CURRENT GIVEAWAYS:
None right now

Monday, June 26, 2017

New To My Wishlist #4

Welcome to a new feature at The Left-Handed Book Lover! Basically, this feature is meant to showcase books I really want to read, whether they were released years ago or don't come out for another six months. Enjoy!

Published: February 13, 2018 by Balzer + Bray 
Summary from Goodreads: 
Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09 — one of the last remaining illegal Metals — has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them — and the coordinates — and not everyone wants them captured alive.

First of all, I am Ashley Poston trash. I will read anything she writes. Also, this sounds friggin epic, my dudes. It's a space opera! And look at that cover. Massive heart eyes.
In a Perfect World by Trish Doller
Published: May 23, 2017 by Simon Pulse
Summary from Goodreads: 
Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But when she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

I read a really raving review for this book, which is what originally piqued my interest, but re-reading the summary got me intrigued all over again. I've never read anything set in Egypt, and I've also heard that this sheds a lot of light on privilege. I'm sure reading this will be both emotional and informative.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanen McGuire
Published: April 5, 2016 by Tor
Summary from Goodreads: 
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

A ton of people rave about this book, especially a ton of people whose opinions I trust. I never really paid much attention to what it was actually about, but the more I learned about it, the more I realized how up my alley it sounds!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Literature/Writing Classes I Wish I Could Take

This is kind of a weird post. But I'm posting it anyway. I'm an English and creative writing major, and as I was picking out my classes for next semester, I started thinking about the limited courses available at my Arkansas college, and all the courses I wish I could take. A lot of these are really specific classes, but they're topics I'd love to delve into. I'm sure these classes exist somewhere, but, ya know, not at my school.

LITERATURE CLASSES: 

1) Strong Female Characters
2) Family Dynamics in YA
3) Friendships in YA
4) Villains
5) Book-to-Film Adaptations
6) Traveling in Literature
7) Sidekicks
8) Tropes in YA

WRITING CLASSES:
1) Worldbuilding
2) Pacing
3) How to Write One-of-a-Kind Characters
4) Dialog Writing
5) Query Writing
6) TV Show Writing
7) How to Write Plot Twists
8) Writing Comedy
9) Side Characters with Depth
Honestly, there are so many other things I'd be interested in learning about as well, but these are the ones I could think of right now. Imagine how much you'd learn and how fascinating it would be to really dig into these subjects.

DO ANY OF THESE SOUND INTERESTING TO YOU? IS THERE SOMETHING I DIDN'T MENTION THAT YOU THINK WOULD MAKE A REALLY INTERESTING CLASS?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
(standalone)
Published: June 6, 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads:
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.


Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.
If you didn't know, Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors on the planet and this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I just knew that with Sarah Dessen comes summer and adorable romance and heaps of self-discovery. And I was not let down! ONCE AND FOR ALL has the typical Sarah Dessen essence, but it also feels different than her previous works. Sweet and poignant and fun, but also relevant to current events.

What really attracted me to the premise of this book is that it deals largely with the wedding planning industry, which I'M FASCINATED BY. Honestly, I watch one episode of Say Yes to the Dress and I've already got three different weddings planned for people who don't exist. But I digress. I just adored the way Dessen showed the behind-the-scenes of the perfect (and usually not-so-perfect) wedding, and the way that shapes Louna, our protagonist.

Something else I really enjoyed while reading was that this book has two different story lines playing out: Louna's past, in which we  follow along as she falls in love for the first time and her whole world crashes around her, and Louna's present, in which she is finally moving on and shedding her cynical ways. I fell in love with the two different narratives, and I was equally engrossed in both of them.

In her past, we meet Ethan, who is sweet and charming and stole her heart instantly. We see their relationship's glorious beginning--one night of pure connection--and my heart was absolutely humming as I read. However, it was also aching, as we know things do not end well between the two of them. If anyone has seen the musical The Last Five Years, I was getting that sort of vibe from it. I was really rooting for their relationship and falling in love right alongside them, despite its tragic conclusion. I've seen some people complain about the insta-love between them, and how their relationship moved much too quickly, but that was sort of the point, in my opinion. Sarah Dessen shows us that while these magnificent connections exist with people, that's not the only love there is.

