★★★★ · book review

Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 1.55.14 AMPublisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Okay, so first I must say that this book was a complete cover buy for me. I saw the book as a recommendation on Goodreads about a week before it’s publication date and added it to my growing wishlist of books. Then a few weeks later I learned that the author was going to be signing at a bookstore about an hour away from me the next afternoon! Part of me hesitated because I didn’t think I would be able to leave work in time to make it but after posting about it on Twitter Sharon and the lovely people at Bethany Beach Books had convinced me to make the trip, and honestly I couldn’t pass it up! We don’t get many book signings in Delaware, especially at our lovely independent bookstores. So, long story short, I got to meet Sharon and get this book all on a whim and it was so exciting and fun! I also got to sign Sharon’s copy of the book but I can’t even remember where I did it. Now, on the the actual review!!

Ivy Emerson is the daughter of a businessman and a homemaker and lives an affluent life. One afternoon her parents bring her world crashing down around her when they tell her they have to move to the other side of town because they could no longer live in the means they were accustomed to. With Dad’s business failing and therapy bills for her younger brother adding up Ivy begrudgingly gives up many of her favorite possessions, including a grand piano, and begins her new life.

My favorite parts of this book were the secret notes in the books and Ivy’s music. These scenes were so organic and interesting to read from Ivy’s perspective, especially her piano playing. The turmoil that Ivy experiences with the sudden fall into her own personal hell is very realistic and believable. She has a lot of angst, she is trying to cling to the familiar, and above all she doesn’t want anything to change. All of these things are completely understandable and portrayed very well through Roat’s writing. I love Lennie and Molly and how they interact with Ivy and help her through her angst, no matter how unwilling she is. I also really love Brady and Kaya, Ivy’s siblings, and how they ground Ivy sometimes when she is losing herself in her thoughts. But mostly Lennie, Lennie, Lennie! I loved him and could use a book with more of him in it. I don’t know what it would be about but he is just an awesome character, I wish there was more of him in BTN.

I didn’t have too many faults with the book aside from the tropes: the whole rich girl with snobby friends/mean girls trope and James (can’t say more because spoilers) and his bit. I also feel like Ivy was a bit too clueless, but then again maybe I give people too much credit and maybe there are people that are that clueless but I don’t know. Obviously these things didn’t bother me that much and overall the book was still immensely enjoyable!

I kind of guessed where the book was going about half way though BUT that did not keep me from tearing through this book. The first 160 pages were kind of slow for me but I finished the last 222 pages in a few hours because I had to know what was going to happen next and whether I was right or not. This is a wonderful book and it is an easy and fun read for any contemporary lover out there. I am very interested to see what Sharon puts out next!

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 10.12.12 AM

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