Privilege Brat Has a Meltdown: Up to This Pointe by Jennifer Longo

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She had a plan. It went south.

Harper is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. Extreme, but somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.

Source: GoodReads

I love Antartica.  This might be in part because my favorite animal is a penguin (okay, puffin sort of falls in there too) or the fact that there’s hardly any people there, but it’s on my bucket list.  And I will read a book if it takes place there.  However, after reading Up to this Pointe, I really don’t know if I’ll read any book that features Antartica if it involves privilege brats.  I mean, that’s sort of a fail.

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And God, is Harper one of the most privileged brats I’ve had the distaste of reading about in recent years.   Said brat, takes someone’s rightful spot to go to Antartica based on her family heritage.

I have no words.

Also, said privilege brat was such a genius she only had one plan in her life.  Her useless parents didn’t do their job of telling her that hey sometimes life doesn’t work out.  Especially ballet dancing.  The fact that they were just able to go with the whole I’ll audition around after I graduate with no alternative plans says a whole lot.

And her feet…yeah, I know some ballerinas and that they have messed up feet, but I thought there would’ve been more parental interference than there was on that.

One thing that got brought up a lot and annoyed the hell out of me was the character’s weight.  I am well aware that the world of dance is messed up when it comes to bodies, HOWEVER it doesn’t appear that the MC had an eating disorder yet it’s constantly shoved in the reader’s face that she needs to eat a cheeseburger.

Telling someone to eat a cheeseburger is about as offensive as telling someone they should lose a few.  In a world where body positivity is becoming more and more of a factor in YA, I don’t understand the skinny shaming.

Even if the character was anorexic (which she wasn’t) the whole situation wasn’t handled delicately and it sucked.  And what’s wrong with eating salad?  Seriously.  The fact that she’s not guzzling down cinnamon rolls is looked like some big sin.  Well, considering I can’t eat wheat I guess I would be sinning here…

Seriously, it annoyed the hell out of me.  Especially when they went on how having a muffin top is healthy for Antartica.  I was like seriously…can we stop with the weight talk?  Can we just agree to accept someone for the size they are and not devote thirty or so pages telling them how imperfect they are because Jesus….

It really made the book lose at least a letter grade.  The other reason the book was rated so low as I said before was the selfish privilege of the narrator.

Again, the privilege and lack of caring the MC showed everything else really soured me to the book.  I couldn’t even connect with any of the side characters save for the MC’s best friend who she hated because she was talented and the MC was not.

A part of me wanted to like this book.  I wanted to enjoy the Antartica setting and learn a couple of things, but at the end of the day it was a mope fest for a spoiled brat.  Hell, I would even be more concerned about the mope fest if the main character wasn’t such a self entitled shit.  That and the constant skinny shaming annoyed the hell out of me.

Overall Rating: A C.  Good premises but sort of a fail.

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Research, Hallmark, Research: Christmas Festival of Ice

Hallmark has finally done it.  It has made me want to completely rewrite one of their horrible movies.  At this point, I’ll admit that about 85% of the movies they air are crap.  However, I usually am not forced to watch Hallmark productions where the MC is a lawyer.   However, my luck was out with Christmas Festival of Ice.

And I can tell you after finishing this one, I feel for all you pediatricians, vets, actresses, teachers, and any other occupation Hallmark has shit on.

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If you don’t keep up with my Twitter, you should be notice that a lot of my Hallmark watching has been condensed to live Tweeting horrible movies (well, semi live Tweeting since I DVR-Equity it-thanks, Professor F for coining that term) there’s so many Countdown to Christmas crap-tacular films I can’t do full reviews for all of them.

However, there are some…well, there are so that just make me upset enough that make me write a review and this is one of them.

If you read my blog entries about Hallmark movies, you know I find them deeply flawed.  They’re in this own little bubble of privilege beyond privilege that only someone as foul  as DJ Tanner herself can love them-note, I actually have had to block people on Twitter when talking about things because I have been told I’m “mean” and wrong (we’ll get into what I’m supposedly wrong about later).

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Anyways, the premises of this one is pretty simple.  Every year Hallmark has to do some movie about ice sculpting.  I guess there is someone related to a higher up who has an ice sculpting fetish.  Honestly, maybe it’s because I’ve always had a green Christmas, but I’ve never associated ice sculpting with Christmas before.   But Hallmark does, and in this designated movie a law student-turned later in the movie law school grad-decides to get her ice sculpting fetish on with a guy who lives in a van down by the river who sales Christmas trees on the side when he’s not make the big dough from ice sculpting.

He’s hot, I guess which compensates the fact that his job is seasonal, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

For about the first hour or so of the movie, we’re told that this chick Emma is a law student.  And it’s at Christmas time, and I’m like girl this movie should be called That-Stupid-Chick-Who-Failed-1L-Because-She’s-More-Concerned-With Ice-Than-Torts.  Okay, I actually simplified the title to How I Failed 1L Year.  It’s not great, but it’s better than the alternative.   So, of course, I was obsessed with how this chick was not studied when my three years of law school was pretty much considered to be hell during the holidays.

But halfway through the movie, were randomly told that the MC took the bar and is waiting for her results (before Christmas?)

Um, no.

That’s not how it works.  The exam is taken in July and February respectfully.  Even the states that get their results back last-usually California-get them by mid November.  The reason why, people who fail have to register in time for the February exam.  They have to enroll in BARBRI or Kaplan which usually starts in December (near the time this movie takes place-agian, I know because I took the bar in February for one state).  Furthermore, you’re not going to get a text to tell you if you are going to pass or not.  You’re going to be sitting obsessively refreshing the state bar’s website until they post their pass/fail list.  Trust me, I’ve done it twice and it’s not pleasant.  If you don’t want to be refreshing your browser you’ll get a letter a couple of days letter.  Again, not a text.

