Book Review: BEYOND THE POINT by Claire Gibson


2021 Book 1: BEYOND THE POINT by @clairecgibson. ⠀

BEYOND THE POINT is the story of three female athletes whose paths cross at West Point. Despite their varied cultures, the trio form an unshakeable bond; one that is tested by boys, basketball, deployments, scandal, injury, geography, and loss. This novel makes accessible and relatable the plight of female soldiers. Women who cry and mess up and like fashion and weren’t born runners. Women who, despite the stress of life and love, band together as they traverse the peaks and valleys of life…within and beyond the Point. ⠀

I chose this book for a number of reasons. (1) highly recommended. (2) debut novel written by a female author and has a few similarities to ALL MY ROADS. (3) lengthy for the genre but still got representation and rave reviews. (4) I love military fiction, especially something with an emotional plot and a bit (lot) of romance. (5) curiosity about West Point and Army life. ⠀

On a scale from horrible to amazing, BEYOND THE POINT was goooood. I’m a sucker for female friendships and military, which were highly delivered. I also found the author’s ability to educate AND entertain impressive. I learned a lot without feeling “taught.” I had aspirations of joining the military after high school, but never believed I could fit the entire mold. I wonder how a book like this would have challenged those thoughts. ⠀

I struggled with a few stylistic things. The book changes tense a lot, and I found it more distracting than creative. (Personal preference.) I thought it could have accomplished the same sentiment with less hopping. I also think it could have been a bit more concise…quite a few unnecessary prepositions, and similar words (in sound or spelling) used near each other. Definitely not deal breakers, but my aim is honesty and I notice that stuff. I also would have loved more feelings! I’m all for slow starts, but I spent much of the book waiting to get pulled in. ⠀

BUT ONCE I GOT PULLED IN (around 60-70%), I was hooked. There are so many beautiful gems – in word and heart – in the second half of the book. A very strong finish that left me wanting more. ⠀

Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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