A Thousand Perfect Notes, C. G. Drews (2018)
Themes: Contemporary, Young Adult, Music, Abuse
I was sent this book from Net Gallery in exchange for my honest feedback. This book is due to be published on the 7th of June 2018.
This book may sound like a normal contemporary, but wow it deals with so much more. This took me on an emotional rollercoaster of both anger and joy. Beck is our protagonist, ruled by a controlling and abusive mum (this is where my anger comes in), he is forced to follow in her footsteps and play the piano professionally. Beck’s family struggle to get by, financially and emotionally. He is a troubled guy and he’s living a very different life to most boys at his age, isolated and controlled, he doesn’t have the freedom to enjoy his younger years. Immediately we have a main character that we care so much about, we can see his daily unhappiness and we want him to be free, to smile and laugh, we want to give him one big squish and make all the bad things go away. The key selling point of this book is the characters, so let’s make this review about them.
I always care about characters that are written well, but Beck’s story was different. He meets August who is a girl unlike the rest, she wants to break his shell and make him happy, she is unusual, fun and kind and she is what the reader wants most for Beck. She represents our hope for his happiness and for him to stand up to the abuse in his life. Ultimately August is the contrast of happiness to Beck’s misery; her parents are loving and kind, she is surrounded by her choices and she revels in her lifestyle. I’m so desperate for August to break Beck down and for him to let her in, I need Beck to be helped.
I don’t think I’ve ever hated a character as much as I hate Beck’s mum, the Maestro. She is the most hideous parental figure I have read about, she easily tops the Dursley’s and Matilda’s parents on the hate scale. I cannot stand the way she treats her children, I am desperate for the smol humans to be loved and cuddled and fed. But they are forever trapped in this hellish nightmare. Well done Cait for making me despise this woman so much! I kept thinking maybe there was a chance of The Maestro’s redemption, but then she kept being such a cow that no, that woman will never see a smile from me! Her title rather than the name mum already evokes fear in me, she is someone in control, some distinguished and respected – but she is not, she has expected to be given respect, not to earn it, this is her downfall.
The plot for this book is very simple at its base – an unhappy boy in an unhappy household wants a normal life, he wants to smile and be free and be loved by more than just his sister, Joey. This simplicity captivated me, I lived for this book for the three days it took me to read it. The writing is beautiful and fun and feels like I’m reading a book written by a friend. If you don’t know, the author is other wise known as PaperFury on her blog and social media, so her writting is already well known within the community. I loved diving into a whole book of Cait’s, she my inspiration as a writer, she merges delirious happiness with terrifying sadness – not an easy thing to do and do well.
Days after finishing this book I find myself making up the rest of Beck’s story, I am desperate to know what happens to him after the book ends. Not every book stays with me after I finish reading it, but this one certainly has. I urge you to pick up a copy of this book once it is published, it truly is superb!