because we have a TSTL heroine throughout most of the book, whose reasons I completely understood at the end. I can't tell if Theo's character was purposely written as unlikable so you'd be forced to sympathize with her despite her flaws. I just don't know.
Profile Image for Candice Montgomery.
Author 6 books172 followers
April 26, 2015
In January of 2014, I wrote an entry to my own personal blog titled "Why I will probably not ever write a black main character." Let's get a few particulars out of the way. Yes, I'm black. No, I'm not selling you some ridiculous, slow-strokey, writer click-bait. Yes, at the time, I meant it.

The article is, in my opinion, articulate. It's got some valid points, talks about obligation to culture and the responsibility of the task and also gets a little handsy with Baldwin and his personal aims as one of the most brilliant writers to grace the earth.

I'm writing this entry now to say, I think I may have been wrong? Or, more likely, I was right in my use of the word "probably" in the title.

The post got a lot of action. More than Tiger Woods in 2009. To date, it's one of the most popular posts on my blog and it's still getting a lot of responses, lotta traction. More--I'm still getting a lot of anon hate for it. Which, tbh, is totally fucking hilarious to me. I'm a nobody. I wrote a personal post on my personal blog about my personal opinions on a thing that affects literally, only, personally, me.

Somehow, people in the writing community felt the need to seek me out via my blog, via my email, and most popularly, through my Twitter. They thought it would be really fucking fun apparently, to just let me know why I'm a disgrace to the black community. Why my parents should be let down by my morals--or the lack there of. Why I had an obligation, as a POC writer, to educate people about black lives and black culture--the shit you won't find on BET.

"Lucky" for me, this was before all the #blackout #blacklivesmatter #Ferguson hashtaging--which I have most certainly been a part of. When you grow up black in LA, you better believe you develop opinions on shit like police brutality.

The point here is that I think I may have been wrong about my initial post, but not for the reasons so many people might think. When I said this book was a game changer in my earlier update, I meant it. It's a story about a young black ballerina, ergo, right up my alley.

This is the book that makes me realize why I should be writing black girls. Because--and I mean this in the nicest, least offensive way--nobody can do it like we can. We, quite obviously, are the authority on the subject, are we not? Also, because black girls are just fucking beautiful. And we're strong as fuck. We've got struggle like nobody else does.

I'm not saying I'm one hundred percent down to be the next Toni Morrison or to wax poetic about the things that she does, but I'm open to carrying some of the load.

Pretty much I was right to include the word "probably" in that blog's title because POINTE and Brandy Colbert just altered a lot of my life and my outlook. I'm not making any promises, and I'm not discounting my earlier opinions, but this book seriously shifted my shit WAY off center and I have literally not been so moved by anything having to do with me in so long. I know this was a lot of words just now, but none of them are the right ones to communicate how I feel about this book.

If you haven't read this book and you're reading my review: Pick this book up. I NEED for you to read this book please.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews582 followers
June 9, 2014
Pointe looked like a great book.. but unfortunately, it wasn't.

I didn't really like Theo.
She really annoyed me when she said she didn't want to be "that kind of girl" but then thought it was okay to go around kissing other peoples boyfriends.
I didn't get why she thought smoking and drinking would be a good idea when she wanted to do ballet. I've read a few books where the main character wanted to do ballet professionally, and they've all said that they needed a high lung capacity... so why did Theo pollute her lungs?!

Throughout the whole book i kept thinking "When will we meet Donovan?" He was mentioned quite a bit, but Theo didn't see him until the end of the book!

The pacing in this was too slow for me, so i got really bored. I kept hoping it would pick up, but it never did.

Overall, Started out okay, but went downhill.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,211 followers
January 2, 2014

Theo is one of my favorite female characters in a long, long time. She's imperfect and rough and misguided and does a lot of really dumb things but she's also so real and authentic and tough and is in control of every single thing (whether that's good for her or not). And this is a story of learning how to trust herself. . . and trust others in the process.

