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. But 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.
I am so glad I picked up this book after one of my friends loved it! It’s a love letter to acapella in the best way. And I love how it dwells on the nerdiness of it all, is never thought of that before.
I have rated this for spoilers, but I think they’re pretty mild. I just like to be careful!
I think this book works so well because of how delicately it handles everything in it – financial issues, disability support, sexuality, religion. Jordan cross dressing is even tackled from an “infringing on trans people” view and she feels guilty – I’d have like a little more on that, but the way it causes her to view her femininity and what that means to her is just beautiful. As is Nihal’s response to finding out.
I don’t think there’s a topic in the book not handled in a brilliant manner. And it’s not light hearted but not too serious either, plus it’s funny. Not too musical, for those of you, like me, who don’t know what half the terms mean. Plus it doesn’t tell you and make you feel dumb. You don’t need to know as a reader, so it’s not included. That is amazing, as too many authors go over board on getting everything clear even when not needed, I found it very refreshing.
I did find the concept mildly improbable – how she got away with it for three months without the faculty cottoning on is totally beyond me, but the way the rest of it works is pretty clever. I also desperately wanted more come uppance for the Minuets, even if I get wanting to beat them, there’s no way I would have kept that quiet after! They went way too far.
The individual relationships between Jordan and the rest of the Sharpshooters were wonderful – I loved all of them. Especially Isaac, as much as I sort of didn’t want to! 😉 Plus the way we see Jordan look at her sexuality was so on point for me, I like that she wasn’t sure and had never had cause to really think it through; I think this is a view a lot of teens go through, and it’s nice to see it represented.
4.5 stars for a funny, insightful book!
Buy Noteworthy from Amazon UK (affiliate link)