Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Pointe Brandy Colbert

Theo is a ballet dancer, one with a real shot at going pro. She’s startled the day a guy from school--who she mainly knows as a pot dealer-- shows up as the new pianist at her studio. Then she goes home and sees that her best friend--the one who was kidnapped 4 years ago and presumed dead--has been found.

There’s a lot going on here--when Donovan comes home, Theo has to deal a lot with what was going on in her life when he disappeared. Then she sees a picture of the man who’s been arrested for kidnapping Donovan. Chris Fenner is 30, but when Theo knew him, he said he was 18 and his name was Trent. She was 13 and he was her boyfriend and they were in love.

As Theo gears up for her summer intensive auditions, the things that can lead her pro, she must confront some very large demons. Does she tell what she knows about the man who took Donovan? Does she risk being branded “That Girl” forever, knowing that any ballet company in their right mind will pass on her because of it?

After Donovan and Trent left, Theo stopped eating. Now they’re back, she’s stopped again.

How does she navigate the town gossip and other student’s reactions and theories when Donovan returns?

Donovan and Trent were friends--did Donovan want to go?

There’s a lot going on here, but it works really, really well. I love that ballet is Theo’s life, but it’s not the focus of this novel. I appreciated that her eating issues weren’t about ballet. She uses ballet as way to keep herself “in check” with her dieting, but it’s obviously really about controlling something when she can’t control the other things in her life. It’s not the “you’re too fat and have to lose weight” thing that we so often see in ballet novels.

There is sex and drug use and sometimes there are consequences and sometimes there aren’t. It was all realistically done.

There are heavy things going on, but Colbert keeps all the issues and plot lines balanced and you know that Theo should just tell what she knows, but you believe her reasons for not wanting to. The back and forth narrative as Theo tries to piece together Donovan’s disappearance with his reappearance and how Theo reveals information is so well crafted. I don’t want to say Theo’s unreliable, but there are (major) pieces she holds back for awhile. It adds new layers to the stories and avoids there “this is what happened then” massive info-dump.

ALSO. Can I just say how much I love that there are really good adults in this novel? With the obvious exception of the Chris/Trent aside, most of the adults in Theo’s life--her parents, her teachers, etc, are really good adults. They’re there for Theo and also hold her accountable for her actions without being horrible. And as an adult reader, I knew she could trust them, but I also totally understood why Theo wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to grab her shoulders and shake some sense into her.

You guys… so good and powerful. I’m going to be thinking on this one for a long, long, long time.

Book Provided by... my local library

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