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It wouldn’t take Hallmark a fucking lot of work to do this.  I mean, all they would have to do is Google the fucking thing.  They probably could’ve had a God damn intern do it during revisions.

But gun-ho Hallmark fans were arguing about this with me.  Because apparently Hallmark knows the schedule of bar exams a lot better than anyone who has ever waited for their bar results.

And stating the MC is a law student to waiting for her bar exams…Yeah.  You can’t take the bar if you haven’t graduated from law school yet.

God.

Or for that matter, apparently you don’t need a license to do a deposition let alone do it unsupervised.  And that your mom is immediately going to name you partner after you pass the bar exam.

Would it just kill Hallmark to do some sort of research?

There are people who actually believe everything they say is true, like that lady  on Twitter who told me all law offices had American flags featured prominently throughout their offices (they don’t).

You want to know what is in my office: law books, a desk, some old chairs, bookshelves, Chihuahua pictures, a candle, and can of Lysol, and a couch.  Oh, and last week I had it decorated for Halloween with a big spider hanging from my door.  No American flag in sight.

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One of the pictures I have in my office of baby Brainy.

Hell, none of the attorneys at my office or are sister office have a flag in their office.  The law office I worked before didn’t have a flag.  And neither did the office where I volunteered right after I graduated.  I’m sure they’re in some offices, BUT they’re not a mainstay.

So no, random Twitter person.  You are wrong a law office doesn’t need an American flag predominately applied amongst Christmas stuff in their office.

I know I’m obsessing, I tend to have those tendencies, but it just really bothered me how Hallmark doesn’t care one shit about doing any form research.  I mean, I’m writing my NANOWRIMO story right now, and I’m marking areas where I know I’ll need to go back and at the very least Google something.

It also bothered me how Hallmark threw away an accomplishment such as passing the bar exam, getting three years of law school for freaking ice sculpting.

I don’t kid you.  The climax of the movie results with the main character realizing she doesn’t want to be a lawyer and would rather cut ice for a living (not that there is really much of a living for that except for tacky weddings, but again I digress) and move in with the guy that sells Christmas trees and has a weird ice fetish on the side.

I joked with my sister that he lives in a van down by the river, but in Hallmark cannon he probably has a cute Cape Code decorated out from Pottery Barn complete with a  Golden Retriever.

I don’t know how he would be able to afford it though, since selling Christmas trees is sort of cyclical work.

I know, I’m digressing.  And I can hear the naysayers, it’s just a movie.

But God, I couldn’t believe how selfish how beyond disgustingly privilege this character was in the climax.

I know people who have worked their butts off in law school and didn’t have the fortune of passing the bar or getting a job, let alone a partnership.  Or for that matter, I know people who couldn’t get into law school because of financial difficulties.  But this chick, doesn’t give one shit about anyone.

And her parents acted completely unrealistic.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe her mom was like, “Oh, ho, hum, it’s fine that you do ice sculpting as a living.  In fact, I put $10K down for your hobby.  We’ll forget you spent seven years being able to get your JD and that we spent thousand upon thousands of dollars for you to be able to study and take the bar.  And hey, let’s forget that I’ve pretty much been letting you work at my office and I’ve been paying you so you can get a coffee roughly every 7.5 minutes in the movie in a new coat.”

Yeah, but that’s what happens.  Sort of.  She doesn’t mention the coffee thing, but that is what happened.

Look, I could go into more details about this movie but it’s fairly predictable.  The acting was blah.  I’ve seen another movie with the actress in it, My Summer Prince (even reviewed it) and she did about as decent as a job as she did in that movie.  But the thing is, the character was just insufferable.  And I really don’t blame it on her, but the writing.

Would it kill Hallmark to differ from their usual format: ambition for a woman is a bad a little?  I mean, passing the bar becoming an attorney is a big accomplishment.  They could’ve written the storyline a little bit differently to make it work.  Emma could’ve found a passion for her community, used her law degree to run for office or something-rather than just giving mommy to give her a hand out so she could make sculpted ice cubes.

I’m sorry, so many things about this movie annoyed me.

I am not stupid.  I have alluded to it several times in the fact that Hallmark has privileged protagonists and this is one of the worst offenders I’ve seen in awhile.  I think it’s because I lived the situation.  When I graduated from school, I didn’t come from an affluent family I had to work for what I got and this chick just throwing everything away disgusted me…

It disgusted me how lazy this movie was.  How the writers couldn’t even just do a common Google search to know when bar results would be released.  To know that you couldn’t be a freaking law student when you took the bar.

It disgusted me on so many levels.

It disgusts me that a lot of people think that Hallmark is who the world operates.

It disgusts me that they keep pushing out the same slightly repackaged shit with the same lessons about how women who have goals other than popping out munchkins and having a career is bad.  How women’s career should only be as good as their significant others and that they’re not happy unless they have a significant others.

Look, I’m all about the feel good movie.  After watching this travesty, I watched After the Ball on Netflix.  That movie is cheesy, but it works.  You want to know why, while the main character got with a cute guy.  The movie wasn’t about her giving up who she was, it was about her getting what she wanted.

I don’t recommend this movie.  It’s about a spoiled, privilege, brat who is going to find herself living in a van by the river.

Skip.

Total fail.