Booktalking "Up To This Pointe" by Jennifer Longo
Antarctica is a huge jump from Harper's prior days in California. She rarely ventures into the sharp, biting cold that threatens to devour life. She is stuck in a room with Vivian, who is deeply ensnared in the world of her earbuds. The girl is captivated by Aiden's oh-so-green eyes. She avoids Ben like the plague, and she studies science in the lab while learning about the world.
San Francisco was the land of ballet and Kate and Simone and Willa. Kate is Harper's best friend forever, the one who ardently surpassed her friend's dreams and competed for an elite ballet spot in any city that would take her. Simone is head of the ballet studio where Harper gladly spent every available waking moment. Willa is one of Harper's "babies," whom she taught with love and who tries so hard that it moves her.
Ballet has been Harper's dream ever since she could remember. Her dedication drove her to even remove a bone from her heel so that her feet would fit ballet shoes. Talk about Cinderella. The girl sacrificed everything for a chance to dance professionally, but it may all be for naught. She ate like a bird and never indulged herself in unhealthy food. She even graduated from high school early so that she could audition in New York and spent countless hours training in the studio. She struggled to be the best, but professional ballet companies do not see a spark in her dance.
I loved the alternating perspectives from Antarctica and San Francisco, especially since the top of the world events in Harper's life happened after her sunny California experience. The juxtaposition of the two places gives the book a time warp feel.