July 7, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

between the notesBetween the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
June 16, 2015
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* E-ARC courtesy of Edelweiss + HarperCollins

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.


I received this book for free from Edelweiss + HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “I came home from school on a Thursday in early September to find my parents sitting on the couch in the front room, waiting for me. “

DNF-ed at 11% (but also read last three chapters)

First impression: Boring. Forgettable.

Between the Notes is like any typical contemporary YA book you find on the bookshelves. Just imagine eating toast over and over again—you might like the taste of the toast slathered with butter at first, but eventually, you’ll get tired of it when it’s all you eat; it starts tasting bland. That’s what Between the Notes is like.

The story is essentially Ivy dealing with her family’s move to the poorer neighborhood in town—where she is embarrassed to be because she has an image to uphold—as well as the boys she meets along the way. As soon as I read the first sentence, I just didn’t care—not for the main character or her situation. Yeah, there are teenagers going through this—moving to a different place even though they don’t want to, feeling very high and mighty and selfish, and unintentionally falling in love with the guy they least expected—but does that make it an interesting read? It could’ve been, but for this book? No. Not when the story is written extremely similar to other contemporary YA. Very disappointing.

Between the Notes is very much a cookie cutter YA. I like cookies, but not the kind this book was serving up. I wanted more sprinkles and spice.


2 Responses to “(DNF) REVIEW | Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat”

  1. I always get baffled by characters who feel like they need to hide that they moved to a less affluent part of town. Like, how crappy are your friends that they’ll drop you if you don’t have a white picket fence? Sheesh. I’m glad I didn’t order a copy of this one!

  2. I still like the cover. Ha, that’s basically the only thing about this book that doesn’t scream buttered toast.

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