Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
Noteworthy is a contemporary YA novel following the antics of Jordan Sun, a girl with an alto 2 voice at a performing art boarding school. For those who the words alto 2 mean nothing, it basically means that she has a low singing voice for a girl. She is there on a scholarship, and at home she is not wealthy. After not being picked for the musical three years in a row, she sees a chance in a prestigious acapella group at her college. The only problem is it’s an all-boys group, so she does the obvious thing and dresses up as a boy. Simultaneously, we find out more about Jordan’s relationship which ended not long ago, and her family life. But it was not solely Jordan’s story, for the sharpshooters (the acapella group) and their relationships and group dynamic played a starring role with a range of different characters.
The tone of the novel is humorous while considering some really interesting topics like what it is like to be a boy and how different it is, with Jordan seeing things from a different perspective. Inevitably, she almost gives herself away several times calling out the guys for saying things about girls. While it is funny, the story is also sad as Jordan finally makes some good friends while we know that she is lying to them, and it can’t continue forever. The longer the pretence continued the more heartbroken I got because Jordan was building real relationships with the guys in the group, but all the while they couldn’t be completely real as she was lying to them.
What I really appreciated about this novel is that Riley Redgate considers the implications of what Jordan is doing when pretending to be a boy, Jordan’s discomfort at realising that the tips she is using to look like a boy are actually meant for transgender boys and pretending to be a gay boy when something happens.
I was pleased with the ending, and I will probably check out some of Riley Redgate’s other books. I would definitely survive this book, a performing arts boarding school sounds quite fun.