When best friend Donovan returns from being kidnapped years ago, things should slip back to normal. But actually, it's his return that brings up many darker, more terrifying secrets buried in Theo's life. The story features a dancer passionate about her art, a girl who is black and a minority in her suburban Chicago life and her field of passion (with deft exploration of what exactly that means), what happens when relationships aren't what they seem, the value of friends you can rely on (as well as those you can't), disordered eating, mental illness, and the voice is great. There are a lot of things going on in the story, relayed primarily through Theo's remembering the things she's sucked down and controlled, but they're braided together strongly.

Pass to fans of Sara Zarr and Siobhan Vivian.

Longer review to come!
Profile Image for K..
3,666 reviews1,006 followers
April 11, 2017
Knowing what was to come in this book meant that I sped through it in a single day. It's tense and fast-paced and you just want to grab Theo and be like "GIRL. STAY AWAY FROM GUYS BECAUSE OH MY GOD NOOOOOO". I mean,

I still love how integral ballet is to the story, and how Theo ultimately realises how damaging her actions are to herself and those around her, and sets about rectifying them. Is it a disturbing book? Yes. Is it a confronting book? Yes. Is it a book full of flawed characters? Dear God, yes. Is it a book that's worth reading? I certainly think so.

Holy Jeebus. This was one hell of a tough read. And not because it wasn't well written or compelling, because it was definitely both of those things. But the subject matter is a little overwhelming, to the point where I spent the last 15% of the book feeling like I might throw up and/or have an asthma attack at any moment because my chest was so tight.

Theo is a totally messed up character. She's a hardcore ballet dancer with dreams of going professional. But she also has an eating disorder, a best friend who disappeared four years ago, a big fat secret about a former relationship, and an unexpected attraction to the school drug dealer, who also has a girlfriend. When her missing best friend is suddenly found half way across the country, she's thrown. Especially when it turns out that he was kidnapped. And Theo knows his abductor. Donovan's return brings up a multitude of secrets for Theo, and keeping them may be more than she bargained for.

I loved that Theo wasn't perfect. I loved that she was reeling from pretty much the moment Donovan returned, trying to make sense of all this new information. I loved that it took a virtual outsider to the situation to tell her exactly what her big fat secret really meant. I loved that the love interest wasn't a central part of the story. I loved that all Theo's fears aren't realised, that she ultimately admits when she needs help, that the story - however stomach turning it may be - ends on a hopeful note. I love that Theo is black, that Donovan is black, that one of Theo's two best friends from school is Hispanic. It's a long way from your typical YA book, and it was a fabulous, if dark and OH-GOD-MAKE-IT-STOP sort of a read.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,456 reviews8,553 followers
November 1, 2014
3.5 stars

Theo used to have an eating disorder. When she learned about her best friend's abduction, she used what she ate - and what she did not eat - to get past the pain. A few years later, Theo has set herself on the right path: she has good grades, spends hours practicing to get into an elite ballet academy, and begins a relationship with a mysterious and attractive guy. But when Donovan, Theo's best friend, comes back home after years of being kidnapped, Theo must face the harsh realities she has hid herself from all along.

I appreciated the honesty and diversity in this book. Theo is a black ballerina who has casual sex and does not feel ashamed. Brandy Colbert did a nice job cultivating Theo's voice; it felt real without coming across as too callous or vulnerable. Despite some of the issues I had with this book, I round my rating up to 4 stars because of Theo's development as a character - my favorite part of this book occurs within the last few pages, in which Colbert indicates Theo's independence and strength in a way that finishes the novel on a high point.

However, Colbert took on too much at times in Pointe. Theo's restricted eating, her relationship with Donovan, her desire to become a ballerina, and a couple of other conflicts all came into play but never merged well enough to flesh out Theo's character. It almost felt like Colbert threw in issues to move the plot forward instead of incorporating dilemmas that would maximize the natural progression of the book. Theo's relationship with Hosea read as the weakest link in the story; Colbert left it at a solid place, but Hosea's part in the story felt superfluous at times.

