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Beyond the Point

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  6,891 ratings  ·  1,017 reviews
In this powerful debut novel set at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, three women—a nationally-ranked point guard, the granddaughter of an Army general, and a rebellious Homecoming Queen—are brought together in an enthralling story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience.

Duty. Honor. Country. That’s West Point’s motto, and every cadet who passes through its stone
Paperback, 516 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,891 ratings  ·  1,017 reviews

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Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Beyond the Point three young women meet at West Point, where they will attend college and play basketball. Hannah, Dani, and Avery are from different backgrounds: one a religious rule follower with family ties to West Point, another a stellar athlete, and the third, a party girl constantly running as an escape.

The trio forms a strong bond over the course of their college years, though their future plans change, as life often does. They are in school during 9/11, which alters the course of the
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Etaf Rum

When you run a bookstagram account, you read so many books. Sometimes I lose count of how many I’m reading at once. Sometimes I focus on a single book and don’t come up for air until I am done. That’s what happened with Beyond the Point. When I started reading it, I had no idea just how much it would pull at my heartstrings.

Gibson tells the story of three women—Dani, Hannah, and Avery—over the span of seven years, from the sunset of their high school years to the dawn of
West Point is very special to me- I fell in love with and married a cadet. We sleep with a green girl on our bed, I've been to the Firstie Club and 100th night and I've eaten meals in the mess hall. I could picture every single page of this book. I've also been to military funerals, watched as flags were folded, and gripped friend's hands as they walked through the unimaginable. I know the fear and the longing and the separation.

This book captured it all perfectly. I have even more respect for
Kate Quinn
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for a cover quote, and will definitely be giving one!

Updated with my quote:

In BEYOND THE POINT, Claire Gibson writes a stellar trio of heroines--women I want to hug, women I want to befriend, women I want to be. Hannah, Avery, and Dani enter the male-dominated world of West Point as very different personalities, but they all prove tough as their Army boots as their friendship weathers the tests of school and life, faith and loss, love and war. An inspiring tribute to female friendship and
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This really moved along zippily for the first 3/4. Although the writing isn't cliche-free, the details were interesting and I was wrapped up in the 3 main characters' stories, kind of Rona Jaffe-style. (I'm sure there's a modern equivalent but Rona came to mind!) I was upset though by what felt like the author slut-shaming one of those characters, over and over. And there was a bit too much religion for me. There were some progressive and feminist values mixed in there, too, but I felt some judg ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2019
5 ☆ WOW was I SURPRISED!! Beyond The Point was not what I was expecting at all. Inside it’s pages Claire Gibson created a captivating spell of awe and respect for our female soldiers that kept me reading well into the night. YAY!! for that as it’s one heck of a debut! I loved following alongside bff’s Dani, Hannah and Avery’s tight knit friendship, different personalities, good/bad choices; during their tumultuous HS senior and U.S. West Point years (where Hannah meets her soul mate), 911 and th ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story! It's been a while since I've read a book that really taps into my emotions. I related to all three of the characters in a profound way. My favorite BOTM so far!
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beyond the Point

A poignant and enthralling story of the friendship of three West Point female graduates.


At the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, three women bond on a basketball court in a story of friendship, heartbreak, and resilience.

Dani McNalley is going places. With athletic talent and a brilliant mind, she navigates West Point’s predominantly male environment with wit and confidence, breaking stereotypes and embracing new friends.  Hannah Speer’s grandfather, a legenda
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books where I feel genuinely bad that I can't give it a higher rating. There's nothing wrong with this novel; it just wasn't written for me, and that's fine.

I imagine that people who have a military background, or come from a military family, will connect with this story in ways that I just wasn't able to appreciate. Claire Gibson has a personal connection to the West Point setting, having grown up on the base, and has clearly done her research when it comes to portraying t
I knew I would love this book within the first 50 pages. Told from three women who come to attend West Point to play basketball. How that decision is made. They all play for an obtuse, prejudice, a-hole coach. We see how their lives play out after West Point and after unimaginable heart break. Heart break that bonds friends like no other. And when friends can love through that, something magical happens.
I highly recommend this book!
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Good characters, well-written and not cliched.

It would make for a good book club discussion, particularly for women in their early- to mid-twenties as there's much to discuss (women in the military, #metoo, marriage, faith, friendship, etc.). It would be great to read with a book flight of Tribe by Sebastian Junger.

