Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Noteworthy

A cappella just got a makeover.Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her coll...

Title:Noteworthy
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1419723731
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:400 pages

Noteworthy Reviews

  • Riley Redgate

    i'm boycotting this book

    what sort of a MONSTER would write a novel about a cappella and title it with a pun

    surely this behavior is punishable in some sort of tribunal

    -----

    by the way, y'all—the songs in this book are available on my bandcamp to listen (for free!). it felt silly to write the song lyrics and not the songs? anyway, here:

    i still gotta write & record a few of them but the complete soundtrack should be done by release day :D

    xo

    riley

  • RavenclawReadingRoom

    I absolutely LOVED this. Like, want-to-reread-it-already kind of loved it.

    This doesn't come out until May, so for now here are a bunch of bullet points of stuff I loved about it:

    - Asian-American bisexual protagonist

    - Who's from an incredibly poor family

    - Whose father is a paraplegic

    - Who gets her period unexpectedly and has to kludge together a pad out of toilet paper (Giiiiirl. We have all been there.)

    - Who has to spend the day with a million dudes while quietly dying from cramps. While prete

    I absolutely LOVED this. Like, want-to-reread-it-already kind of loved it.

    This doesn't come out until May, so for now here are a bunch of bullet points of stuff I loved about it:

    - Asian-American bisexual protagonist

    - Who's from an incredibly poor family

    - Whose father is a paraplegic

    - Who gets her period unexpectedly and has to kludge together a pad out of toilet paper (Giiiiirl. We have all been there.)

    - Who has to spend the day with a million dudes while quietly dying from cramps. While pretending to be a dude.

    - Diverse love interest

    - Diverse best friend

    - IT'S FUCKING HILARIOUS

    - A capella

    - It's literally a cross between She's the Man and Pitch Perfect

    - But set at an elite performing arts school

    - Teenage boys having meaningful friendships rather than just "duuuude"

    - Complex villains

    I honestly could keep listing stuff for DAYS and I want to see this turned into a movie immediately. Please and thank you.

  • Chelsea

    I received an e-ARC from ABRAMS Kids through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

    This is a very enjoyable Young Adult contemporary and much more original, fun and entertaining than a lot of other books I've read in the genre. Though the general course of the story is quite predictable, this book still had me gasping out loud m

    I received an e-ARC from ABRAMS Kids through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

    This is a very enjoyable Young Adult contemporary and much more original, fun and entertaining than a lot of other books I've read in the genre. Though the general course of the story is quite predictable, this book still had me gasping out loud multiple times!

    Jordan, the main character, is Chinese-American, just like the author. She's also bisexual, though I couldn't find out whether that part was #OwnVoices. Jordan grew up poor: her father is in a wheelchair and her family can't afford the hospital bills. The main character's best friend is a lesbian and has "curves you could see from three blocks away", though the reader never meets that character. A lot of the Sharpshooters' members are diverse as well. Nihal is Sikh and gay and he was probably my favourite side-character: too pure for this world! Though I have to admit I completely missed that Isaac is Japanese-American and Trav is black.

    Jordan's story isn't about being Chinese-American. Her story isn't about being bisexual. That's not a bad thing! My life doesn't revolve around my bisexuality either. But if you pick up this book thinking it's going to focus on the representation, you might be disappointed.

    Like I've said, I'm unsure whether this book is #OwnVoices when it comes to bisexuality, so I don't know whether it qualifies for 'Bisexual MC (own voices)'.

    : Some people told me that this is indeed

    as well!

    Talking about the bisexuality: I love that Jordan is in a relationship with a boy. If books feature bisexual representation, they always feature F/F relationship. It's great that the author shows that

    features a lot of amazing quotes, which really reflect how educated Riley Redgate is. No, I don't always think that what a character says, reflects the opinion of the author, but

    Anyway, here are two quotes I really loved:

    Jordan cross-dresses in order to join the Sharpshooters and it is made very clear in the novel that she feels uncomfortable doing so, because she is using resources for trans people.

    Finally, there is some under-age drinking in this novel and some of the side-characters smoke weed, though readers don't witness the latter.

    I find it more realistic that teenagers have sex than do drugs.

    is the reason why I continue to pick up Young Adult contemporaries, even though I tend to dislike those books most of the time. The setting is very unique: the boarding school stands out among other high school contemporaries. I will definitely read other books by Riley Redgate, as she proved to be very educated and well-researched. Make sure to get a copy on March 2nd! I sure will!

    ✿ You can also find me on

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    and

    ! ✿

  • Sue (Hollywood News Source)

    This book single-handedly saved me from my slump. I came in for the LGBT representation and I come back with so much more.

    This is such a stellar story, I am struck with the reverberating otherness of the main protagonist Jordan. She’s Chinese American who is taller than most girls. She’s not perfectly comfortable with her skin. Heck, she can’t even land a role in her school

    This book single-handedly saved me from my slump. I came in for the LGBT representation and I come back with so much more.

