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.
Monday morning was the worst possible time to have an existential crisis, I decided on a Monday morning, while having an existential crisis.
If girlhood felt frustrating, and boyhood felt freeing, did that say more about girlhood, or boyhood, or me?
The characters are all really well-developed and unique. I loved getting to know all of them, especially Jordan. She’s so multidimensional it’s hard to acknowledge that she’s entirely a work of fiction. I found it quite easy to relate to her from the overbearing parents demanding perfection to the lack of funding to the non-soprano voice. The best part about her? SARCASM! Jordan laid out some high level sass through the entire story. Even better, the other characters added into it so the dialogue was truly a thing of beauty.
The story is set at a private school in Upstate New York, which is actually part of what made me want to pick it up. The New York State part, not the private school part. Anyway… The world is built up enough that someone like me (who has never set foot on a private school campus) had no trouble imagining what it would be like to be engrossed in the environment. It was truly immersive and I loved it! Except for the snotty private school jerks that presumably come standard with the high tuition setting.
The story told in Noteworthy is more than just Jordan’s story. It’s the stories of a few characters layered together and served up from Jordan’s observations. It’s such a beautiful story and I had so much trouble putting it down when life demanded my full attention. Now that I’ve read it, I’m not at all surprised at how highly recommended it is.
Also, representation! In addition to some awesome a cappella rockstar action, there is bisexual, homosexual, and Asian American representation. Riley Redgate also makes a point of acknowledging that while places are more diversely accessible now, it’s still a new thing and they’re still not all that accessible.
Noteworthy is such a beautiful and fun story. I really enjoyed reading it and I can’t wait for it to be out in the wild so you can enjoy it too! (At least 50% because I need someone to gush over it with…)
Overall, I rate Noteworthy 5 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Preorder a copy of Noteworthy and enjoy it for yourself when it’s released on 2 May 2017! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Books-A-Million (US)
- Barnes and Noble (US)
- Waterstones (UK)
- Book Depository
- your local bookstore or local library
For more information about Riley Redgate and her work, visit her website.
I received a digital galley of Noteworthy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.