Review: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

8:00 AM

 C.G. Drews makes the perfect debut novel that will move you to tears and give you all the feels.


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?

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews 
Rating: ★★★★★ 

"Mistakes do not cancel the worth of a performance. They encourage us to work harder, aim higher."
Was it a smart idea to finish reading this IMMEDIATELY after Queen of Air and Darkness? Probably not. Based on all the feelings that came with it and A Thousand Perfect Notes I am SO BEYOND emotionally exhausted in a very satisfying way. I think I need a cake or seven, now. You may think that I'm kidding, but I'm not.

So, I'm not really sure where to begin? I know, I know, the start of it would be the smart place, but I'm still trying to gather my wits here. There is just a lot to process with A Thousand Perfect Notes due to its subject matter and the way the prose, and the characters, make you feel.

It was everything I'd hoped for it to be: soft and intensely scrappy, humorous and heart-wrenching. Completely unforgettable and 100% compulsively readable. I couldn't put it down. Not like I wanted to. Ultimately, A Thousand Perfect Notes is one of the best YA contemporary releases of 2018 and should not be missed. 

Because, I'm such a fan of the author's blog, and I knew I would love her first release and that it was bound to consume me. I just didn't know how much. And, if you've yet to read it, I can't even warn you. No matter how much you prepare for A Thousand Perfect Notes, it will still hit you like a ton of bricks stacked on a piano free-falling from the top of a tall building.

The piano is A Thousand Perfect Notes, the grass is all of us.
So, let's chat about positives without fully spoiling the experience for you. I try NOT to post spoilers in my reviews but sometimes it's impossible. It's just that A Thousand Perfect Notes is an experience I want you guys to feel happen in real time, I.E., when you read the freaking book.

  • C.G. Drews humor is very prominent in A Thousand Perfect Notes. It's the subtle kind of prominent that creates the perfect balance between the heavier topics (the novel features an abusive parent, for example) and makes the novels poignant tone that much more bold. Drews will make you laugh, flinch and cry periodically. You'll also want some cake. It's all very intentional and it makes me all the more excited to see what her next release will serve us. 
  • Beck, Joey and August are all ANGELS. My children. I wanted to scoop them all up and protect them from the world. I love August's ability to love and how kind she is. I wanted Beck and Joey to get the heck out of their home situation. The very moment August and Beck strike up a friendship with one another... is just really precious. As their connection grows deeper, it's impossible to not want the absolute best for them. 
  • A solid foe/villain and the complexities that come with such horrendous parental bonds. You are going to hurt for Beck and Joey. It's in a very real way. Books are meant to make us feel and C.G. Drews makes you feel everything straight to the bone. The quality behind her writing is sharp and distinct and... so very deserving of praise. 
  • All of the minor characters are as wonderfully crafted as the mains. While I, of course, consider Beck, Joey and August to be the heart/soul/heroes of the story to a degree, characters like Beck and Joey's uncle, and August's parents, serve a great purpose to the storyline. 
  • I love the way that music was included in this. There's the music that Beck is forced into. There is the music that August introduces him to. And there is the musical quality behind Drews' prose. 
  • The sibling relationship between Beck and Joey. That's it.

I can't really say much more at the risk of spoilers. So, I will end my review with two things. One: I was so moved by A Thousand Perfect Notes. And the second thing, is one closing note: "You are worth more than a thousand perfect notes."

We all are.

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