Noteworthy – Acapella with a Twist/ posted in: Reading Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
Published by Amulet Books on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
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 college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.
In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…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.
Reading this book was so stressful for me. I’m not a fan of books that depend on misunderstanding or lies as a plot device. I’m always wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. That isn’t the fault of this book. It is one of the few books that I felt did a good job with this type of story line.
There is a lot going on in this novel. Jordan is a Chinese-American girl from a poor family in San Francisco. Her father is disabled and her mother is having a hard time keeping a job while caring for him. Jordan has a scholarship to this boarding school on the East coast but it doesn’t cover all her expenses. This is a hardship for her family. It also sets her apart from the other students who tend to be wealthy.
This story takes place at a high school. I had a hard time remembering that since it is a boarding school. It seems more like a college story until they discuss not being able to drive.
Jordan starts to live a double life – a girl during the day and Julian, the newest male member of the Sharps at night. This leads to a lot of thoughts on gender and sexuality. She gets a lot of advice on how to pass for male from websites for transgender people. She is uncomfortable with this. Is she using other people’s real lives for her own selfish gain? Later, members of the Sharps decide that she must be a gay man. She lets them think that instead of having them find out the truth. Again she has to think about what it means to appropriating another group’s identity.
I wasn’t a fan of the romance aspect of this book. It didn’t feel like it needed to be there. It seemed like since she had spent a lot of time with a group of guys than obviously she had to fall for one of them. I would have liked this more if it hadn’t happened.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Books Set in North America
- POC authors