Overall, recommended to those who have an interest in a YA realistic novel that deals with a character who has an eating disorder or who must face a friend's abduction and return. Not the best book I've read about those topics - perhaps try Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson or Stolen by Lucy Christopher - but a solid effort that reads well.
Profile Image for Kaya.
217 reviews218 followers
September 1, 2017
4.5 stars

My phone never rang again with calls from Chris or Donovan and I never stopped wondering what I'd done to deserve it.

Well, I definitely underestimated the author and the overall story. This book is poignant, straight-forward, unpredictable and raw. I was so in love with the protagonist and her struggles and I wanted to protect her from the world. She represents such an authentic teenage girl that I felt for her even when i was completely outraged by her actions.

Theo’s best friend Donovan disappeared four years ago, when they were both 13. Since then, her dedication to ballet has kept her focused, so she wouldn’t think about what really has happened to him. But then Donovan returns home and everything that she tried to forget resurfaces. He won’t see or talk to anyone, no matter how many times Theo tries calling. On top of that, Theo has a secret that is connected to what happened to Donovan.

The whole time, I waited for the moment when Theo will finally see Donovan but most of the time, I was reading about Theo with guys who clumsily try to flirt with her. I really like Theo's voice, but if the purpose of the book is her friendship with Donovan, I wanted to actually see it, not only read about it through her memories. Still, I really enjoyed the book and it definitely has a unique point of view on teenage life and all difficulties that come with it, alongside dealing with topics such as anorexia, abduction and pedophilia, but there are SO MANY QUESTIONS AND NO ANSWERS. Theo is such a strong protagonist, that I almost forgot that I never found out the purpose of the book. This book turned out to be the opposite of what I expected, since it kept on dodging the real issue with the introduction of tons of others. It kept circling around the actual kidnapping for so long and reunion between two best friends, but by the end, a part of me felt let down. The book is written to the flow of Theo's thoughts with descriptions of casual drug use among adolescents being treated nonchalantly, which actually felt refreshing, because it’s realistic.

Theo developed wonderfully throughout the book. She represents a realistic portrayal of a teenager with a wounded self-esteem. It's refreshing to see a main character who screws up and deals with real-world problems. Theo’s insecure, doesn't believe she's good enough and it’s painful to see her like that, because she truly deserves better. As a confused child who has been manipulated, she’s been through a lot of traumatic situations and she’s been through all of that without anyone knowing her pain.

Everyone was pulling away from me—but nobody was telling me what I’d done wrong.

She has so much love to give, but she always gives to the wrong people.

“I cross my legs and lean forward with my elbows on my thighs, catch a quick glance in the mirror to evaluate how much of me has changed and how much has stayed the same. I can't see a big difference and I wonder if I've changed more on the inside or the outside over the years.”

It’s unbelievable how someone so self-conscious can lack self awareness in such intensity.

Theo develops an unexpected attraction to the school drug dealer, who also has a girlfriend. Their chemistry was natural and I cheered for them for the biggest part of the book, until I realized that their relationship is similar to hers and Chris', except that Hosea treated her better. Still, they had some truly touching moments.

“She knows about the music stuff, but she doesn't care. That's why I didn't tell her about my job at the studio. She doesn't want make me want to be better, like you do. She doesn't get that it's scary... to want something so much and not be sure if you're good enough.”

Gah, they had so much potential.
Profile Image for Rachel.
240 reviews15 followers
October 2, 2013
Oooooo I liked this one. It was dark and sad and heartbreaking and all I wanted to do was hug Theo and then shake the living daylights out of her for being so damn naive and stupid. But, unlike some female characters who are naive and stupid, I actually LIKED Theo. I wanted to save her. And most importantly, she was never boring, because beneath all that naivete there is a very smart, very determined, very awesome girl who I never stopped cheering for, even when I was shaking my head at her decision making.

