Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Review :: Pointe Claw

Pointe Claw - Amber J. Keyser


Pointe Claw is a well-paced and cleverly written piece.  It's challenging, both in the subject matter and the writing itself (there's visceral, raw and sometimes shocking imagery throughout the novel).  I'm not sure I always enjoyed it - this is not a snuggly settle-in-with-a-cuppa kind of read, but I found it engaging and thought-provoking right to the bitter end.  It also has lotttts of hooks, which helps.

There are two strong narrative voices in Pointe Claw, and each was compelling.  That isn't to say that I felt particularly connected to either.  I didn't.  I wanted them to come to a good end, but I didn't love them in the way I want to love my leads.  I did, however, root for them.  Dawn in particular was dealt some pretty crappy cards and it's hard not to be like, gammon girl, show them!

On Dawn.  Here's a character I haven't come across before.  In real life, yes.  In literature, not that I can think of...  Props to Keyser for giving the stage to a true anti-hero.  One that is brash and confrontational, clever and complex and so vulnerable, right the way through.  And while I found her scenes the hardest to read - she's messy and all hard edges - I absolutely recognised her.  This is one of the areas in which I think Pointe Claw was a bridging book between YA and Adult (perhaps leaning towards the latter).

To me, Pointe Claw promoted feminist attitudes in a far more convincing and naturalised way than What Girls Are Made of.  I won't compare any further, because these are very different stories presented in very different ways, but reading them side by side, this really stood out.  I was pretty impressed with this particular treatment.  Without being preachy, Keyser made it searingly obvious how each girl was effected by certain societal pressures.  Like I said, thought-provoking.

All that said, I'm like ???? about that ending.  Have you read it?  What did you think?

Review copy kindly provided by Walker Books

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