Between the Notes

btnoteshc_revealFirst Lines: 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.  I knew immediately something wasn’t right.  We never sat on that couch.

Yay, I finished a YA book!  I am so incredibly busy this month, y’all, between school and other obligations, that I’m barely holding myself together, let alone finishing books.  WHEN WILL IT BE SPRING BREAK?!

For the sake of time, I’m just going to copy/paste the summary from Goodreads: 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.

First of all, I kinda-sorta-may-be-over-the-moon about this book.  Which I didn’t expect.  I’ve let this languish on my shelf for over a month until I simply had to grab it because it was now-or-never.

This is a subtly cute read.  It’s not one of those where you get chills the whole time you read it (you know those books), but by the time I was done with it, I simply had to go back and reread like, half the book.  I couldn’t get the characters out of my head.  Hello, book hangover.  It’s been a while.

Ivy’s actually a far deeper character than you initially expect.  She starts off as a spoiled princess who cares about what everyone thinks of her.  But as the story goes on, you start to discover more about her.  My favorite quality of hers was her lack of confidence, simply because then I got to watch her go through the book and gain that confidence.  I love stories where that’s a theme.

And weirdly, it was really cool to explore the stereotypes associated with different socioeconomic statuses.  (Some of you just blacked out on me.  It’s cool; I did the same when those words came up in college.)  But for real, Ivy has all of these notions about people who live in the “slums”, but not everything is as it seems.  And a few times, she’s forced to confront her own feelings about the upper class.  It’s actually kind of awesome.

The other characters are also pretty awesome, as a whole.  I can’t even say I have a favorite minor character because they’re all so cool in their own way.  And a lot of that is because no one is quite who you think they are, just like in real life.  Just when you think you have a person figured out, they do something you don’t expect.  It was so realistic.

Ok, yes, the story does slide into the cliche from time to time.  There’s a bit of a love triangle here, but not an annoying Edward-or-Jacob kind of thing.  Just…subtle.  More real life-ish.  And some of the “twists” aren’t exactly surprising.  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the reveal.  It’s like when you’re on a roller coaster and you can see the big drop coming; you still enjoy the trill of it, perhaps even more so because you see it coming.

Super super cute.  Just trust me.

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