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Up to This Pointe

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,511 ratings  ·  381 reviews
Harper Scott is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. But while Kate is a naturally gifted dancer, Harper has had to fight for every step. And now it’s make-it-or-break-it time: if their auditions go wrong, their dreams are over. Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in her way, not even the boy she and Kate are both dr ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Emily May
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Your love is evident,” she says. “But, darling, sometimes ballet does not love us back.”

When I started this book, I knew very little about it. I'd read something about ballet dancing and Antarctica (which was an unusual combination, but not something that instantly called to me) but that was it, and I'd never heard of the author before. So it came as quite a surprise when this book touched me very deeply.

To be honest, ballet is not my thing. I took some lessons as a kid and hated it. I was
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
What am I going to say about this book? I'm not that great at reviews and when one touches my heart like this one, I don't want to mess it up. It broke my heart and it made it soar. I loved it so much and it's going into my favorites! ♥

I cried a river in this book, but it wasn't at the sad parts, it was at all of the good things.

So many characters in the book I loved so much. Harper being my favorite for all that she went through and all that she discovered. Harper's parents and her brother Luk
Susan's Reviews
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I was totally impressed by this young author's ability to breathe life into her characters (I loved Owen!!!!!) and her two main settings: San Francisco and Antarctica.

Harper Scott is intense, driven - consumed by her love of dance. She identifies solely as a dancer, has made physical and emotional sacrifices for her art. And in the end, despite focusing every particle of her attention on being the best dancer she can be, it is not enough. Her confession to Aiden that she is grieving the los
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diverse-reads
“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


I got hooked right from the beginning. I won’t forget all the wonderful characters in Up to This Pointe any time soon; Kate, Owen, Charlotte (loved her), Vivian, Luke.

I loved the friendship between Kate and Harper, it felt so real. (view spoiler)

I really enjoyed how Jennifer Longo switched up t
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

If you are/were obsessed with Antarctica at any point in your life, you already know you need this book. Otherwise, you might want to read this book because THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, OKAY?

One of the saddest things in the world is that in our society, we expect kids to have their life figured out by the time they are getting ready to graduate high school. We expect them to know what they want to do with their lives when their minds are not e
Book Riot Community
Ballet novels are one of my kryptonites, and I’d heard good things about this one. We meet seventeen-year-old Harper Scott in Antarctica, where she has come to find herself or possibly just hide from people and events back home. In alternating chapters, we find out about those people and events and follow her new life in the frozen darkness. The “back home” is the ballet part, and it’s set in a wonderfully well-rendered San Francisco. Harper is a highly likeable character, in love with dance and ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
4.5 stars

Up to This Pointe is my favorite 2016 book I’ve read so far. And, sure, I haven’t read too many yet, but this one is massively good and I hope to find a lot more books like this one. Longo has managed to write one of those books that’s about heavy serious life stuff in a way that is fluffy and smile-making. Also, it’s such an original and amazing idea. I mean, have you ever read a book about a ballerina going to Antarctica?

Harper and her best friend Kate have been planning to be baller
Jaime Arkin
There are so many things I found myself loving about this story that I don’t know where to actually start.

Harper and her best friend Kate are ballet dancers, and they have a plan. They’re going to graduate from high school early, then try out for the San Francisco Ballet and do the thing they love the most for the rest of their lives. There is no messing with the plan. Harper lives and breathes ballet, to pretty much an obsessive level. It’s both amazing and heartbreaking to see the things she
Book Concierge
Harper Scott and her best friend Kate have had a plan since they were tiny tykes just starting ballet classes. They will graduate early from high school, audition for the San Francisco Ballet, be hired as ballerinas and share an apartment together. But despite all her hard work and dedication, the plan falls apart. So Harper finagles a way to get to Antarctica for six months.

Really? This story line is so ridiculous that I made myself dizzy rolling my eyes. Harper is so focused on her PLAN, that
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The path is in front of you; be brave and take it.”

Wow, this ended up being so much better than I expected. I mean, the weird premise isn't exactly compelling - a depressed ballerina moves to Antarctica? I picked this up on a hunch and I'm so glad I did because it really, really impressed me.

