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Up to This Pointe

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,184 Ratings  ·  323 Reviews
She had a plan. It went south.
 
Harper 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 to the South Pole. So when Harper’s l
...more
Library Binding, 368 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Emily May
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
“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 ch
...more
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
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Nat
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-reads
“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

description

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
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Cait • A Page with a View
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-ya
I knew going into this book that I'd probably adore it because it involves Antarctica and ballet, but I was not expecting it to be that emotional, deep, and straight up wonderful. I'm not sure if this book will be everyone's cup of tea (like maybe it just happened to be the exact right formula of things I love and can relate to), but can I please emphasize how much I loved this.

I really, really connected with Harper and her journey. She spent her entire life training to be a ballerina, but had t
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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 eve
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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
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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
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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
...more
Drew
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
“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 por
...more
Sarah
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ballet
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
Ioana
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
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rachel • typed truths


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’s
...more
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.

Everythin
...more
Kelly Hager
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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Jacquelyn
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it
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
...more
ALEXA
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
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!
Kelly
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
...more
Dahlia
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
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.
Heidi
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
...more
Willow Rosenberg
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
...more
nick
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc

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, culmi
...more
Dianne
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*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
...more
Chelsea
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Meem
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I was 12 years old, all I wanted to be was a ballerina. My 12-year-old-self never loved anything more than ballet. But I also knew the fact that I will never be a ballerina. In that sense, this book meant more to me than it should.

It was a sad and true book. I mean, we all have a Plan and sometimes that Plan doesn't work out the way we expect it to. And when it doesn't, what are we without our Plan?

Also, I think I fell in love with Antarctica and San Francisco so much that I can move to San
...more
Sarah Marie
3.25 stars. It took me over a year to read this because I'm horrible. Review to come.
brittany
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Plan. It has been in place since sixth grade. Kate and I have followed it religiously -- devoted to dance and to each other.
This book is an unexpected gem: fun, hopeful, a little bittersweet. Anyone who's ever felt like their life has no direction, or who has been confused and anxious about their future, will respond to Harper's story. Anyone who's had to give up on a lifelong dream, or who's felt drawn to nontraditional paths, will connect.

The plot: Harper has spent her entire life train
...more
Allie
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads, ya-reads
I think this is my perfect YA novel.

For as long as I can remember, I've had an affinity for Antarctica and I'm not sure how it started. To find out there was novel about time spent there, I figured I might be hooked from the beginning. And I was.

Harper Scott is a ballerina from San Francisco who winds up spending six months in Antarctica for Winter Over. All of the characters were lovable and real. The story was fantastical but felt totally believable. I appreciated Longo's inclusion of nonwhi
...more
Jess
I really liked the overall message of this book, which is that dreams are changeable and if you really want something, it's okay to play to your strengths and change the plan. Just because you decide something when you are twelve does not mean that you have to want it forever, and even if you do, if you don't get it, you do have to decide what's next.

THAT SAID, I'm not sure I'm fully on board with the depiction of Kate and Harper's friendship, especially the resolution to it. Like, that was some
...more
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Play Book Tag: Up To This Pointe / Jennifer Longo - 2** 3 13 Nov 08, 2016 04:34AM  
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Jennifer Longo’s 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) published 2016, also courtesy of Penguin Random House. A California native, Jennifer holds a Master of Fine Arts degree ...more
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“...Your love is evident,' she says. 'But, darling, sometimes the ballet does not love us back.” 3 likes
“She puts her mittened hands on the sides of my hood. “Okay, then remember: ‘Science is nothing but perception’—that’s Plato. He was all about getting out of the cave, seeing life from a new angle, in a new light, letting things move all they want. The ice we’re standing on is shifting as we speak. We’re not where we were five minutes ago. Be here while you’re here. Understand?” 1 likes
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