Jun 18, 2015

Review: Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Title: Between the Notes
Author: Sharon Huss Roat
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 6.16.2015
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Issues, Romance, Music
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 5 Stars

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.

There is no better find than a book that pulls you out of a reading rut, and that's exactly what BETWEEN THE LINES did for me. I've found that after several years of blogging and reviewing books that a lot of times, stories start to blend. Deja vu kicks in - I've heard this voice before. I've read this plot before. I know what's coming next. But Sharon Hoss Roat's debut utterly blew me away with its originality and brilliant characters. I absolutely fell in love with this story that had me grinning and laughing out loud and even misting up a little. I loved every second I spent with these characters and told the world (well, the social media world I'm part of).

You know, I felt bad for Ivy. Her entire world is upended in the first chapter and sets her on a path for self discovery in the funniest of ways. She makes some insane choices and pays the price for them (nothing too crazy, but enough to teach the reader and Ivy a lesson). Her character development is such a joy to watch as she goes from a naive, somewhat spoiled child to someone who understands the value of family and money.

There is some fantastical romance in this book with two boys vying for Ivy's heart, each one harboring their own secrets. One I saw coming, the other I did not, but it never felt like a true triangle (if that makes any sense). I just enjoyed watching as Ivy learned more about herself while around each guy.

By far the best part of this for me as the family aspect. Unlike most YA books where parents are oblivious or missing, the Emerson's are front and center. When Ivy talks back to her mom? She gets in trouble. When she has a problem, she talks to her parents. It is refreshing to see a real family (that is not without its struggles) that at the end of the day loves one another.

I could go on forever about why BETWEEN THE NOTES is a spectacular book and Roat is on the fast track to becoming a big name in the YA contemporary world, but wouldn't you rather see for yourself?


  1. I don't know why, but I have never heard of this book. Sounds so good!

    1. OMG, Andye, one of my favorite reads of 2015!

  2. I've seen this one around, and the cover is gorgeous. For some reason it was not in my 'radar'. I'm glad you loved it Hannah!


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