Book Reviews

Book Review: NOTEWORTHY by Riley Redgate

31447601Photo Credit: Goodreads

Loved. That’s all I have to say. *mic drop* Before I continue on, here’s a look at the summary:

A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…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 finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.”

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Okay, there are so many things that I loved about Noteworthy that I don’t even know where to start.

Diversity, SO MUCH diversity. It was amazing and refreshing to read. Not only is racial diversity addressed, (Jordan is Asian-American) but so is diversity in sexual-orientation, religion, learning, (John Cox, one of the Sharpshooters, is dyslexic) and socioeconomic status as well. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time a YA novel so accurately portrayed socioeconomic status, especially in a privileged environment such as Kensington. Occasionally, after reading a book I’ll feel that sometimes the author had tried too hard to “add” diversity to a story. That wasn’t the case with Noteworthy, each element added so much to the respective character and made the overall story very realistic.

Characters. Wow.  Jordan was a great protagonist and I loved how her view of the world changed throughout the novel. She’s gutsy and brave, and learned to be proud of her voice both literally and figuratively by the end of the novel. I enjoyed that throughout her journey she became more conscious of not only herself, but also about the experiences of others. Her thoughts about what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman, and how she fits under those labels as both Jordan and Julian (her male coverup) were engaging to read. Her navigation not around, but straight through, the sexism in a male-dominated society was very powerful to read.

The Sharpshooters. All of them were well developed and individualistic. They each added something different to the group as a whole, and their personalities were as well-developed as Jordan’s. It was nice to read about teenage guys who had meaningful friendships. It made me happy that Jordan became such good friends with all of them and honestly, I want to be friends with them as well.

In addition, the setting, Kensington, was awesome. I’m always a fan of books that are set at boarding schools, and the cherry on top was that it was art school too! There’s a capella, humor, sarcasm, pranks, texts in the middle of the night, and so many warm and fuzzy moments.

Noteworthy is incredibly conscious and thought-provoking. The characters, the setting, the pacing are all well done. Noteworthy‘s message is powerful. If you haven’t read this novel yet, then you need to pronto.

Rating:★★★★★

Is this terrific and thought-provoking read on your TBR? (*add it!*)

Comment below if you’ve read Noteworthy or if you’re planning to!

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25 thoughts on “Book Review: NOTEWORTHY by Riley Redgate

  1. Great review, Breeny! Oddly enough, I do like stories set at boarding schools as well, and it doesn’t even matter what genre the book is. Haha! Of course, the diverse characters are a huge plus point. I’d have to seek this book out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard of this one before! It sounds GREAT and super, super diverse! I’m glad you enjoyed it—I’ve been in a huggeeee reading slump lately, but fingers crossed I’ll get to it eventually. Lovely review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked the review! I’d recommend Alex, Approximately as a book that may be able to get you out of your slump. It’s a light, addictive YA contemporary romance if you’re interested.

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  3. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book and how cute and wonderful it is, so I am so glad to see you enjoyed it so much too! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Breeny,

    I saw your comment on The Awkward Book Blogger’s Cookie Book Tag post – isn’t that such a great tag?? I did it a couple of weeks ago, because I couldn’t resist! I just wanted to stop by and check out your blog, since you said you’re new to the community (I’m sort of new too… coming up on my 1 year blogaversary next month – eek!)

    This blog looks great, I’ll definitely be checking it out in the future. In the meantime, if you want to stop by The Hungry Bookworm, I’d love to have you 🙂

    – Megan

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review! I have heard a lot of great things about this book. I especially hear people praising the diversity and I am happy to know just how diverse it is. Rarely in YA do we see so many different types of people, and on top of that having them all look like real three dimensional characters. I am adding this to my TBR right away!

    Liked by 1 person

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