Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Pointe by Brandy Colbert

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I received this book for free from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Pointe by Brandy ColbertPointe by Brandy Colbert
Published by Putnam Juvenile on April 10th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Penguin Canada
Buy on Amazon

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 abductionβ€”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.


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.


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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24 Responses to “Review: Pointe by Brandy Colbert”

  1. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    Sounds like this book has a lot going for it, but with a few minor (major?) flaws. I hate it when that happens. It’s great when the ending makes all the difference though, as it did for you in this case. Great review Giselle!

  2. Amanda @ Book Badger

    This book really mixed you didn’t it hun? I like that it’s given you mixed feelings, makes for an interesting point on the book, like it will affect people all differently, so that’s exciting. For me, I was gripped by the cover, and tall those features you’ve mentioned, that’s a lot for one book, but it seemed to be pulled off well? I’m glad that in the end you enjoyed this πŸ™‚

  3. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    It sounds like the author portrayed the self-esteem issues of the main character in really well, but I have to admit that the tackling of so many issues in one book seems a little too much. I can see how the real plotline got drowned in all those other issues.
    I’m still glad you enjoyed it by the end though.
    Great review, Giselle!

  4. Pili

    Well, I’m very glad to hear you ended up loving this one! I really need to read a good book with ballet in it after the disappointment that Dance of Shadows was last year…
    Great review, Giselle! I’ll be keeping your warnings in mind while reading this one!

  5. Paulina

    Yes you were making sense Giselle! I’m weird and I like reading about mental issues and bigger things like death, rape, cheating ect so I’m thinking of reading this book. But I don’t like the fact that the author didn’t get into the main issue at the start or even at the middle of the book but waited till the end. Lovely review. Also I said you’re reading The Geography of You and Me πŸ™‚ I loved the book and reviewed it; hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
    Paulina @ Tangled In Pages

  6. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    Yea, it does seem like this book has a lot of “darker” issues going on, so gritty seems to suit it, but I am just not sure about this one.I would have to be in the right mood to enjoy it or I think it would be a little too much for me. Is that strange? lol

    Anyways, great review Giselle πŸ˜‰

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  7. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I definitely know what you mean when you say that the main character wasn’t likable but it was still easy to sympathize with them. I feel like those kinds of characters are always a part of such a thought-provoking and dark novel like this one, because holy batman that is definitely a LOT of topics that’s in one book!

  8. Melliane

    good things, less ones but it definitely is intriguing. I never read something like that but it sounds intense. And well it seems like the author used a lot of topic here.

  9. Jennifer Bielman

    Jeeze, this does have a lot of elements to it which is risky. the kidnapping appealed to me too but, eek, so creepy. I would be nervous to read this one with the concept but I also hate that most of the book was a little boring.

  10. Milka

    Hmm, I got quite excited about this when I heard about it, but my excitement has kind of been waning down as I’ve read reviews of the book. I will probably still read it at some point, I just don’t think that I’ll run to the bookstore right away to get it.
    Thanks for the review πŸ™‚

  11. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Haha, you have much patience than I, Giselle. Those flaws you’ve mentioned would have driven me up the wall fo’ sho. But like Jessica said, as long as they weren’t overwhelming and didn’t deter you from experiencing a positive experience, then I guess that’s good. Will be checking it out when I have the time.

  12. Juhina

    wow-zer.. when you were listing all the things in the book.. the more I read the more I thought “WHAT? HOW? HUH?” how can all these themes and elements be in a single book without feeling too unreal or too much? now i’m really interested in this book!

    thanks Giselle,
    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf