Book Review: Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Title: Between the Notes

Author: Sharon Huss Roat

Publication Date: June 16th, 2015

Format: E-Book

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.

★★★★½

Thoughts

I took this book with me when I went on my vacation even though I didn’t expect to be able to read it. But one day, as I was sitting under the window staring at the trees outside, I picked it up, flipped to the first page, and started reading. It’s kind of funny, but often times, it’s books that look innocent are the ones that stick with you the most. Take a look at my fav book of all time for example. It’s such an innocent, cute looking book. But it means everything to me.

But let me back up for a minute.

That cover? It alone deserves 8568783 stars. The colors, the simple design, those stars, Lennie and Ivy standing at the bottom, (AND I KNOW IT’S LENNNIE AND NOT JAMES BC THE GUY IN THE COVER HAS LONG HAIR, KAY????????????) it’s all so gorgeous.

This book had such deep themes too. It taught me to never take things for granted because you never know when you might lose them. It taught me to not judge people without knowing them. It taught me to never believe rumors as they are created by hateful people who want to see others fall down.

I did feel a bit mislead tho. Let’s have a look at this part of the synopsis

Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother

The bit about her disable brother? There was nothing about that. Yes, Ivy did have a disabled brother but she never ‘turned’ to his trusting heart. That was the reason why I didn’t give this book five stars; I hate when the story doesn’t deliver what the blurb promises.

One of the things I really enjoyed was how real the characters were. I don’t read a lot of contemporary but when I do, I relish this aspect of them. Fantasy books (my fav genre) often suffer from characters who behave differently because they live in that fantasy world of theirs.

Character Analysis

Ivy

Ivy was your typical rich teenage girl. She was dramatic, fast to believe the worst of others, and a little bit spoiled. It took the better part of the book for her to change to the better and to stop caring about superficial things but she got there in the end and I was so proud of her. I loved being with her through her transition and I cheered for her all along.

In the beginning, and when they had just moved to Lakeside, Ivy moaned a lot.  She went from living in a top class neighborhood to an area which was way “beneath her”. She just wanted her old life back and that was understandable. She hid the truth from her friends and when they kept on asking her why she wouldn’t answer her phone (she had to give up her phone as well) she lied to them. She was so concerned about how they would look at her if they knew that she moved that she just bottled it all up. To be honest, I was surprised when she told Reesa. I thought that she wouldn’t and that that would play a role in the book but I was happily proven wrong.

In the beginning, I didn’t really understand her fear of singing in front of others and her refusal to go to auditioning thing got on my nerves. You know how when you are reading a book and the character is doing something and your’e just like “come on just do it it’s not hard”, while if you were in their position in real life you would do the same thing? Yeah that was me all the way. I have stage fright too. And if someone had asked me to go on stage and talk I would refuse. That’s what makes a great novel for me: relatable characters. I could relate with Ivy. That’s why I liked her so much.

Lennie

Lennie was the sweetest thing ever. His relationship with Brady = CUTENESS OVERLOAD. PLEASE HAVE MY BABIES LENNIE. And when he got her that helmet my god it was the most swoonworthy thing ever and when he kissed her cheek please kiss my cheek Lennie. Like I melted. I seriously melted into a puddle and they had to collect me in a bucket and refreeze me oh god Jay this sounds really weird just shut up.

James

One thing I didn’t like was James. Seriously what sort of dude takes a girl to the cemetery for a date? I found that really weird and really creepy like yuck James I wouldn’t want to date you kaythanksbye. I couldn’t understand why Ivy was so taken by him when she had that gorgeous specimen (LENNIE) in front of her and it was so obvious he liked her 😦

Reesa

I loved Reesa. I loved how real she was (are you tired of me repeating that sentence yet? I feel like a broken record). I loved the difficulties that their friendship suffered when Ivy moved to Lakeside and I love how they overcame them. If Reesa had blindly accepted Ivy’s move and acted as if nothing had happened then it wouldn’t have been real (pls don’t kill me). In addition to that, she made me laugh. She’s such a funny person and omg her Halloween costume made me crack up.

Bottom Line

This book made me feel things. It made me think. It made me feel so fuzzy inside. I loooooved it and I want to reread it a billion times.

Recommended to: those who want to read a book where the MC struggles with something that might happen to anyone and those who need evidence that the people who TRULY like you will HAVE YOUR BACK BECAUSE THEY LIKE you for being you, not for your money or status in life.

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