I cannot express how much I LOVED the narrator's voice, Harper. She was a sharp, sarcastic, funny, hardworking seventeen-year-old. She was charming in her own way while still being a totally realistic p
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Has anyone noticed that there are two plots in ballet fiction? One is in the vein of The Turning Point: former ballerinas reliving their glory days and scheming against each other, using their children as pawns; a faithless but hot male defector is usually involved. The novels Ballerina and Astonish Me fall more or less within this category. The other is in the vein of Center Stage: young dancers struggling to make it in the cruel world of dance; lots of eating disorders, backstabbing, and dasta ...more
I can't assign a star rating to this book, but here's some thoughts.

Basically, I knew this would be bad (the title alone! no, sorry, it's not a cute pun, it's an indication of Longo's writing style; or that children's literature nowdays is in dire straits; or maybe I am just too old to understand). Which is why I am withholding my rating. I am clearly not the audience, and I don't have kids. Also, if I was in my "Nancy Drew" phase, I might have loved this. Especially since I have this obsession
rachel ☾

It’s been forty minutes now of writing and rewriting this review. It’s kind of ridiculous that I’m so tongue-tied when it comes to this book! All you really need to know is how I loved it, right? Right.

Okay, so here it is: I picked up this story because of Nick (@ Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist)’s fabulous review, and the mere mention of ballet and Antarctica in one novel seemed too good to pass up.

And it was almost too good to be true. This story spoke to me on a personal level. It’
Paula Stokes
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I met the author at an event and she seemed really nice and also because Antarctica. I'm a total sucker for books set in faraway places, especially ones with penguins. Oh yes, there are penguins.

I didn't expect to tear through the book in a day and a half and feel compelled to be up at 0130 writing a Goodreads review for it, but Up to This Pointe blew me away and I gotta tell someone. See, I like most books that I read, but I'd say fewer than 5% of them *really* affect
Samantha (WLABB)
Harper and her best friend, Kate, had a plan to become professional dancers. In addition to practice, practice, practice, they would graduate early, and avoid romantic entanglements. But even the best laid plans can come undone, and Harper finds herself untethered. In an effort to get her life back on track, she weasels her way into a science program in Antartica, where she slowly comes to terms with the loss of her dream.

I was so captivated by Longo's latest release, What I Carry, that I ran to
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo combines two elements I love most in YA–sports and travel. Following a dancer who goes to Antarctica after her plan doesn’t work out, this is a touching story with a strong main character. I especially enjoyed the writing style, and the way the dual timelines are linked is clever. I would definitely recommend this one, especially to those who, like myself, are looking for a book with a unique setting.

Harper Scott has a plan: gra
The Lit Bitch
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antarctica, ballet, and science….all together in one story. What in the world?

That’s exactly what was going through my mind when this book came across my nightstand for review.

I almost passed on it because it just sounded so weird, but it’s because of the weirdness that I decided to review it.

I knew one of two things was going to happen…..either it would totally work or it totally wouldn’t and I would know immediately which it was! I was impressed by how quickly this story sucked me in.

Kelly Hager
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You don't need to like science or ballet (or penguins) to appreciate this story. All you need is to understand the feeling that sometimes we need to reset our lives and start all over from scratch. And I think everyone can understand and appreciate that feeling.

Harper's life is ballet. She's even got a Plan for it. She and her best friend are going to become professional ballerinas and work for a company in San Francisco. Except when that plan has to change, she has no idea what to do. Her entir
I liked having both the then and now aspects of this book. The then parts took place in San Francisco while the now parts took place in Antarctica. I think I enjoyed the then parts more because I liked learning about Harper's life back home, ballet career, and family. The Antarctica parts were interesting but did get boring after a while. I didn't really like Aiden's character and I thought that whole part of the story was useless.

I did enjoy this one but I wasn't totally pulled in. I simply li
I'm positively surprised about the depth of this young adult contemporary. Harper is a full-fleshed character and one easily connects with her life dilemma. The alternative chapters creates a nice tension but I admit that I preferred being in Antartica a little bit more. And now I want to go of course to the Antartica and see the Adélies as Harper did. ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
I seem to have quite the unpopular opinion when it comes to this one.

This book has received nearly only positive reviews. When I scroll through this page there is a sea of four and five star reviews, which once again leaves me wondering; did I miss something?

I tend to be hard on contemporary novels; it’s either hit or miss. There is a specific way that I like to see them written; usually profoundly if it’s a sad book, lighthearted and funny otherwise, but you’ll get the most points from me if th
Annoying and unnecessary fat joke aside, this is a delightful read. It's set in San Francisco, as well as in Antarctica. Harper thought she knew her entire life and had a plan with her best friend: they'd been ballerinas forever. When they graduated, they'd get positions in the San Francisco Ballet, a loft downtown, and they'd live their dreams. Together.