This book comes out in April of 2014, but put it on your TO READ list now so you don't forget! Definitely going to be a break out book once it's released, you'll want to read it before you can't find it on your library shelves and the holds list is 14 people long ;-)
Profile Image for Brooke.
276 reviews137 followers
March 11, 2017
A gritty contemporary; I am always glad to see such dark & mature themes appear in YA, no matter how heartbreaking it is. It is necessary, it is needed & these stories matter. POINTE focuses on Theo- a ballerina who has her world turned upside down after her best friend, Donavan, comes back after he was abducted 4 years ago. Theo discovers the man who abducted him- & she's got a connection to him as well. One that is sure to unravel & forces her to speak up.

Since this book discusses mature themes, I do feel a warning doesn't hurt. Themes present here include: eating disorders (anorexia), pedophilia, selective mutism/PTSD, sexual abuse, etc. All so very important & Colbert pens a compelling tale that makes you desperate to know Theo's outcome.

I did have mixed feelings about this though. For so many topics, I feel like maybe it was too many to incorporate in a single book. Some issues are briefly mentioned & are never really developed. I would have liked to see certain elements more in-depth, but there's only so much you can include in several hundred pages. This is classified as a "ballet" book- except for a few descriptions of Theo in class, eager to further her career down the road, there is not much here. It is mostly about Donavon's reappearance & how Theo deals with that.

I also feel like the pacing was inconsistent; there were a couple times I had to reread sentences as the timeframe would change abruptly. But I guess the biggest thing that bothered me was Donavan didn't play a larger role here- he stays home until the trial. I get that, I do, but I just would have liked to have more scenes with him. I feel that this was mostly about Theo & believe the themes would have hit home harder if Donavan had a more crucial part. The ending felt satisfactory to the circumstance & I am happy to see Theo accept the help she needs.
Profile Image for Ritika.
248 reviews30 followers
December 1, 2020
Using very simple and easy language, Brandy Colbert has written a book that deals with very serious topics- abuse, specifically- child sexual abuse, eating disorder and PTSD. And, I think it has been commendably done.

There were moments where you would think, "This girl never learns!!" But, then again, Theo was just seventeen and I think it's a tender enough age to be stupid and be forgiven for it. And she DOES pulls through, which was quite mature and courageous in itself.

A special shout out to Marisa, Theo's ballet teacher. I loved her!
I love teachers like her, who support their students, have faith in them and never stop believing, especially when they are going through a phase of denial and self-doubt.
Profile Image for Sil.
243 reviews43 followers
February 13, 2015
Choqué demasiado con este libro. Fue leer y fruncir la boca cada dos por tres.

Me ha pasado a lo largo de los libros que leí en mi vida que muchas veces no simpatizo con un personaje en particular. Pero casi siempre mi problema es CON el personaje, que tiene sus bases, su personalidad y es creíble. En este caso, choqué con la autora por cómo escribió a Theo. Ok, la chica no está bien...eso lo tengo claro. Pero de ahí a meterse con gente peligrosa, alcohol, drogas, anorexia y eso, me pareció como mucho. No digo que no pueda pasar, pero sentí como que ella hacía todo sin demasiada razón.

Tenemos el tema del ballet. Amo el ballet y lo practicaría si tendría un mejor sentido de la coordinación. En este caso, la danza es un accesorio para intentar darle sentido al libro, aunque sin mucho logro. No es el elemento principal como intenta demostrar la portada.

