Author: Riley Redgate
Disclaimer: I received a copy free from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jordan Sun is a Junior at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. However, she’s just been rejected from the fall musical – for the third year running. Apparently, it’s something to do with her voice, she’s Alto 2 and it’s just not a good fit for the roles. The school then get’s a mass email about auditions for the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite acapella group. However, there is a problem. The Sharpshooters is an all male group steeped in tradition that is hard to change. Desperate to prove herself in the competitive world, Jordan dresses up as a boy and auditions, and it turns out, Jordan’s voice is exactly what they were looking for.
Noteworthy is an original, fun, and compelling read. I’ve seen it pitched as She’s the Man meets Pitch Perfect, which is a perfect comparison. Yet it had more nuanced discussions regarding femininity and masculinity, sexuality, social class and poverty, etc. However, I’d like to point out that other reviews have pointed out the lack of trans rep and lack of gender discourse, such as this review here.
Jordan Sun is a poor and underprivileged Chinese-American student at Kensington on a scholarship. She’s talented but doesn’t feel appreciated and doesn’t feel entirely comfortable. I liked that there was a lot of social commentary regarding Jordan and her poor background, especially when it was in comparison to the privileged environment she was in, as she was surrounded by a lot of rich kids. I liked that we got to see that background because having poor characters is something we very rarely see in YA, and I’d love to see more of it. I loved the discussions of welfare because that’s even rarer in YA and I loved it (even though it is different to UK benefits so I didn’t fully understand it).
I also loved Jordan as a character as she was funny, sarcastic, and witty, and sometimes had trouble thinking before she spoke. I loved that, and she was a really refreshing character. Jordan is also bisexual which wasn’t explored much and it still felt slightly heteronormative considering the romance wasn’t present until Isaac found out she was actually a girl.
Even though there was a lot of male characters, Riley Redgate actually managed to make you care for them and made them fully fleshed characters. I loved Isaac, the fun loving bad-boy, and Trav, the serious musical director. I also loved both Mama and Nihal. The group really were a fantastically developed set of friends, supportive and fun who actually had meaningful relationships.
Overall, a hilarious and banter filled book that is a refreshing and fun read but also deals with some serious topics. Highly recommend.
Megan (pronounced MEE-GAN bc her Irish grandfather refused to use the English pronunciation) is a 21 year old british blogger, history graduate, lover of books and expert procrastinator. She is anxious and introverted and is currently attempting adulthood. She loves potatoes which is often blamed on her irish heritage and can often eat her weight in food. She predominantly reads and reviews YA which includes historical fiction, science fiction, contemporary, and f/f romance. She loves reading about unlikeable female characters, positive female friendships & relationships, and is a sucker for a pretty cover.