Things don't turn out that way, though, which is how Harper ends up in Antarctica. It was some string pulling and some creative truth telling t
Rynn Yumako
Mar 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
My first DNF this year. *sigh*

I got to about 80% when I realized I didn't care about any of the characters here. The whole setting of Antarctica, the implausible way Harper got there, the weird and impossible things that went down there, in a research facility with scientists and probably a lot of money invested in it, it just didn't make any sense and I couldn't suspend my disbelief even for a moment when I was reading those parts.

The other aspect of this book was more believable and I'd have l
I think this is such a special book, and I love that it has a great setting and an adorable romance and great friendships but is really still about a girl's journey to find herself and lay the course of her life when she's been thrown for a major loop. It's a great example of a book that really sits on the YA/NA border in terms of still being a teen but very much looking toward the future. It's a must-read if you're into ballet YAs (or just heroines who are super passionate about their hobbies i ...more
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
FIRST THOUGHTS: I quite enjoyed Up to this Pointe! There's something really appealing about reading the story of a girl who is just trying to figure things out when it comes to her own line. While Harper (not after To Kill a Mockingbird) does find herself in rather extraordinary (and slightly dramatic) circumstances, I still felt a kinship with her that I wasn't expecting. Definitely consider this a good read! ...more
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
There's nothing wrong with this book. I just don't think I was in the mood for contemporary novels when I picked it up so I won't even rate it. ...more
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars: A wonderful story that explores heartache, future uncertainty while blending San Fransisco with Antarctica.

Harper finally arrives in Antarctica, prepared to spend the next six months cut off from civilization as she endures an Antarctica Winter Over. For Harper, it is the perfect escape from her real life. After spending the last seventeen years of her life dedicated to ballet, Harper has been dealt a crushing blow. Unfortunately, Harper will soon discover while marooned on Antarctic
Willow Rosenberg
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book combines Antarctica and ballet - two things which are interesting but I had never thought I would see them combined! It made for a very interesting story and I liked how it intertwined with the two timelines.

I also related a lot to Harper's struggles, because I too used many years dancing ballet and wanting to be a proffesional ballet dancer before I realised it wasn't realistic. It hit close to home for me and I really appreciated seeing that portrayed in a novel: how hard it can be w
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Up to this Pointe

How many YA books have you read that are partly set in Antartica? Yes. Antartica. For me, that would be a big fat zero. I didn't even need to fully read the synopsis because as soon as I saw Antartica, I knew that I would read the book even if the story didn't sound like it would be for me. Up to this Pointe is a book that sneaked up on me, punched me in the feels, and in the end left me with a book that I connected on many different levels. 

It's a story of  heartbreak - the progression, cul
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Also posted at Oops! I Read A Book Again*

First Line: "The thing about Antarctica that surprises me most? The condoms. They're absolutely everywhere."

With an opening like that, it was impossible for me to put down Up to this Pointe. It got me RIGHT AWAY. To me, this meant: OH, THIS IS A MAIN CHARACTER I'M GOING TO GET ALONG WITH. And you know what? I did. I was immediately 100% invested in Harper Scott.

Truth be told, I thought this was a middle-grade novel because of the cover. I know, I know, a
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Jennifer Longo’s WHAT I CARRY (Penguin Random House "A NOVEL OF NUANCE AND HUMANITY” -Kirkus, Starred) published Januray 21, 2020. Her debut novel SIX FEET OVER IT ("SUPERB" - Kirkus, Starred) published 2014 by Penguin Random House, Edited by Chelsea Eberly and represented by Melissa Sarver at Folio Literary. Her second novel, UP TO THIS POINTE ("SAVVY...VIVIDLY CONVEYED" The Bulletin, Starred) pu ...more

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For those of us north of the equator, it's time for chilly days, long nights, and plenty of time to cozy up with a new book–or book...
88 likes · 20 comments
“...Your love is evident,' she says. 'But, darling, sometimes the ballet does not love us back.” 4 likes
“No person, no thing—not Antarctica, not the universe, not ballet—is ever obligated to love us back. True, honest love for a thing is because you love it, with no expectation or want of reciprocation.” 3 likes
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