In her present, Louna meets Ambrose. Now, it took me a while to warm up to him, but again, I think that's the point. He's like a ball of energy and disregard. What I really admire about his character is that Dessen made the love interest annoying. Intentionally. Usually when a romantic prospect is "annoying" it's because he's so arrogant and smug, but this is different. He's a little bit obnoxious and I have mad respect because HOW DO YOU EVEN PULL THAT OFF. You morph into Sarah Dessen, that's how. As the story progressed. he really grew on me. He's more than just his obnoxious behavior. By the end of the novel, I NEEDED him and Louna to get together. Not a want--a need. They both developed so much by the end of the novel and I knew they were right for each other, that they would make each other better and continue to grow.

I do have one complaint. This is the reason that I couldn't give the book 5 stars, despite how incredible it was. And it seems small, but it made a huge difference, and it's simply that I wish we had more MOMENTS between Louna and Ambrose throughout the novel. More unsolicited sexual tension, ya know? I wanted Louna to more actively deny her feelings and I wanted Ambrose to hint at his more than he did.

Really, though, this novel was just lovely. I teared up at the end--not because it was sad, but because it felt like a piece of my heart had just concluded. I have so many thoughts and feelings that aren't even possible to articulate, but once again, Sarah Dessen has blessed us with an emotional gem of a book. I will definitely return to this one in the future.

My rating:
4.5/5

Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Reader Resolutions--Update!

At the beginning of the year, I posted my reader resolutions for 2017:


Now, we're about halfway through the year, so it's time to talk about how these resolutions are coming along (hint: not well).



1) READ 50 BOOKS
Okay, so I'm doing all right on this one. I've read 18 books so far this year, putting me only 5 books behind my goal. I started the summer off at 10 books behind. This still seems feasible to me.

2) BE CONSISTENT
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


hahaha

hah

I don't even want to talk about this.

3) STRIVE FOR QUALITY
If we disregard my failure at resolution number 2, I think I'm doing okay with this. For the brief amount of time that I have been posting, I've been fairly pleased with the content I'm producing. I've had some reviews and other posts that I'm proud of, and I've also come up with some new ideas that I cannot wait to implement!

4) READ MORE POPULAR BOOKS/NEW RELEASES
I'm working on this, actually! Out of the 18 books I've read so far, 6 of them were published this year! (And the 2 that I am currently reading were published this year). Out of the remaining 12 books, 10 of them are quite "popular." Also, several of the books I plan to read are new releases as well. I'm feel like I'm doing well on this one.

5) READ MORE SERIES
I'm doing better on this one than I did last year, but that doesn't mean I'm doing well. I've read one trilogy so far and two sequels. Will I read more series this year? Stay tuned because I honestly don't know.

6) INTERACT MORE
Again, pretending I didn't fall of the face of the planet for a few months, I'm doing okay with this. But only on my blog and twitter. I'm making an effort to reply to comments on my blog and comment on other blogs. I'm also trying to be more active on twitter and reply/rt/like people's stuff. I got a lot of work to do on youtube and instagram, though.

7) BRANCH OUT IN MY READING
Ummmmmmmmm this isn't happening. Like, at all. Of the 18 books I've read, 11 of them have been YA contemporary. I'd hardly call that branching out. To be fair, I had to read a some stuff for class that was out of my comfort zone, like certain short stories and literary theory essays. Also, next semester I'm taking a graphic novels class so that will help me branch out more.

8) READ MORE CLASSICS
I've read exactly 0 so far this year. BUT. I've bought SEVERAL, and I got a couple for my birthday so I'll probably read them soon, right?? Isn't that how tbr piles work?????????? *denial* And I'll be taking an American literature class next semester, so I'm sure there will be a few classics in there.

Moral of the story: I'm doing a pretty mediocre job living up to these goals I set for myself. But there's still half a year left. Who knows what will happen in that time!?

HOW ARE YOUR READING/BLOGGING/BOOKISH/LIFE GOALS COMING ALONG?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Post #31


  • I had such an excellent week, friends! Aside from working and the occasional gallivanting with friends, some exciting things happened. 
  • Firstly, I bought my plane ticket to Florida for the last 3 weeks of July. I'm so excited to spend time with my siblings and also spend SO MUCH TIME at the beach/by the pool. 
  • Also, this week I found out Hippo Campus, a band I absolutely adore, is having a concert near me in October and my friend and I are planning on going. I'm so so so pumped. This news had me buzzing for days. 
  • And finally, I should have some exciting book mail coming my way in the next few weeks, and just knowing what's headed my way makes me so happy. 
Books read this week: 


Reviews: 
- I'm Not in the Band by Amber Garza 
Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Features/misc.:
Life's A Beach Book Tag (Original)
8 Ways To Spread Positivity In The Book Community


Reviews: 
- Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Memes: 
- Top 10 Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't
- Sunday Post #32

Features/misc.:
- Reader Resolutions Update
- Literature & Writing Classes I Wish I Could Take

(Currently typing this from my phone, so I don't have photos to add.)