Pero sin duda lo que más me molestó fue la sexualización extrema de la imagen de una niña de 13 años. Al leer que la protagonista en ese entonces "nunca quiso complacer tanto a un hombre" sinceramente, se me revolvió el estómago. También lo de "ya estaba por entrar en secundaria y convertirme en mujer" (o algo así) me pareció excesivo. Y es más que un pensamiento que pueda pensar una chica a esa edad, es el entorno cercano y cómo se manejan ante esa idea. Siento que la autora no supo plasmar bien su historia, dando lugar a posibles malinterpretaciones. Esa idea de ver a la juventud saltándose etapas como algo moderno a mí no me va. Y el hecho de que haya involucrado alguien perverso o no en el medio no quita que lo de quemar etapas esté mal, según mi opinión.

Es muy pero muy difícil explicar mis sentimientos hacia este libro sin dar spoilers. Si bien la idea no está nada mal, no me gustó la forma de llevarla a cabo. Sentí a los personajes principales bastante inconsistes y la historia se iba desarrollando de una manera floja para intentar demostrar un punto bastante importante.

Dig��moslo así, este libro no me dejó nada nuevo ni inolvidable. Nada que otro libro o la vida misma en sí no me hayan enseñado o remarcado: que hay que pedir ayuda en caso de estar mal con nosotros mismos y no aceptar el maltrato o el desinterés como normal en nuestra vida cotidiana, y también, saber identificarlo. Pero hay que luchar, vivir las cosas a su debido tiempo y prestar atención a las señales de que las cosas pueden no andar bien.
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews205 followers
June 22, 2017
3-1/2 stars, rounded up
Theo’s best friend and next door neighbor, Donovan, disappeared four years ago, when they were both 13. Since then, her dedication to ballet has kept her focused. But then Donovan is found and returned home. He won’t see or talk to anyone, no matter how many times Theo tries calling. Theo’s carefully balanced world is thrown completely askew. To complicate things even more, Theo has a secret, something she hasn’t been able to talk about, either. And it seems to be connected to what happened to Donovan. But she can’t talk unless he does.
This book was a harrowing read, as dark and gloomy as the Chicago winter it’s set in. It features kidnapping, pedophilia, anorexia, and a lot of smoking, drinking, and drug use. It was very good, very tense and suspenseful. But wow, it was tough for me to get through.

I’m not sure how to review this, because of the suspense factor. There’s a lot that Theo doesn’t want other people to know. And a lot that she hasn’t figured out for herself. (More than once I wanted to jump in the book and yell at her, “How dense can you be?” But at the same time, the combination of her naivete and her determination to stick to her 13-year-old self’s emotional narrative was convincing.) I loved her character arc over the course of the story, as she has to make a difficult effort to rewrite her own history -- and then accept how that revised past might affect her future, all while she tries to navigate a tricky present. It’s risky, terrifying, and never sugar-coated.

I really appreciated that Theo and Donovan are both black, and it’s addressed, but it’s not what this book is about. Theo gets a story that’s about her as a person, period. They live in a well-to-do mostly white Chicago suburb, with solid, loving parents. What happens to each of them doesn’t happen “because” they’re black. It could happen to anybody. And weird as this may sound, I admired that Theo isn’t always an entirely sympathetic character. She makes plenty of bad choices. But she owns them, and learns from them. She’s as tough and strong as the toes she dances en pointe on. But she’s also tender and damaged.

This was a well-written, well-paced contemporary YA novel. But be warned that wow, it’s kind of bleak. It’s not what people think of as a “beach read,” but that might be the best place to read it, so the sunshine breaks up the darkness.
Profile Image for Erin Entrada Kelly.
Author 30 books1,470 followers
January 11, 2020
Oh, this book. It’s so important, for so many reasons. Quite possibly the most under-appreciated book in YA. No doubt this book has saved the hearts, bodies and souls of many young people—especially young girls—but it needs to find its way to more of them. It’s honest, brave, gritty, difficult, and incredible. All the stars to this book.
Profile Image for Izzy.
601 reviews282 followers
April 18, 2016
People fawn over the beauty of dance. The long legs and elegant shoes and expertly twisted buns. And it's not that they're wrong. Those are all part of the reason I was drawn to ballet at the age of three. But I'd be willing to bet those same people have never set foot in the dressing room of a dance studio. Because you can't quite look at it the same once you've been to the other side.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Fun fact/personal story time: I was a ballet dancer for eight years. My mom is a ballet teacher, has been for over thirty years, and ballet has always been a part of my life, even though I haven't danced in years. So I'm always interested in reading fiction that involves a part of that world, because there's a lot to explore within it — the pressure the dancers have to endure, the psychological damage, the dynamics between the girls... It was what drew me to this book, but this is not really a book about ballet. It's still amazing, though.

