Monday, June 8, 2015

[Review: Between The Notes by Sharon Huss Roat]

"Between the Notes"
Author: Sharon Huss Roat
Series: None
Pages: 400
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: June 16th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.

And it isn’t pretty.

Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.

As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.

Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Between The Notes,

You're super cute, and very darling. I know this sounds like a love note, but it's not all good things. While I found most of you endearing and adorable, there were things that didn't hit the right notes for me. (see what I did there?) There was just a little too much "hiding the truth" in your pages for me to love you as much as I wanted to. That being said, you had some winning things in your pages, and you have Lennie, so there is that!

-The White Unicorn

If you're looking for a cute summer read, this is probably it. Between the Notes is darling debut, and it shows off Roat's writing chops as well. She drops us into a world of high school, mistaken identities, cute boys, and learning how to come into your own. High schoolers are going to eat this book up, that's for sure.

I'm just going to get my issues with this book over with, so I can move on to the good stuff later. Ivy, though she was awesome, also had a hard time owning up to who she was. I'm sure some of my issues with this comes from the fact that I'm not in high school, but I found that her reactions to what was happening in her life, and all the secrets she told, to be slightly obnoxious. I wanted her to own up to things faster than she did. I also wish that the promised influence of music would have been thicker. I feel like we were told that Ivy would have a deeper connection to music than I was given. Sure, it was there, but I found that the book was more about the romance, and less about the tunes.

That being said, I thought that the romance, or rather romances, in the book were darling. Both fellows had a lot going for them, though I will come clean and say that I'm am totally on board the Lennie train. In fact, I found that Lennie was one of my favorite things in the whole book. He's snarky, sweet, and always has some sort of one-liner waiting in the wings to use on the unsuspecting. I probably liked this book three times more than normal just because I could read about Lennie all day, everyday, and I just wanted to see him happy. 

James was okay and Roat made sure to give him some awesome attributes that I enjoyed. I did find him to be a little young acting for an 18 year old though. Which was a tad frustrating. But I liked that both guys had a really good reason to be in Ivy's life, and that both of them helped her get over herself.

Ivy herself was an okay character for me. Once again, I think that a younger audience is going to connect with her on levels that I just couldn't. That being said, I did see myself in a few of the things that she said when she slipped into snark zone, so that was fun. 

So, even though I didn't love this one as much as I wanted to I'm excited to see what teens have to say about it. Plus, Lennie! Seriously, it's all about Lennie!

  3 Unicorns = I liked it a lot, but it had it's issues!

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