Purchased:
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renew Ahdieh

For review:
- Infinity by Jus Accardo
- Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
- Autonomous by Andy Marino
- Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

8 Ways To Spread Positivity In The Book Community

I know I'm not the only one who has notices the heavy fog of negativity that seems to be constantly looming over the book world (especially Twitter).


It's nobody's fault. The world isn't fostering a particularly loving atmosphere right now, life can seem dismal at times, and other people's decisions can be horrendous. That's just how it is.

But. There's good news.


There are little things that we can do to try to counteract all that ickiness. These are things I still struggle to keep in mind daily, but they really are great ways to spread a little cheer in our corner of the world. Here are 8 small, easy things you can do every day to brighten someone's day.

1) If something good happens to someone, congratulate them.
That's all there is to it. Whether you know the person or not, everybody likes their accomplishments being acknowledged and feeling like people really see the good in them.

2) If someone posts a picture of themselves, like it.
Nothing beats a little boost to the self-esteem. Even more, post a nice comment. You love their lipstick? Let them know! Are they wearing a cute shirt? I'm sure they'd love to hear all about it!

3) Comment something meaningful on people's blogs. 
Nothing makes me happier than when someone has really read my thoughts and my words and has a genuine reply. Even if they disagree, I love knowing they took the time to read what I had to say and really think about it enough to form a response.

4) If something bad happens to someone, let them know you're there for them.
Again, even if you've never talked to someone before, nobody gets upset about someone showing support and concern.

5) Share the good things that happened to you/people you know. 
It's always fun to hear cute or happy-making stories from other people. I love knowing that there is still good in this world.

6) Post fun/cute pictures.
Literally I can never ever see too many cat pictures in my timeline ever in my life. Seriously.

7) Retweet people's stuff. 
Whether it's someone asking a question or saying something funny or a link to a review they're proud of having written. Nobody ever gets upset about an RT either. It means a lot hen someone wants others to see something you've posted.

8) Never, ever forget to talk about the things you love. 
Passion is contagious. And it's lovely.

There are more things you can do. A whole slew of more. COUNTLESS more things you can do to make someone's day, but here are a few that I try to keep in mind.

Please, PLEASE remember that even the small things make a difference.

How do you like to spread positivity in the book community?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
(Follow Me Back #1)
Published: June 6, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: I received an eARC of this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley, but that had no influence on my review or opinions. 
Summary from Goodreads: 
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.
 Here we go again with a celebrity book. I'll admit, I was skeptical about this one. Partially because it was originally a Wattpad book and partially because it just seemed a bit like the "I'm not a regular mom, I'm a COOL mom" kind of book with the hashtag on the cover and "IRL" and "troll" in the synopsis. Now I have some really mixed feelings about this book, but I did end up enjoying it!

Okay, so this book has two points of view. Tessa, who is agoraphobic after a mysterious traumatic event and wrote a famous fanfiction about our other narrator, pop star Eric Thorn. Eric took me a long ass time to warm up to. He got famous after posting singing videos on Youtube for 2 years and now all he does it whine about how famous he is and how his fans are obsessed with him. Like, do I think he has a point that his fans are more in love with his abs than his music? Yes. But honestly WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM BEING FAMOUS????? This is actually one of my pet peeves, not only in books but in life as well. You worked so hard to be famous, okay? Don't complain about how hard life is once you're there. You poor thing, people think you're attractive.

Anyway.

Once he and Tessa started to get closer and he cut down on all the woe is me crap, he grew on me more and more. But one of the problems I had with this book was that I couldn't suspend disbelief for some of the characters' logic and decisions. Like, did Eric really think that creating a fake Twitter account and calling himself rude names would make his fans see him in a different light? That's ridiculous. I guess that's how I could sum up parts of this book: ridiculous.

HOWEVER. As the end approached, I found myself reading with increasing ferocity to figure everything out. Was it a mind boggling thriller? Absolutely not. It was fairly predictable and bit drawn out, if you ask me, but I still wanted needed to know what happened to the characters in the past, present, and future. They both experienced a lot of change over he course of the novel and I was rooting for them and their relationship more and more as the final page grew nearer.

And then the final page happened. And my jaw dropped. I wasn't ready for the ending, and now I'm desperately waiting to see what comes next. Also, I just need to mention that this is another mixed media book, which, as you may or may not know, I am a complete sucker for. There are police transcripts and tweets and DMs and it was all good fun.

