Cherry Jellybeans En Pointe Guest Review

Hi all, I’m Camille from the Cherry Jellybeans blog and Goodreads, and I was chosen to review En Pointe by Chloe Bayliss as part of the AusYABloggers Review Tour.


En Pointe by Chloe Bayliss
Pages: 264 pages
Publication: 30 Sep 2019
Published by: Pantera Press
Camille's Rating: 3.5 stars
View on Goodreads

“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.

Camille's Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this Young Adult autobiography by Chloe Bayliss. It was my first time reading a story like this one. As a mid-30s young woman, I found that I didn’t enjoy this autobiography as much as I could have because I felt that I was in the wrong age group to appreciate it. However, if I picture myself back in time to when I was my 14 or 15-year-old self, I believe I would have enjoyed her story more than I do now. This story was both heartbreaking and entertaining in equal measure. At the start of the story, Bayliss is a dedicated dancer whose life is dance, dance and more dance. She has no time for anything else while her family uproot their lives to accommodate her every need. But that all changes six months before Bayliss is due to graduate with her Diploma in Dance and Performance. She is rushed to hospital with acute kidney failure and spends an awful eighteen months fighting off life-threatening disease.

It was good to see that as Chloe grew up during her illness, she learns to grow up and see the world through a different lens. The sixteen-year-old Chloe realises it wasn’t just about her dancing anymore as she must lean on others to survive. Although it must have been tough to hear from various experts that Bayliss shouldn’t and wouldn’t be able to dance anymore, especially when at her lowest. She meets and spends time with her family members again and begins to have better relationships with them. Her sister is a real character, and her parents are beautiful people.  I can’t imagine what they were going through and wouldn’t wish the events that happened to this family on my worst enemy.

It was heartbreaking and harrowing to read about the various experiences that happened while Chloe was in the hospital. I can only imagine what it felt like to have the nurses put sandbags on her chest to stop the bleeding after her second biopsy. I would feel as annoyed at the doctors as Chloe did when she knew she was about to have another seizure, and no one would listen to her.  It would have been excruciating.  It was interesting to read about her first crush and her wanting to have sex and live like a normal teenage girl too. I remember what it was like to be angry at boys, especially when Jake left her right when she needed him most. In turn, all these experiences shape the dancer Bayliss becomes once she is strong enough to defeat her limitations and graduate finally. 

By the end of the story, I was glad to know that Chloe had beaten her illness but found her to be a little selfish in the way that she made her parents relive this horrible time. I also think the ending to be overdone and inflated. The conclusion might have read better if it was divided into two chapters instead of one.

Overall, I found this book to be both inspirational and hopeful in turn. I hope teenagers read this and know that if Chloe Bayliss can defeat her illness and achieve her dreams, anyone can.  
I rate this 3.5 out of 5 stars.

You can find Camille via Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

1 comment

  1. Absolutely lovely and thoughtful review.
    I can't imagine going through what Chloe did.
    I've noticed that these situations can really bring out traits in people that weren't really there beforehand (in regards to your comment about Chloe being selfish and making her parents relive the horrible time).

    I hope that people who read this book (especially younger people) find it as inspirational and hopeful as you did.


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