Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: On Pointe by Lorie Ann Grover

Title: On Pointe
Author: Lorie Ann Grover
# Of Pages: 320
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: May 1, 2008
Level: Middle Grade
Rating: 3 Hearts


(From Barnes&

Our feet slip into satin shoes with stiff shanks,
hard boxing,
tight elastic,
and slippery ribbons that wrap and end in hard knots.
The frayed edges are crammed out of sight.
We stand.
A row of bound feet rises to its toes.
For as long as she can remember, Clare and her family have had a dream: Someday Clare will be a dancer in City Ballet Company. For ten long years Clare has been taking ballet lessons, watching what she eats, giving up friends and a social life, and practicing until her feet bleed—all for the sake of that dream. And now, with the audition for City Ballet Company right around the corner, the dream feels so close.
But what if the dream doesn’t come true? The competition for the sixteen spots in the company is fierce, and many don’t make it. Talent, dedication, body shape, size—everything will influence the outcome. Clare’s grandfather says she is already a great dancer, but does she really have what it takes to make it into the company? And if not,, then what?

My Verdict

The main thing that bothered me about this book was that there were no chapters, no form of breaks whatsoever at all. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that went straight from beginning to end with nowhere to stop and rest along the way.
Another thing that really bothered me was the dialog. The conversations went a little something like this:

“Hi Clare”
“Hi Mom”
“How are you, Clare?”
“Fine, Mom. How are you?”
“I’m good, Clare”

Who talks like that? Cause I know I sure don’t. These are conversations with immediate family members. Do you really need to keep addressing them by name? It made all the conversations seem formal and just plain weird. This was something that really grated on my nerves throughout the whole book.
Despite all this, I did really enjoy the storyline. I liked learning a little bit about ballet, how hard they work themselves, and their mind-set. I liked Clare, her grandfather, and the relationship they shared. 
This book also sends a really great message about the fact that a title doesn’t define who you are. Why you do something and how you feel in your heart when you’re doing them, that’s what defines you.

For most of the book, Clare refuses to see herself as a real dancer because she isn’t dancing for a ballet company. Her grandfather keeps trying to tell her that she already is a real dancer but she refuses to listen to him. It takes a time, a tragic accident, and a new friend to show Clare that dancing just because she loves it and because she’s doing it from her heart: that is what makes her a real dancer.

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