So, no, this isn't the best book I've ever read, but it is an addicting read. A quick read. An exciting read. And honestly, it stuck with me. I can't wait to see where this story goes next, though I do have an idea.

My rating: 
3.5/5

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Life's A Beach Book Tag (Original)

Hi everyone! I purchased my plane tickets to Florida tonight.I'm going the last 3 weeks of July and I am beyond excited. Sarasota, where I grew up and where I'll be going, is home to the #1 beach in the country, in case anyone was wondering, and as a means of celebration I created a book tag commemorating the beach experience.

1) THE SAND 
A BOOK THAT STUCK WITH YOU LONG AFTER YOU FINISHED READING



Okay, well this one is a bit more of a recent read, but I already know that this book has had a lasting impact on me. The story, the characters, and the themes explored all refuse to leave me. 

2) THE SUN
A BOOK THAT BURNED YOU


When I originally thought of this question, I was intending it to apply to books I thought would be great but disappointed me, but when I really began thinking about the books that burned me, I realized it's deeper than that. This is for the book that ripped my heart out. That tainted me with a happy ending and then jerked it out of my hands. Yeah, that's Heartless. 

3) THE WAVES
A BOOK THAT CALMS YOU DOWN AFTER A LONG DAY


Yeah, My Lady Jane is a fun one. It was sweet and exciting and engrossing. This could take my mind off of anything. 

4) THE BATHING SUIT
A BOOK WITH A PRETTY, SUMMER-Y COVER


I've not read this one, but I want to. Badly. This cover reeks of summer vibes and also I'm obsessed with pretty lights, so there's that. 

5) THE BIRDS
A BOOK THAT IS EVERYWHERE


When Dimple Met Rishi is another one I haven't read but desperately want to! I feel like I've seen this one all over the book community and I just really need to get my hands on it. 

6) THE FUN MEMORIES
A BOOK YOU CAN'T WAIT TO RETURN TO


I absolutely adore this series, and I can't wait to re-read it and crack open the final installment in the trilogy. I just know that reading this series again will make my heart so happy!! 

That's it! Short & sweet--but really makes me miss the beach! 

I don't really have anyone specific to tag, but I encourage you all to participate and then link down below!! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: I'm Not in the Band by Amber Garza

I'm Not in the Band by Amber Garza
(standalone)
Published: June 12, 2017 by Entangled Teen (Crush)
Source: Received an electronic copy for review from the publisher via Netgalley, but that did not influence my review in any way.
Summary from Goodreads:
I like Kassidy Milton. There, I said it. She’s funny, beautiful—even though she doesn’t know it—and my favorite kind of weird. But I can’t tell if she’s into me or just trying to get close to me for a chance with my famous twin brother instead. I mean, it has to be me. I am the better-looking one.


But Kassidy has some demons, and she’s not good at letting people in. That happens when you’ve been hurt by someone close to you. I can relate. Trust is a funny thing; it’s hard to gain but easy to lose. I might just learn that the hard way.


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book includes a snarky heroine, a swoon-worthy hero, crazy best friends, your favorite music, and lots of feels.
So it seems, recently, that I have A Thing for books that feature some sort of celebrity aspect. Thus, despite knowing how cheesy this looks and sounds, I requested a review copy. In the end, this book as just an okay read for me. There were a lot of little aspects I was not particularly fond of, but I was invested enough to see the story through and figure out where the characters end up. 

This book is, more or less, told from two points of view. I actually really enjoyed how Garza divded the narratives here. First there's Kassidy, who has a mysterious trauma in the near-past and isn't like Other Girls because she wears t-shirts and converse (ughhhh). Her story is told in a traditional formatting, but Archer's point of view was told entirely in facebook statuses, tweets, and text messages. I'm a sucker for mixed media, and this really worked for me. Was robably my favorite part of the novel, actually. 

While I liked Kassidy well enough, I didn't love her. In fact, she's utterly forgettable. Archer, on the other hand, was a controlling nozzle. Like, I get that he has Reasons to be so insecure, but that doesn't make it okay. I thought he was really sweet at first and then Kassidy literally interacts with his brother in the most innocent way and he frickin goes berserk. I'll admit, though, I did enjoy the way he interacted with his brothers and his friends. Some of their banter made me smile. But I lost all my respect for him the second his melodrama started waving its freak flag. 

Honestly, the melodrama was quite prevalent in this book, and I was not a fan. A lot of stuff just seemed over the top--even the romance. It had its cringe-worthy moments and kinda reeked of insta-love. No thank you. But at the same time, I was interested in seeing how everything was resolved and I enjoyed the characters' growth. 