    This is such a stellar story, I am struck with the reverberating otherness of the main protagonist Jordan. She’s Chinese American who is taller than most girls. She’s not perfectly comfortable with her skin. Heck, she can’t even land a role in her school’s play because of her voice. She’s poor and underprivileged. I love that the author fleshed that out, infusing details what makes her even more

    at her prissy environment. It’s achingly real. Even though, Jordan is a minority, the repercussion of her action was still dealt with.

    Noteworthy simply have so many layers to unfurl. We have a prim and proper musical director Trav; the resident bad-boy slash enigmatic boy Isaac; a classical music fanatic Mama, the popular kid with learning disability Jon Cox; a visual art Sheikh student Nihal, A fourteen-year-old democrat boy Marcus, and a socially awkward guy Erik. These male characters have a significant role, it’s highly fueled by testerones. I’m letting it slide because Redgate made them more human who deserve empathy.

    The story filled itself with several faithful, relevant problems we don’t often see in YA; it seems too much. But this is our reality, too.

    For romance readers, yes there is romance, but alas that’s not the focal point of the book.

    Review to come.

  • April (Aprilius Maximus)

    Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for providing an e-copy for me to review!

    This book doesn't come out until May *cries*, so I'll just give you a list of reasons why you NEED to buy this book when it comes out. (But before I do, I would just like to mention that the cover seems a little juvenile for the content of this book, and I wish it had a better one, so keep that in mind. This book is a lot more mature than it seems!)

    1. As my dear friend Kirsti (from melbourneonmymind) put it, this i

    Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for providing an e-copy for me to review!

    This book doesn't come out until May *cries*, so I'll just give you a list of reasons why you NEED to buy this book when it comes out. (But before I do, I would just like to mention that the cover seems a little juvenile for the content of this book, and I wish it had a better one, so keep that in mind. This book is a lot more mature than it seems!)

    1. As my dear friend Kirsti (from melbourneonmymind) put it, this is pretty much the book baby of the movies She's the Man and Pitch Perfect. If that doesn't have you sold....... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    2. The diversity! Our MC is Asian American and coming to terms with the fact that she may be bisexual and what that means for her. Other diverse characters include A Sikh character, a gay character, characters with different body types, plus lots of discussion around transgender people, as our MC encounters a website specifically for trans people on tips and advice and there's a great, respectful discussion around it. There are also different characters living on different socio-economic levels and Jordan's father is also a paraplegic and is in a wheelchair and has chronic pain and one of the Sharpshooters has anxiety!

    3. It's HILARIOUS. The banter is incredible and you'll be that person who giggles involuntarily in public.

    4. THE BROMANCE. The 7 other guys that make up the Sharpshooters are such wonderfully developed, complex characters that I grew to love and adore. They are honestly friendship goals and I love them so much.

    5. There's also a rivalry going on between two A Capella groups and I love that the main 'villain' has a lot of depth and complexity to his character.

    6. It's an #ownvoices book. Enough said.

    7. There were certain passages that sent chills down my spine for their relevance and honesty.

    ARE YOU CONVINCED YET? I could literally go on forever, but alas, my obsession with this book is already at an all time high, so I'll stop for now. JUST GO AND PRE-ORDER THIS WONDERFUL BOOK.

  • Emily May

    I *almost* didn't read this. I wasn't sure if it would be too cutesy for me, or focus more on musical technicalities than I have the attention span for. But it was SO GOOD.

    For me, it's another

    .

    Humour is extremely subjective, but this is exactly the kind that speaks to me. I was tentati

    I *almost* didn't read this. I wasn't sure if it would be too cutesy for me, or focus more on musical technicalities than I have the attention span for. But it was SO GOOD.

    For me, it's another

    .

    Humour is extremely subjective, but this is exactly the kind that speaks to me. I was tentatively reading a few chapters of my arc to get a sense of whether this book was for me or not, and

    . Normally, books that people describe as "laugh-out-loud funny", I don't take literally. It's not like the reader is sat chuckling like a moron as they turn the pages. But, as it turns out, that's exactly what I was doing here.

    The story is about Chinese-American Jordan, a scholarship student at her fancy east coast boarding school for the arts. After facing rejection after rejection for musical parts because of her Alto 2 range, she makes an impulsive decision: disguise herself as a boy and become the newest Tenor for an a capella group - the Sharpshooters.

    is the perfect mix of

    . The author's writing is strong as she explores privilege, race, wealth, sexuality and gender identity. Jordan discovers her own bisexuality over the course of the novel, and also considers the parallels between her crossdressing and being transgender - then proceeds to dispel the myth that the two are the same, and acknowledge her own privilege. Jordan is not trans; she is a cisgender girl who struggles to fit into the narrow confines of femininity.

