A Thousand Perfect Notes is a book that I’ve been wanting to read ever since its announcement. 💞 Luckily, I had the wonderful opportunity to buddy-read this book with Marie from Drizzle and Hurricane Books, one of the most thoughtful and kind people in the blogging community and an all-around great person.
Together, we paired up to read this heart-breaking contemporary, and today, we’ll be doing a Q&A review. We’ve asked each other’s questions about the book, and we’ll be answering them on our respective blogs. Check out my answers below, and be sure to head over to Marie’s blog read her answers to my questions!
A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES by C.G. Drews
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?
1. Sum up your thoughts and emotions on A Thousand Perfect Notes in just five words! 🙂
Ahh!! How can I narrow down all my feelings and thoughts to only five words? I would say…intense, honest, pain, hope, and cake.2. How did you feel about the emotional range of this book? It wasn’t a happy story, that’s for sure, but do you feel like it was well-balanced between sadness and hope, or a little too heavy at times? What was your emotional state while reading it?
The overall tone of this book definitely leans more towards the sorrowful, heavy side. Throughout the book, we read from Beck’s point-of-view. He’s grown up in a broken household with a physically and verbally abusive mother who forced him to play the piano. As a result, his mentality towards life is coated with darkness and fear. The descriptions of his mother’s hatred are vivid and chilling—we see heartbreaking scenes of outright violence and torture. At the same time, the darkness in Beck’s life is contrasted with sparks of light from his bright, pure-hearted younger sister, Joey, and the spunky, whimsical August. ✨ In these moments, we see a future where Beck no longer lives in a world of fear but instead gains strength from those around him.
“If he were a piano, all his strings would have snapped”
Although I felt that the book sometimes became too heavy for me, I can also understand the author’s desire to paint such intense scenes to parallel with the moments of brightness in Beck’s life.
3. The Maestro, Beck’s mother, should most likely get an award for one of the worst parents in YA books ever… (right?). Yet, it’s always important to understand the villains and why they are what they are, in order for the book to be more compelling. Did you think that the Maestro’s character had enough depth and was explored enough, for you to understand her villainess?
The Maestro is honestly evil incarnated—she’s such a manipulative and hateful woman. This is probably one area that I wish was explore a bit more. We learn that she was a prestigious pianist in Germany who had her career cut short because of her children, but I would’ve loved to explore her different layers. Was there ever hope for her to be a loving mother? Why does she default to abuse and manipulation in order to control her children? Seeing these areas of her character explored would have made her a more complex and believable villain.
4. What did you think of the relationship between Beck and August and its development overall? Did you ship them, or would you rather them just be friends?
This is a pretty tough question for me to answer because I love romance at heart. 💓 One of my favorite tropes is the bright-girl-shows-brooding-boy-what-a-life-of-happiness-and-hope-can-look-like. Cheesy, I know, but it explains why I started shipping Beck and August from the beginning.
That being said, I also wish there was more of a progression between their friendship and the moment when romantic feelings began to develop. If I hadn’t personally shipped the two characters together, I can understand why their relationship would have been seen as better suited as “just friends.”
5. This was C.G. Drews’ debut book: do you think this is a promising start to her writing career? Will you look forward to her sophomore book next year?
For a debut novel, I’m completely blown away. C.G. Drews has a talent for capturing intense emotions into writing whether it’s feeling pain and agony from abuse or feeling music come to life. 🎵 The emotions pour off the pages and weave into the reader’s emotions. Specifically, my favorite parts are the descriptions when Beck is playing his composed music. Just like how Beck gets lost in the magic of his playing, I was entranced by the colors of text.
“Music is nothing unless it fills your soul with colour and passion and dreams.”
Of course, there are also areas for improvement as a writer such as greater development of characters. However, I’m happy that I was finally able to give this book a read, and I’m enthusiastic for what she writes next! 😊
Have you read A Thousand Perfect Notes? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments! 💕