A note on this being "Christian" fiction. I've seen several reviews mention it as such. A few of the characters shared a common faith, but I wouldn't consider this Christian fiction a
Renee (itsbooktalk)
review coming soon, really enjoyed!!
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF @30%
2019; William Morrow Paperbacks/HarperCollins Canada

I was excited to read this one after reading the positive reviews. However, after listening for awhile I had to stop reading as I was not invested in the story at all. There was a lot packed into this novel, but was not paced well. The characters were a bit frazzled and too much alike. Also, as a side note this novel should probably be classified as Christian fiction. Not warning readers on this may turn some readers off as it does have
Apr 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Someone needs a little *less* Jesus. This book should have been marketed as Christian fiction, there's that much. (And if it had - it would probably get less crappy reviews, because there's no indication *anywhere* about this. If there had been, it would have probably hit its target market instead of falling on the masses. This parachute never came close to its landing zone). Everything feels forced, from the religious plugs everywhere to the so called relationships between the girls. Really, re ...more
Sarah Swann
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man...this one struck a chord. Being a part of the military for my entire life, this brought up so many feelings. These women are incredible and the traditions were so accurate. It sparked the fears that military spouse shave being married to soldiers. Loved this so incredibly much!
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Though, admittedly, I may not have picked up this book on my own had I not befriended the author last year, I would have been a fool to pass up reading this gorgeous novel! Claire Gibson wrote with an understanding of loss and friendship that surpasses many of her contemporaries. In 500 pages, she wove a tale covering 7 years from the end of high school through and beyond the Point, as 3 young women, despite the odds, aspire to play basketball for West Point and in so doing, establish a lasting ...more
Ilyssa Wesche
There was a LOT of God in this book. Way too much for me. That said, I was expecting something different and that affected my feelings about the book. I would consider this a new adult book, and as such, it was pretty good! Just not what I was looking for.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bitter Southerner’s 2019 reading list description caught my attention with “Beyond the Point might be the beachiest beach read on our list. Don’t forget to pack it.” I enjoy a smart beach read and the story of three women who forged a friendship at West Point sounded like a winner.

After two months I finally got a copy. The waitlist at the Nashville Public Library for local author Claire Gibson’s book was long.

Claire grew up at West Point where her father served on the faculty. Her insight in
Laura Carlton
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
want to know more!!! What happened next?.....Claire Gibson gave me an authentic look at life for women at the Military Academy. These three student athletes allowed a deep friendship bond to grow between them; and the lives they lived after graduation have many lessons/applications for everyone. This story has challenged me to work harder at holding on to friendships rather than letting them simply drift away. The time, love, and commitment that we invest in each other is NEVER wasted-even if ou ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant book from a debut writer.
A book that will make you call your best friends, or be a better one.

"The book reminds us that in our darkest hours, despite tensions and time, best friends show up, helping us find the light." - Bryn Chancellor, author of Sycamore
Emily Mehlman
Jun 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF: The book jacket description of this book was so misleading. I was expecting a poignant story about women challenging themselves in a male dominated field at the tipping point of an important cultural shift in America. I hope to read about the strength of female friendships and womanhood in the face of immense physical and mental challenges, but unfortunately this book does not deliver. The characters are superficial and cliche. We learn mostly about the three main women’s relationship with ...more
Heather Lawrentz
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: botm, 2019
Three stars — this was an okay read. I was kind of let down when it became apparent that the focus of the story was different that what it seems on the book jacket. I thought it was going to be about three young women in the military dealing with the aftermath of September 11th, but the topic of 9/11 really only lasted a few pages. The story was more about the interpersonal relationships between the girls and the various men in their lives.
Vanessa ❤️
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Faith isn’t really faith until it’s beat up and put through a fire. When you’re crushed, you feel like you’re dying. But you’re actually coming to life. When you’re broken, that’s when the best of you comes out.”
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book!! Loved the story,history of West Point and all the characters. Heart breaking and inspiring book! Brought me out of a reading slump!
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beyond The Point was a really enjoyable read about three women who forge a strong friendship at West Point Military Academy. I would say about 30%-ish actually takes place at West Point, while the rest of the story takes place after graduation. There’s also a lot of religious undertones, which didn’t bother me personally, as faith is an important aspect in many of the characters lives, but not all. There’s a bit of a plot twist, which I appreciated and wasn’t expecting. This was a buddy read pic ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me say that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. However, I was instantly drawn into the lives of these three different women. I found something relatable in each of them as they were flawed, strong and empowered in their own ways. The writing is beautiful and makes you just want to keep reading. The book is almost 500 pages but it goes so fast and it never felt too long. I am someone who always comments about editing for basically anything over 350 pages but this wasn’t th ...more
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book drove me crazy and not in a good way. It felt like the author tried to cram way too much into one book. I found myself halfway through it and wondering what the point of it all was. The chapters all have a strict linear timeline, with seasons, months, days, and/or years listed, and yet it starts with a cryptic "prologue" set near the 2/3 mark of the book. Every chapter has several flashbacks as the characters "remember" something that happened before, almost always during a time you've ...more
If I could give this book six stars, I would.
Laura • lauralovestoread
Binge read this one in a day because it was such a heartwarming read! Definitely one of my most hyped books thanks to bookstagram, and I wanted to make sure that I got it in for this year.

It was so good and I just love a book with strong female friendship themes!
Hannah, Dani, and Avery meet at West Point, the U.S. Military Academy. Together, they are going to face four difficult years--at a tough military academy that is even harder on women. Through the adversity, the three will forge a tight friendship. Dani has come to play basketball, but her body may not be on board with that plan. Hannah comes from a military family, but even her own grandfather isn't sure he wants Hannah at West Point. But Hannah forges ahead anyway, and at school, she meets Tim, ...more
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