Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: April 10th 2014
by Putnam Juvenile
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.
-A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review-
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.