Pointe is about Theo, a 17 years old dancer. She does a good job of juggling being a junior in high school with the intense dance schedule she maintains, in hopes of becoming a professional soon. Everything is pretty uneventful in her life, until one Thursday when her best friend who has been missing for four years is found.

The book sets out to tackle a lot of issues that are difficult to deal with: eating disorders, a kidnapping, pedophilia, rape. It sounds like too much — it could have easily become too much, in the hands of an author who'd include those things strictly for their shock factor and not known how to handle them — but we don't see that happening here. It takes some dark turn you wouldn't expect at first, and it all contributes to Theo's growth and to the conclusion of the story.
Thirteen. I learned how to put a condom on a guy when I was that age. Not every time. Only when Chris felt like it. Which wasn't often.

The book is written to the flow of Theo's thoughts and internal ramblings, and that might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think it's the only way we can truly see how the confusion and the fear works inside a victim's mind; from an outside perspective, some of the choices Theo made wouldn't have made sense if we didn't know what a true mess she was inside.

Theo is insecure; she doesn't believe she's a good enough dancer, that she's pretty, that she's worth of a guy who won't have to hide the fact that he's with her. And that's what made me love her so much — I can relate to that feeling of not being good enough, of not understanding why people think you're special. She's not a special snowflake kind of girl; she's just a teenage girl who's been through a lot, and who doesn't know that yes, she deserves better. And at first I kind of wanted to shake her for settling for less than what she deserved, but what was great was to see how much she grew throughout the book, and how she ended up dealing with things.

Another amazing thing was how the author subtly included the subject of race. Both Theo and Donovan are black, in a mostly white suburban town just outside of Chicago. Their struggles aren't limited to the fact that they're black, but it's discussed, because of the impact it has in their lives. The thing about it, though, is that often a character that's black, or gay, or fat, or whatever escapes the norm—authors let that become their defining trait, never developing them past a stereotype or past the struggles they have to face, and this definitely doesn't happen here. It was honestly refreshing to see how real these characters felt, from Theo and Donovan to the side characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this, and it's definitely a read more people should be considering.
Profile Image for Hallie.
954 reviews124 followers
October 15, 2014
One of the few books I left un-reviewed, not because of laziness, disorganization, or some form of "I'd rather be reading than writing", but because it was too hard to verbalize accurately how I felt about it. The blurb is rubbish, but even to say why is to spoil things that shouldn't be spoiled. This is emphatically not because the author is trying to be super-clever and outsmart the reader for a Big Twist reveal. Rather it's because the reader is brought along with Theo as she slowly and painfully comes to understand what she's experienced. Trigger warnings galore are both needed and impossible. It's especially wrenching if you're a parent who has had a child in trouble and you know they're in trouble and can't get at the trouble to help. But even without the "child in trouble" part, it's devastating because Theo's parents are wonderful and caring, and have no way of knowing what's happened to Theo. Theo's strength is both admirable and credible, and it was perfect that she couldn't quite find it for herself, but eventually could for her friend.

Possibly the thing I love most about this book is the fact that Theo's being black is only a very minor part of the issues. On the other hand, that the line very early on about an important character's being one of Theo's friends' dealer is not any kind of an issue was disturbing in another way entirely.

