I never read any reviews for Pointe by Brandy Colbert because I knew I was going to read it no matter what and I have a policy against reading reviews of book I know I'll read so as not to be influenced. I had heard it was powerful. I had heard it was heartbreaking. I knew it had something to do with a kidnapping. Other than that I had no idea what I was getting into. Whoa. This book is a HARD read, and not only because it is about hard things. It's because Colbert gave us a protagonist with a voice that makes you feel her pain in every way.
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.
Theo is a dancer with tremendous potential. She is a daughter with two loving and supportive parents. She is a friend who cares and strives to be compassionate and helpful. She is a broken girl whose life was shattered and the saddest part is she doesn't see exactly HOW it was shattered. She knows it was, but she mistakes it for something it wasn't and therefore has never dealt with it. And that is what Pointe is essentially about. It is a book about a girl who think a thing about herself and important people in her life that is a lie. It affects her behavior in everything she does. (Other than ballet which is her happy place.) This is a story about a broken girl having to realize how she was broken and who broke her, and how she can be mended. I'm not entirely comfortable using exactly those words, because obviously people are not vases. It's more complicated than that, but those words convey enough without giving too much away. Colbert pulls the reader into Theo's story with a deft hand. Hints are given here and there. The story circles around and gives pieces of Theo's story a piece at a time as she confronts them. It is not easy reading this and seeing how she thinks of herself and the actions she is driven to at times in search of a feeling to make it all better. She is a character you can empathize with and whose story should make your heart break. I love the journey she went through in this book and the hard subject matter it dealt with. The way it all came together in the end was thoroughly satisfying to me. I like when a book deals with harsh realities, but doesn't leave out hope for the future and recovery.
I'm keeping this short, not because I didn't truly love this, but because I think it is one of those that needs to be experienced rather than read about. There are going to be people who take issue with some of the things in this book, but the truth is it confronts a topic that needs confronting and confronts it with unflinching realism. It is worth it for that.
Content Warning: Underage Drinking; Recreational Drug Use; Some Sexual Content; Possible Triggers