Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the AusYABloggers ‘En Pointe Blog Tour by Chloe Bayliss. I read the book in less than a day and I have some thoughts. A big thank you to AusYABloggers and Pantera Press
“Have you ever had an addiction? An obsession? Have you ever wanted something so much that you can’t imagine your life without it? For me, that’s dance.”
This is a story about never giving up on your dreams, no matter what life throws at you.
Chloe Bayliss was born to perform and thanks to a lot of hard work and determination, she’s on her way to being a ballerina. At sixteen, she gets accepted into an international dance school and everything she dreamed of is about to come true.
But then overnight a mystery illness takes Chloe from starring in Swan Lake to clinging to life in a hospital bed.
Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined the hurdles she would face – but also how she would eventually triumph. Against all odds, she finds a whole new way to flourish, and despite the challenges she faces, Chloe never stops dreaming big.
En Pointe is the real-life story of how an aspiring ballerina became an inspiring young actor after overcoming a life-threatening illness.
Miracles really can happen, even if they’re not the ones you asked for.
As some of you may have noticed, this blog centres around works of young adult fiction. I typically read action packed sci-fi and fantasy, or wholesome contemporary novels. I have never reviewed a memoir and honestly, I never thought I would. It just isn’t something that typically piques my interest. So, you can imagine my own surprise when I read the blurb of this memoir and practically counted down the days until I could share my review with all of you! Simply put, I adored it.
Something that instantly struck me about this novel was how deeply personal it was. At times, I didn’t feel as if I was merely reading about someone who I had no connection to, I felt as if I had known her for ages and that this was a diary of sorts, filled with the triumphs and insecurities of any other teenage girl. Of course, this wasn’t the story of just any teenager. The novel follows Chloe as she navigates her life as a budding professional dancer and the first few chapters are filled with only the hopes and dreams of a 17 year old who just desperately wants to fulfil her passion. We as readers, are introduced to a girl so determined to do what she loves that she will do just about anything for dance. When she triumphs, it takes a physical effort not to do one of those dorky happy dances we are all very capable of (you know it’s true). When tragedy strikes and Chloe is ridden with a mysterious, life threatening illness, the elation we felt only moments before bursts as we feel what can only be described as true empathy. The majority of this novel follows Chloe’s battle as she struggles to maintain a sense of normalcy when everything important to her crumbles and it is heartbreaking. Every thought and feeling that she had at that time in her life is displayed throughout the pages of her book and I for one, can say that I felt as if I was right there with her.
If you happened to read the synopsis, you would know that while the story may have been tragic, this was a novel of triumph. As Chloe slowly regained control of her life following what must have been the most terrifying experience, I was met with more of the determination I noticed earlier. Instead of allowing her illness to become her, she overcame the challenges she faced and found a way to flourish, despite the abrupt turn her life had taken. I believe that this was mostly due to her strong and resilient personality but also her family who I came to adore through this novel. As it was written entirely through her eyes, I got to understand those closest to her and truly appreciate her excellent support network. It made me grateful for my own family as I was confronted with sacrifices they would’ve made for me if I was in a similar situation. I greatly commend Chloe for writing this memoir as I know it wouldn’t have been easy but I truly think that she has made a brilliant and impactful memoir that I believe could do so much for young (and old) people everywhere.
About the Author:
Helpmann Award nominee and Finalist in the prestigious 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship, Chloe Bayliss is one of Australia’s finest emerging actresses. She has numerous credits across stage and screen, including her role in the TV Week Logie Award nominated drama Doctor Doctor which is now filming its fourth season and will air on Nine later this year.
Chloe has an extensive background in dance and choreography, having graduated from the National College of Dance with a Diploma of Dance and Performance. Her life as a dancer has taken her all over America and she now extends her knowledge to students and performers throughout Australia by running workshops, teaching and judging dance scholarships.
Chloe hopes to spark conversation around a number of matters she is passionate about, using her own story of overcoming hardship to inspire and bring awareness to others.
Some Extra Stuff:
Without giving too much about the book away, I encourage all of you to donate blood to the Red Cross
as soon as you are eligible (there is a new rule stating that you must be 18+). For pretty much all of us, I get that this isn’t possible just yet but when it is, that contribution really does save lives. I know it might sound kind of daunting, but your (probably future) donations mean an awful lot.
Again, a massive thanks to Pantera Press and AusYABloggers for this opportunity and to Chloe Bayliss for bringing us such a fantastic read. I encourage you all to read this book as it is truly inspiring. I would like to give a big ‘Happy Birthday’ to En Pointe
as today is the official launch day! I also suggest that you all check out Tanzeem’s review here
as she was also a part of this epic tour! I really did love this book so much and I know that so many of you would feel the same. I’m giving En Pointe
an overall rating of 4.6/5 stars.
Your Favourite Bookworm