Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

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.

Between the Notes was a simple story that dealt with every day types of conflict that can happen to anyone.  Whose family hasn't, at some point gone through some financial troubles?  We can all relate to that.  Her family's financial problems are a lot more severe, however, forcing them to pretty much sell most of what they own including a beautiful house, furniture, and Ivy's piano.  This is a big loss considering the fact that she's something of a prodigy, kind of.

All of the sudden, she and her mother are having to make trips to food banks in order for their family to have enough to eat since most of what money they do have must go to caring for her needy younger brother.  With this in mind, there were times that I got so irritated with Ivy because of her attitude.  She was bitter about the changes to her life, had some bitter thoughts about her brother, etc... but I had to keep reminding myself that this is a teenage girl... teenage girls aren't always going to handle things the right way.  I think this experience was part of her character growth, and if you look at it in that way, you can appreciate the changes that take place in Ivy as the story progresses.

I liked the guy next door.  I thought he was a great guy, and there were times I wanted to shake her for being so judgmental towards him at first, but things do change between them and it was gradual.  I liked that.  It wasn't instalove.  I like how he opened her up and made her more comfortable in her new skin.  When the big moment comes, it was gratifying.

The writing in this book was simple and engaging.  It was a cute story with some depth, and I enjoyed it..especially the character arcs and journeys.  Those definitely made the story worth reading.

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