The bottom line is that this was a quick read, and it kept my attention sufficiently, but it was nothing extraordinary. It's something I won't remember in a few months from now. The premise is appealing (at least in my opinion), but it's trope-y and just a bit much at times. 

My rating: 
3/5

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Post #30


  • I basically spent the whole week working (again, currently typing this at work) and lazing around, but on Monday I did go swimming with my best friend and we celebrated her 20th birthday!! 
  • Literally, that's it. That's my life haha. 
Reviews: 
- Geekerella by Ashley Poston
- Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Memes: 
- Top Ten Contemporary Books I've Recently Added To My TBR

Features/Misc.:
- Quiz: Which Sarah Dessen Book Do You Belong In?
- Just Write #3

Reviews: 
- I'm Not in the Band by Amber Garza
- Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Memes: 
- Sunday Post #31

Features/ Misc.:
- The Beachy Book Tag
- Book Aesthetics #2: 2017 Releases
- How To Spread Positivity In The Book Community

- What Sarah Read featured a really great post about autism in YA.

- The delightful ladies Genesis and Amanda from Latte Nights Reviews are seeking another co-blogger. Y'all don't wanna sleep on this. I love their blog!  

My Twitter giveaway is still happening!! We're up to 2 winners now who get to choose from a select list, including My Lady Jane, Now I Rise, and The Last Magician!

- Kate from Ex Libris is having a six year blogiversary giveaway! Two winners will get to pick a book from a select list, including books like Warcross, Warbringer, and The Belles! 


For review: 


What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy | Published July 18, 2017 | Thanks Bloomsbury!
Protected by Claire Zorn | Published October 3, 2017 | Thanks Sourcebooks Fire!
Of Jenny and the Aliens by Ryan Gebhart | Published August 1, 2017 | Thank you Candlewick Press!
Duplicity (audiobook) by N.K. Traver | Published March 17, 2015 | Thank you N.K,!

Purchased: 

(I was too lazy to take real photos of my new lovelies, but trust me they are GORGEOUS and they are MINE)

- Caraval by Stephanie Garber
- Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lefty's Lowdown: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
(standalone)
Published: May 2, 2017 by Amulet Books
Source: I received an electronic galley for review from the publisher via Netgalley, but this in no way influenced my review or my opinions of the book.
Summary from Goodreads:
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 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.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.
 Let's all say it together: WE NEED MORE SINGING BOOKS. I feel like I've been chanting this since the dawn of time, and Riley Redgate's Noteworthy just reaffirmed this notion because this novel is EXCELLENT. Imbued with diversity, friendship, and freakin a cappella, Noteworthy is not only a fun novel, but a touching, exploratory one as well.

Our main character is Jordan Sun, who attends an elite performing arts boarding school that her family can hardly afford, even with her scholarships. Even worse, they begin to wonder if they should be breaking their bank to send her to this fancy school when she never gets any of the roles she auditions before. Except, it's not because she's not talented. It's because she sings loowwwwww and it's hard to find a place for that in a world of lovely feminine voices. Jordan was a fantastic character. She is considerate and compassionate on a level that you don't quite get very often in YA. I loved following along as she explored honesty and gender and sexuality, I was so pleased with the questions she asked, the conclusions she came to, and the way she grew throughout the novel. I think she will be a highly relatable character for many readers out there!

Something I really adored in this novel are the relationships that developed. Am I referring to the romance? Partially, but more than that--the camaraderie!! The dynamic between everyone in the a cappella group she joins is fascinating! I completely enjoyed reading about both the moments of revelry and the moments of tension and uncertainty. The friendships aren't perfect, but they're real--and they are a lot of fun!! Some of the bickering and random conversations made me smile so widely to myself.

And, okay, back to the romance. This just in: it's cute as heck. I loved how genuine and sweet it was...though I do wish we got to see a bit more of the romance. It was a mere sliver of the novel. But at the same time, the romance was not even remotely close to being the novel's focus so I'm also okay with just having a little bit.

I ate this book up, y'all. I thought it was marvelously written and developed. It navigates so many pertinent issues and it made me consider those issues in a way I'd never even thought of before. This is an absolute GEM in the world of YA and the world of books in general, and you do not want to sleep on it. This is an Asian & bisexual own voices novel, to be clear. It's a thoroughly entertaining read from the first word to the last, while also delving into important subjects and truths about our society. It really stands out among the smorgasbord of contemporary novels at our disposal.

Oh, and also, SINGING.

My rating:
Honestly more like 4.25/5