    The book also considers the ugly truths of healthcare and insurance, when it comes to Jordan's paraplegic father - the many ways the U.S. system fails its poorer citizens.

    The thing is, though, the serious issues pair so well with the humour.

    . At all. It's a lovely warm novel about the kind of friendship that feels like family. The Sharpshooter characters are so realistic and lovable; so memorable. And did I mention that I found it really funny?

    Just... great writing, great characters, important issues and lots of fun. I'm so so glad I read it.

    is an absolute pleasure to read.

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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    *4.5/5

    Noteworthy snuck up on me. It is never a book I would have thought I would love, but I fell head over heals for it. I heard acapella and assumed it wouldn't be for me, but it wound up being one of the funniest and most charming contemporaries that I have read this entire year.

    The narration of this book is stellar. It starts in the very first line, and keeps you hooked and laughing to the end. Jordan's voice is self-aware, honest, and so authentic. She has constant fears and anxieties, and

    *4.5/5

    Noteworthy snuck up on me. It is never a book I would have thought I would love, but I fell head over heals for it. I heard acapella and assumed it wouldn't be for me, but it wound up being one of the funniest and most charming contemporaries that I have read this entire year.

    The narration of this book is stellar. It starts in the very first line, and keeps you hooked and laughing to the end. Jordan's voice is self-aware, honest, and so authentic. She has constant fears and anxieties, and she isolates herself but longs for connection. Everything I loved about this book can probably be traced directly back to the skill shown in Jordan's voice.

    Even though her exploration of her sexuality was pretty minor, I appreciated that this was a book where Jordan learning she is bisexual was a plot but it wasn't the central plot. So much of this story was about Jordan discovering herself and who she is, and being bisexual was a part of that, but it wasn't the main thing she was supposed to learn. I loved the really internal aspects of this, and of Jordan seeing a slow change within herself that she liked but that also sometimes scared and confused her. I thought her experiences with gender felt really nuanced and that was a huge relief after reading a bunch of books recently where the gender discussion was.... less than complex.

    Also, I am not usually a huge fan of books about allocishet teenage boys. They are generally written in a particular way and I just have a hard time connecting to those characters. This was absolutely not a problem in Noteworthy. The boys (who were not all heterosexual, by the way) were a varied collection of likable assholes, which is exactly the kind of character I adore. They were funny and all super close friends who constantly supported one another and were central parts of one another's lives. They were smart and complex and all had lives that felt separate from Jordan's, which is so nice to find in side characters.

    As far as diversity, this seemed like a big win for me. The main character is Chinese-American, bisexual, and comes from a poor family and all of these are aspects of herself that Jordan reflects on pretty frequently. There are other side characters who are queer, and other side characters who are POC. As far as this being a cross-dressing story, I appreciated that there was an awareness on behalf of the main character that her experiences were very separate from that of trans folks. While I would have appreciated it more if there had been actual trans characters in the book for Jordan to interact with and to further the conversation on gender, I did really like the fact that this was the first book I've ever read where a character cross-dresses and also acknowledges the trans community and the particular set of challenges that they face.

    Overall, this was a joy. While the acapella stuff itself sometimes verged on feeling silly, I couldn't help but care because all of the characters were so likable and well-written. I have to give a special amount of love to books I read that can make me grin and can also make me tear up, and Noteworthy did both. This was a fabulous contemporary full of wit and character depth, and I will definitely be looking into more books by Riley Redgate.

  • Carolyn

    This is a very cute YA novel about a teenage Chinese-American scholarship girl attending a privileged East Coast boarding school for performing arts. She's in the theatre stream but constantly missing out on parts in performances because of her low voice. When a vacancy for a singer comes up in one of the school's prestigious all male A cappella groups for a voice with her range she decides to dress as a boy and audition. After nailing the audition she realises she's going to have to live a doub

    This is a very cute YA novel about a teenage Chinese-American scholarship girl attending a privileged East Coast boarding school for performing arts. She's in the theatre stream but constantly missing out on parts in performances because of her low voice. When a vacancy for a singer comes up in one of the school's prestigious all male A cappella groups for a voice with her range she decides to dress as a boy and audition. After nailing the audition she realises she's going to have to live a double life alternating between her two identities as Jordan, the theatre girl and Julian the A cappella boy. At first she thought life would be less complicated as a boy but soon realises that boys have complicated feelings and personal issues too but that through pretending to be someone else she can finally become the person she wants to be.

    The supporting characters in the book are all terrific and individual and the book is a lovely exploration of male friendships. The banter between the characters is often very funny and the book is a delight to read. It does also explore some more serious issues such as sexuality and gender issues, the impact of poverty on kids and the expectations of parents on their children. Recommended for when you need something positive and fun to read!

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