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Noteworthy

Review

Noteworthy

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be so desperate for a chance to shine that you would cross dress and audition for the most popular acapella group at your high school --- the Harvard of the performing arts?  Yeah, neither did Jordan Sun...until she found herself in that exact position.

So what if she has to be a girl during school and a guy after school? She isn’t exactly Miss Popular so it isn't like anybody will miss her. So what if the Sharps are supposed to be an all-male group? What they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.

"Teens reading NOTEWORTHY will definitely notice that Jordan mirrors their own thoughts at some point --- I know I did."

Jordan Sun is not your average high school girl just trying to get by in life. In fact, she isn’t even average at her school. You’d think that in a school of people that are trying to reach the same stage, she would feel at home. Instead, Jordan suffers from an inescapable sense of awkwardness. On top of that, she isn’t rich or "white" as are most of her classmates. Even so, she wants to show her parents that her scholarship will not go to waste and that she will make it big. If only she could somehow get a part --- any part.

This was the kind of thinking that got her into this mess. Now Jordan has to figure out more about herself than she ever thought she would have to. Why did she find herself more comfortable as Julian with each passing day? Why did her chest feel so weird after talking to her…and him?

Riley Redgate’s latest novel takes on the painful tasks teenagers face everyday. Sure, not every teenager is an Alto 2 who attends a prestigious high school for future stars but that doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t have to deal with having to face harsh realities. What does it mean to truly be yourself? That’s the question everybody asks themselves at some point in life, most often in high school. In addition to asking this question, NOTEWORTHY is even more relevant in contemporary society since it touches on the topic of not just self-identity but gender norms as well. Living and studying in a place where Jordan already feels like a speck of brown in an ocean of blue, how can she come to terms with who she really is? Everybody feels this way at some point in life which makes NOTEWORTHY that much more exciting. The way Redgate describes Jordan’s rush of confusion relates to the reader in ways that many YA authors cannot achieve when it comes to such situations. Teens reading NOTEWORTHY will definitely notice that Jordan mirrors their own thoughts at some point --- I know I did.

The absolute best thing about this book would have to be the main character’s personality. Whereas I tend to find most protagonists whining about one thing or other, Jordan is surprisingly sure of herself and what she wants. Sure, she complains, but most of the time she focuses on the way to fix things instead of how she wishes events would occur. Similarly, the rest of the characters are not left out; lucky for us, Jordan (or Julian around the guys) is very perceptive. Okay, I may have lied a little, this part is the absolute best too. Instead of glazing over the supporting character’s lives and development, Redgate expands on their issues almost as much as she expands on Jordan’s. Of course, this takes a while, which was somewhat painful for an overly eager reader such as me but she gets to it eventually!

Speaking of which, that would have to be my main complaint. Riley Redgate left me curious so many times I was a little exasperated by the middle of the book. I am complaining only a little though because this downside is obviously one of the must have elements of a great book. Confusing, I know.

So if you're into stories involving journeys of self discovery, friendship, comedy and relatable events then NOTEWORTHY is definitely the book for you.

Reviewed by Flor H., Teen Board Member on May 25, 2017

Noteworthy
by Riley Redgate