If you've finished reading this and need cheering-up, but the kind of cheering that doesn't diminish the power of the book, I suggest watching the documentary First Position. Michaela's story and character were the kind that make you feel better about the world, just knowing people like that exist. (And her adoptive parents were lovely too.)
Profile Image for Sue (Hollywood News Source).
781 reviews1,594 followers
January 6, 2017
I've been reading Pointe since last year, and it took me a lot of months to finish it. This is mainly because it tackles hard-hitting topics; I wish this book came along with trigger warning.

Pointe explores body image, but mainly pedophilia and the abuse and power imbalance that is attached to it. I wasn’t aware this story is going to be about that which cause me a major setback. I’m anticipating a mystery thriller that isn’t as depth and jarring. I wish the publisher had been affront about that part, particularly to avoid any readers who might get triggered. It is genuinely difficult to read.

I like Theo and her arc. She’s a confused child who has been manipulated. She’s been through a lot of traumatic situations. She’s a teenager, she’s not meant to be perfect, she’s going to make a lot of mistakes. I like how the author crafted that without romanticizing what she’s been through.

Pointe isn't ballet-driven story. It’s grittier. I want readers to proceed with caution before picking it up.
Profile Image for Dawn.
134 reviews27 followers
October 11, 2014
4.5 stars. I LOVED this. My little sister has been dancing since she was about three years old and I've been fascinated by ballet since then. It's always been an intellectual fascination for me--I was into writing and acting and singing, not dancing--but you definitely don't have to be a ballet fan to enjoy this novel. It's not really about ballet. Theo being a black ballerina among a sea of white girls is what drew me in, not what made me stay. This is a gorgeous and deeply resonant story--it's simultaneously a bildungsroman, trauma tale, crime novel, friendship ballad, and a rumination on sex and romance. Also I appreciate the casual drug use among adolescents being treated nonchalantly because it's realistic and I wish more writers with adolescent characters realized that. Everyone read this now please and thank you.
Profile Image for Flor Méndez.
Author 1 book106 followers
February 2, 2015
Gracias a V&R Editoras por el ejemplar.

Reseña en el blog haciendo click acá desde el 4/2

Hermoso libro, hermosa historia, hermoso desarrollo del personaje principal. Representa minorías y rompe tabúes, y nos hace entender que hay que tener los ojos abiertos porque no siempre "le pasa al otro". Un libro para debatir y tomar de base para muchas cosas que hoy en día se nos pasan por alto.
February 23, 2017
Pointe illustrates how #ownvoices creates a space for everyone's story to be told. Within the pages of this story, readers get a tale about a ballerina, who's not only black, but .

But, the focus isn't on her race; rather, the spotlight's on her inner turmoil of trying to become a successful dancer, juggle high school, friends, and guys. In the shadow of what should be normal adolescence, is the return of her friend, Donovan . His return shakes the foundation of her adolescent facsimile and threatens to demolish the veneer she presents.

I rated the book 4 for the following pros.

1. A black lead (and her friend, Donovan, is also black). Two important characters in a YA book is unheard of, sadly. They're not stereotypes, and their stories are told without race as the key element. However, by the end of the book, one cannot help but wonder if their race played a role in some actions by another character.

2. Demonstration of how secrets can hurt. From , secrets hurt those involved.

3. Daring to have character deal with . I never read any YA, or fiction at all, that deals with the subject.

Two cons exist smaller bits of parental emotion and lack of vital character description. First, I wish to have seen is a little more emotion from her parents. They're just there with some introspection, but I guess, YA doesn't include parents as often as they should. Two, although I believe Colbert didn't want us to focus too much on Theo's and Donovan's race, I would have appreciated more description of them. Colbert gave us more than enough description of her secondary characters than I desired. It's nice to picture characters as I read their lives. Perhaps, Colbert omitted much description on purpose as to not stereotype or paint so much focus on their looks. I do not know.

Nonetheless, the story's worth a read, despite some reviews uttering how much they didn't care for Theo, the main character.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 875 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.