Review: Notable by Marni Bates

Author: Marni Bates
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Netgalley
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3 out of 5
Release Date: October, 29, 2013

Summary from Amazon:

I take no prisoners…

I’m Chelsea Halloway and I will happily destroy your social life if you mess with me. Just ask anyone. There is no situation I can’t handle. Divorcing parents? No problem. An ex-boyfriend who wants to date Smith High School’s biggest geek instead of me? Just a matter of time before I can make him see reason. At least, until my parents decide to ship me off on a study abroad trip to Cambodia…

Now instead of being admired as the queen of the Notables, I’m stuck with a bunch of college students who don’t take me seriously, and a professor who accidentally landed himself on the wrong side of a drug lord. And it’s up to me to get us all out of the country alive–even the annoying jerk with the green eyes who won’t stop calling me “princess.”

Oh yeah, what could possibly go wrong?


4 out of 5

4 out of 5

My Thoughts

I’m an eclectic read.  I love reading books for all ages.  I love children’s picture books as much as I love books aimed at teens or adults (and I don’t even have children!).  I also read books from almost all genres (except dystopians and most science fiction).  I love historical fiction, contemporary, romance, mystery, suspense, fantasy, paranormal, supernatural.  But I have a special fondness for the light and funny.  I love how quick they are to read, how they put me in a happy mood, and above all, how they let me escape from my life’s frustrations and worries.  So, of course, I can never pass up a Marni Bates book.  That said, although I did enjoy Notable, it didn’t quite meet my expectations.  This is Marni’s fourth book, I’m really ready for a little more improvement in her books.

Notable is the third book in the Smith High series, but instead of telling a story about an everyday girl (like Bates has in Awkward and Invisible), this time she’s tell a story about popular girl, Cheslea.  I really enjoyed a book from the Queen of the Notables, herself.  To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure if Bates would be able to make me like or care about Chelsea, but I had nothing to worry about.  Bates made it easy for me to care about Cheslea.  However, I think there could have been a little more depth to Chelsea’s story.  We get glimpses of Chelsea’s less-than-happy home life, and even dating life, but I wanted a little more time spent on how these not-so-great events affected Chelsea.

Houston, the romantic interest, was likable enough, but not swoonworthy, at all.  Sometimes I thought he was kind of a jerk.  He was quite judgmental at times, and he wasn’t very nice to Chelsea sometimes.  I certainly liked Houston more than Scott from Invisible.  And Houston is a total Nerdfighter, wearing Hank Green’s No Edge t-shirt, and a DFTBA shirt.  So I gotta love that, even if he didn’t always show the Nerdfighter spirit.

The story of Notable is a little out there, involving a trip to Cambodia, and a drug lord.  I’m perfectly willingly to suspend my disbelief, and for the most part, I played along.  I’m not really sure if I belief all these college kids looking to high schooler, Cheslea for leadership, but what the hell, it was fun.  There is a bit of a romance going on in the story, but it really wasn’t very intense.  I really wasn’t very invested in the romance.

There was one area in Notable that frustrated me quite a bit.  Bates should have done a little more research.  I noticed quite a few things that I knew weren’t quite right, and it ended up taking me out of the story.  Here are some examples:

  • Chelsea is a ballet dancer, and has hopes of pursing a ballet career.  And yet she refers to her pointe shoes as “toe shoes”.  I can assure you that any serious ballet dancer does not use the phrase “toe shoes.”
  • Further more, it’s said that Chelsea’s dance studio has a wooden floor, when ballet studios have a special floor that is almost rubbery.  Dancing on wooden floors is very difficult, and very slippery.
  • Also Chelsea wears tan tights to ballet class, but ballet students only wear pink tights, which is also why point shoes are pink, because with the pink pointe shoes and the pink tights, it help’s extend the dancer’s lines.
  • When Chelsea is a little nervous, she’ll run through ballet positions.  But she always seems to be in third position.  But here’s the thing, advanced students really never use third position.  It’s usually fifth, fourth, second or first.  As an aspiring ballerina, Chelsea would know this.
  • Even though Chelsea is in Cambodia, she (and all the college kids), have cell phone service.  I’m pretty sure they would have needed a special plan.  I mean, the minute I cross the border into Canada, I lose cell coverage.

These details, which aren’t huge plot points, still did add up and frustrate me.  However, Notable was still a really fun, quick read.  And it did what I wanted it to do: provided and enjoyable, light reading experience.  I really like Marni Bates’ writing style, I’m just ready for her to go to the next level in her storytelling.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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2 Responses to Review: Notable by Marni Bates

  1. Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace says:

    Great review Quinn. I am a sucker for light funny reads too!! I’d love to see how Chelsea handled Cambodia and drug lords! Sounds like fun! I’m no ballet excpert, so those things would’ve gone right over my head, but I agree, better research about it would be great. People who are in the industry would expect it to be spot on. Well done.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  2. Pingback: Notable by Marni Bates - HOBBITSIES

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