A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews

by - July 18, 2018

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?


Do you ever just finish a book and sit there, trying to wrap your head around what you just read? A Thousand Perfect Notes hit me by surprise - taking me out of my book hangover and introducing me to a new set of lovable characters. I wasn't planning on enjoying this book because I hadn't been interested in a lot of contemporary reads lately. Too many of them were sappy and emotional, causing me to ugly cry for characters that I later realized were just made to emotionally destroy the reader. Don't get me wrong, I love these characters but there are times these stories are so emotional and heart-breaking, you end up not wanting to pick that book up ever again. 

The surprising part about A Thousand Perfect Notes was the fact that Beck was created to touch your heart-strings and bring you to uncontrollable tears - AND I LOVED HIM. What can I say, I am a sucker for a good emotional overdose. This book is about a 15-year-old boy that wishes to be accepted by the one person that should love him the most - his mother. But because of her past, his mother cannot bring herself to look at her son (and daughter) without regret and loss. Her dreams of becoming a famous pianist was shattered and now her son has to follow her footsteps, or else

That looming 'or else' was the hardest part of this book and could trigger some readers. I despised Beck's tyrant of a mother but towards the end, she started showing signs of something else. I love that the author added in these additional characteristics, allowing the reader and a confused Beck to work through his mother's true intentions. This story is mainly about the cycle of abuse and how it can easily be carried on. However, you are an individual and despite your past, you are able to overcome it.

As we're taken along Beck's journey, we meet the strong-willed and carefree August. I initially expected August and Beck to have a spectacular romance. But it was subtle enough to peak my interest. They liked each other but Beck had bigger things to figure out - including who he was as a pianist and person. August didn't play a major role in his life with his mother. Beck and August barely discussed his bruised face on a Monday morning. She was just there for comfort, to show him there is more to life than his music and sometimes we need at least one friend to inspire a break through. 

I struggled at first to connect with Beck - especially since he was just a 'good boy' and followed all his mom's rules and lies. I later had to accept that simply calling the police isn't always an option. His relationship with his sister and August helped him grow and I admire his strength in the end. He did everything for his little sister - who is a force to be reckoned with - and in the end, he chose what was best for the both of them.

“He hates how innocent her face is, how her lips are twisted in a quiet smile, how her breath puffs in globes of cold white. He hates it because she is hope and tomorrow and he is goodbye and the end.”

This book isn't for the romantics. Yes, we get some unbelievably cute scenes between Beck and August, but it was more than that. Their friendship/relationship came at the right time. It saved Beck and inspired him to stand up for himself. I read this book within one day. It's perfect for when you want to spend sometime ugly crying, while ultimately learning about self-worth and the power of friendship.

What was your favourite part?

Book was sent to me by Pan MacMillan Publisher in-exchange for an honest review.

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