by Riley Redgate
Kindle edition, 336 pages
Published May 2nd, 2017 by Amulet Books
It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.
Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.
Jordan Sun just failed her auditions… again. She can’t dissapoint her parents since they have high expectations on her and no money to spare. It’s not her fault her voice is too low for performance. When an opportunity to audition for Sharpshooters presented itself to her, she took it even if it means she has to cross-dressed as a boy for months.
This book is so freaking amazing.
After my previous experience with a hyped up book that ended up dissapointing me, I was kind of wary picking up this book. What if it dissapoint me too? Turns out that is not the case, this book truly deserves the hype.
I love how diverse the cast of characters are. While Kensington sounds like an elite school (and it was), at Jordan’s era it already pretty open and not exclusive anymore. You have people from different social classes, ethnicity, and sexuality. I really love how the author handles the diversity, from Jordan’s inner monologue about her position and her being someone she shouldn’t be. I felt that Jordan’s feelings about parents expectations really struck a chord within me, and her consideration of how trans and gay people live their life while she’s only pretending really make me warmed up to her. It’s rare to see someone actually think about others except herself. I also really like the bi rep in this book. It’s not my place to say this, but I guess the author portrayed the confusion of our main character and people around her in a very realistic way, it’s easy for us to put ourselves in her shoes.
Now let’s get into the characters. I love Jordan, she’s very realistic. She just get out of a relationship and still hung up over her ex, she’s confused of herself and have a lot of parents expectations and family problems she need to think of. But that doesn’t mean she sit around and mop, she get into action and get exactly what she wants.
I also really like The Sharpshooters, the easy way they are being together and how close they are with each other. I’m especially fond with Nihal, he’s so calm and peaceful and nice but we can sense there’s something underneath it that makes me just want to give him a hug. I was fond of Isaac at first, but then over the course of the book, he become just okay. I really wish we got to know the other Sharps too, not only Nihal and Isaac.
The plot is moving fairly quickly, but it’s not dizzying or drag at all. I think the pacing works very well for me. I really like the depiction of Kensington life: the division, the campus enviroment, the high-stress life of future performers, the competition and rejection… it sounds realistic to me. Most books only portrayed the social aspect of high school like bullying, romance, and cliques, but Noteworthy take us deeper into the life of the students.
There are some minor things that I didn’t really like though. First of all, how the situation between parents are never addressed. There’s nothing on how things ended working out for Jordan’s parents, or whether the Sharps care about Isaac’s dad. Second, as amazing as the friendship of the Sharps, they lack communication with each others. Or maybe it’s just boys never talk about their feelings or something, but I just find that they need to communicate more with each other. And lastly, but it bugs me the most, is the romance. Since Jordan is a bi, I assume this book will ended the romance with her being with Victoria, but she ended up with Isaac. Yes, I am aware what bisexsual means, but still. I expect more.
Noteworthy definitely live up to its hype and expectations for me. It’s fun and quick, but also talks about important problems. It has an amazing cast of characters who are from different places but glued together for their passion in art. I can’t wait to read more of Riley Redgate other books.