Noteworthy – Riley Redgate


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. (From Goodreads)


Okay, I’ve calmed down. LOOK. I WENT to a performing arts high school. I UNDERSTAND the trouble Jordan went through. God DAMN this is a good book.

I am very critical of performing arts books, because I’ve been around it my entire life. Seven years, classically trained alto 1 holla at your girl. And this book? Hit every… no, I’m not going to make a singing pun.

This is a very good book. The characters are extremely well-developed and likable.  Jordan is a fascinating narrator. Much of the story consists of her internal monologues, but they don’t feel overbearing or tedious. There was a ton of social commentary but it didn’t feel preachy. It felt real. The struggle of being poor, the struggle of gender, the struggle past relationships, the struggle with sexuality all of these were explored in such a poignant way. I’ve never seen bisexual representation written so beautifully and accurately in a book, let alone a young adult novel. And the way Jordan’s relationship and heartbreak over her ex? YIKEs @ ME NEXT TIME RILEY.

BUT it’s not just all poetic self-discovery. This book is also really funny. These high school kids are so ridiculous.

I loved the relationships between all of the Sharpshooters. My only critique is that outside of the main four (Trav, Isaac, Nihal, and Jordan), the others sort of blended together. Jon stood out to me, but I don’t think I could really tell you about the other ones.

Overall, this is a fantastic read.

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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