Author: Riley Redgate
Review: The opening to Noteworthy was great we meet Jordan who is studying at Kensington-Blaine, a very special school of the performing arts for three years she has been trying to land a lead role in one of the school performances and for three years she has been rejected. She learns she has been rejected because her voice is too deep for the female roles. We see that Jordan has a lot of pressure from school and from her parents to do well and get into a good college like Harvard or Julliard. In a moment of madness Jordan applies to join the Sharpshooters the all-male a cappella group. In disguise she goes for her audition and to her amazement she gets a call back for the following day. Jordan goes to her call back with the Sharpshooters and is initiated into the group. While elated she is constantly worried about being found out but it was very entertaining to read.
As we approach the ¼ mark in the novel we see Jordan find her place within the group and make real friends at school for the first time ever. My favourite part so far is seeing the group text and getting to see more of the boys’ distinct personalities. Jordan because she rushed into being Julian sets out to buy boys clothes and gets advice from transgender girls and boys about how to act, walk and look more like a boy. While not a lot has happened the relationships that frame this novel have been set up really well.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel we see Jordan rethinking her life, as a boy she is comfortable and wonders what it means to be a woman. As she feels more at home in Julian’s skin rather than her own we see Jordan take on a more gender fluid role within the novel which was great to read.
As we approach the halfway mark in the novel we see the lengths some of the groups are willing to go to in order to win especially the Minuets. I literally felt devastated for the Sharps when Connor destroyed their archives containing all the groups music from decades ago which Trav has to recopy from memory. I also liked the fact that Isaac and Julian try to get some justice but are dissuaded at the last minute by Trav. It was also interesting to see Jordan come to terms with being bisexual after making out with Victoria but we also see her attraction to Isaac who only knows her as Julian.
As we cross into the second half of the novel we see Jordan get deeper and deeper into Julia’s life as things with the Sharps begin to fall apart mainly due to Isaac. He begins turning up late to rehearsals and when he is on time he turns up high and for a time it seems like he is considering leaving the group. I was also wondering if there was more to Isaac and Trav’s relationship than they let on as there seems to be a weird tension that follows them. I loved the fact this novel is so diverse with different sexualities, different religions and much more. We also see a sort of love triangle forming between Julian, Nihal and Connor (who are secretly dating). As the group head to their retreat without Isaac (who has been acting weird because of some family issues) we see that all of them having something wrong and that they aren’t perfect. For example Jon’s family is extremely rich but this doesn’t compensate for his fathers’ almost constant absence.
As we approach the ¾ mark in the novel we see Jordan acting in two minds, in the one mind she loves being Julian and in the other she is constantly worried about being found out. Eventually like I suspected someone finds out about Jordan and it happens to be Isaac who agrees to keep her secret because she kept his. In a very strange way this brings them even closer together and I can honestly see Jordan forming a relationship with almost everyone in the group with the exception of Nihal who is gay but I am favouring Isaac at the moment. In a series of dramatic events we learn that Jordan has to leave the school because her parents can’t afford it anymore. At the same time she is being Julian trying to deal with Connor hell bent on destroying the Sharps and her attraction to Isaac. For a moment everything seems ok but with her departure drawing ever closer she can’t let herself hope for a miracle because she knows there isn’t one.
As we cross into the final section of the novel we see the Sharps compete and win which enables them to go on tour which they do. When they return a dark cloud looms over Jordan as she has to leave the school and Isaac although they agree to try a long distance relationship. Upon returning home Jordan received some shocking news from the school that allows her to return and re-join her friends. This was literally the perfect ending as Redgate keeps you guessing about what will happen to Jordan until the very last page. I genuinely hope that one day Noteworthy will become a film because I would pay to watch that.
Overall, I absolutely loved Noteworthy and I can’t wait to get into Redgate’s debut novel Seven Ways We Lie. I highly recommend this book to fans of Pitch Perfect as this book portrays the dedications of the team perfectly. I can’t wait to read more from this author very soon.
This book was sent to me for review consideration by Abrams & Chronicle.
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