❝ I imagined a senior year where nobody would look at me, afraid of being associated with the girl who’d infiltrated an a cappella group, like the least impressive spy of all time. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t planning on getting caught.❞
*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Synopsis via Goodreads: 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.
Last year I read Riley Redgate’s debut novel, Seven Ways We Lie, and fell in love! It is by far one of the most relatable young adult novel I’ve read in years and I might even go as far as to say that it was probably my favorite young adult releases for 2016. So when I heard about Riley Redgate upcoming release, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I didn’t even really know what it was about, other than the fact that a cappella was involved because of the blurb on the cover. But I would pretty much read anything written by Redgate and I was so ready to dive into her upcoming release.
It’s her junior year at Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts and once again, Jordan Sun failed to land role in the fall musical. She’s start to question her talent and whether or not she would ever be good enough for a school like Kensington. But Jordan gets a chance to show what she’s got when Kensington’s elite a cappella group, the Sharpshooters, announce auditions for a new member. The only issue is that the Sharpshooters is an all-male group. So Jordan disguises herself as a male and ends up nailing the part, becoming the new member of the Sharpshooters. Auditioning was the easy part, not getting caught is when the real challenge begins.
Noteworthy is an ownvoices release best described as Pitch Perfect meets She’s the Man. Let me start off by saying WOW because this book exceeded my expectations. Right off the bat, the first thing I noticed was how different the writing in this book was from SWWL. Redgate stepped her game up in her sophomore novel because the writing was so much more detailed and descriptive, I actually had to pace myself while reading to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. I didn’t know much about a cappella before reading this book and Redgate does a great job at going into details about a cappella and performing in a group without it sounding too info-dumpy.
I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THESE CHARACTERS! Jordan is a Chinese-American girl who is trying to figure out where she belongs. She is being pulled in different directions by the two things she cares about the most: performing and her family. Jordan loves performing, but is constantly questioning whether or not she’s good enough for Kensington or if she’s just wasting time. She also loves her parents and family plays an important role throughout this book. There are certain expectations that Jordan’s parents have for her and she strives very hard to meet them. Poverty is another issues discussed in this book as Jordan’s family is not well off and struggle to make ends meet. Jordan wants to be able to help her parents in anyway that she can, but at the same time she trying to prove herself as a performer and trying to do both inevitability becomes a balancing act. Sexuality and femininity are two other topics addressed throughout this book as Jordan identifies as bisexual and there are times where she questions what exactly it means to be a girl. There’s actually one scene in particular where she questions her own femininity and how she doesn’t “feel”, in a sense, feminine “enough” because she doesn’t exactly live up to society’s image of what a feminine girl should act like. I love the fact that Jordan is constantly questioning things throughout this book and challenging social norms and it’s what I love most about this book. Jordan is relatable in more ways than one and I enjoyed being inside her head.
The Sharpshooters are a hilarious and fun-loving group of guys and majority of the scenes with them had me laughing out loud! They are practically like family to one another and even though they may argue and disagree, they have each others backs. There is a little bit of a romance that develops towards the end of the book and it was so unexpected, BUT I LOVED IT. I SHIP THIS SHIP SO HARD! I legit started crying from the cuteness, my feels couldn’t handle it!
Noteworthy is an amazing ownvoices story and Riley Redgate has outdone herself once again! Seriously, I would read Redgate’s grocery list because that’s how much I love her storytelling. I also want a sequel to Noteworthy, senior year edition perhaps because I want more…of pretty much everything! If you missed out on reading Redgate’s debut, I totally recommend picking up her sophomore release because you’re not gonna wanna miss this!