Roat, Sharon Huss. Between the Notes
June 16th 2015 by Harper Teen
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Ivy's family has to move from their big house in a nice part of town into a cramped apartment in a less desirable area because her father's business is not doing well, and her brother Brady requires extensive therapy because of his developmental disability. Her mother goes back to work, and Ivy tries to settle in to a new routine that involves riding her bike to school and trying to hide the move from her frenemies, Willow and Wynn. Long time friend Reesa is more understanding, but the two girls both like the same boy-- the enigmatic new James Wickerton. Reesa fawns over him, but he and Ivy really connect, although Ivy also seems to have caught the eye of stoner and neighbor Lennie. There's lots of drama about the move and the boys, but it is Ivy's adjustment to a new type of life that is most interesting.
Strengths: This kept me reading. In some ways, it seemed very much like a middle grade book, and it was just interesting to read about Ivy's new life. The inclusion of visits to a food pantry and Ivy's brother added some depth.
Weaknesses: A bit slow and depressing for a middle school romantic read, and the author totally lost me when she whipped out the following on page 191(from E ARC): "Stand there like a f*ing idiot in front of James and let him think you care if he's rich and don't say a f*ing word and f* f* f* f*." I don't care if this makes Ivy laugh because she 's not "the girl who said "f*" out loud." She did, and it's unnecessary and offensive.
What I really think: Probably buy for high school, but not for middle school.