I know, I know, I’ve been really bad at reviewing ARC’s before their publication date recently. But as part of my mid-year goal update, I’m really going to try and get up to date (expect more ARC reviews from me in the future).
Today, I’m going to be reviewing Noteworthy by Riley Redgate, a book that I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about in the bookish community. Yet, as always, my opinion seems to differ from the norm… I didn’t like this book. I didn’t like it, and I have a lot of thoughts on it, so let’s cut the jabber and get straight into the review.
If I had to summarise this story in a word, I’d have to say ‘cluttered’. Personally, I felt like this book tried to deal with a lot of different issues including bisexuality, cross-dressing and transgender, socio-economic difficulties, disability, marital problems, infidelity, gender roles and a host of other societal issues. Which meant that, because it tried to achieve so much, I just think overall the message and the narrative became messy. Ultimately, this was a story of self-discovery and acceptance, a simple but time-honoured concept. If Redgate had simply taken that idea, and modernised the discussion through focussing on Jordan’s bisexuality it would have been enough substance for a book of this size. Yes, the brief discussion of cross-dressing and transgender fitted into the story, but I don’t think it added anything to it, and it definitely didn’t do the complexities of the issues regarding sexuality justice. It was a discussion for another time, another book perhaps.
On a much lighter note, I need to get something off my chest. Why did Jordan have a pseudonym? Her name was Jordan – a unisex name! When the book was essentially attempting to establish that both her role as a theatre student and her role as a Sharp were the same, why didn’t she just keep her name? I don’t understand!
Anyway, back to things that matter, let’s talk about her love-interest, Isaac. Surprisingly, even as a huge romance junkie, I didn’t get this relationship. I can’t really put my finger on the problem, but it just felt strange to me, too… insta-lovey. I mean, Isaac finds out she’s a girl and all of a sudden is kissing her? Please.
On a more positive note, as any Pitch Perfect fan will appreciate, acapella is the best, and I really liked the concept of the book (it’s the reason I picked it up after all). However, I’m not entirely sure how well acapella was represented on paper. The discussion of the harmonies, even as a music student, didn’t really paint a vivid picture, and seemed almost silly in my head. Like I said, it was an interesting idea, one that got me really interested, but I’m afraid it just didn’t cut the mustard for me.
The final point I have to make is not entirely the book’s fault, but it can’t get away entirely without blame either. This book took me forever to read. Literally, like almost a month… an entire month! Usually, I read a book in about a week (maybe a week and a half) so you can imagine how sad I was that this consumed so much of my reading month. I will admit that some of this was due to my crazy schedule, but if the story had really hooked me, I would have made the time to read it – and I didn’t.
Overall, I guess I just found this book vastly disappointing after all the hype I’d heard about it. I appreciate what Redgate was trying to achieve and I really enjoyed some aspects of the discussion she opened up in this book. However, I just needed her to streamline it a little. To pick one (or two) topics to really get into, and to save the rest for a later date. I ended up giving this book 2/5 stars, which is probably a little harsh, it’s more like a 2.75, but I can’t quite bring myself to round it up to a 3.
What did you guys think of this book?
Are you a fan, or are you a foe?
Let me know in the comments below! (Hey, that rhymed)