There are some books that grab you by the shoulders and never let you go.
Today, I present to you one of those books: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G Drews. While I’m about 923982784 years late to the party, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fangirl about my kids Beck and Joey and scream ‘READ IT’ from the rooftop. Not like I don’t do that already. *guilty coughing*
Why am I so enthusiastic about this book?? Well, here is the Quick Summary Of Why I Am Obsessed With This Book™ — music, sad bois, CAKE, brilliant writing, and the fact that it will crush your heart, soul, and all hopes of finishing your TBR. Because you will reread immediately, and not regret a minute of it.
SO. With all that being said, I think it’s time to review the book! Per usual, there are no spoilers here, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the book quite yet. Let’s get to it!
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?
I’ve been a bit of a ghost reader of Cait’s blog Paperfury ever since I began this blog. It’s hard to find influencers who are genuine, entertaining, and helpful all in one, especially at the exponential rate our community is growing, but Cait goes above and beyond every time. Therefore, I just had to buy her book. AND I AM NOT DISAPPOINTED.
I had intended to save this book for my first read of the year, but I ended up grasping it from the bottom of my slowly collapsing TBR and finishing it in a matter of hours.
This book gets a lot of mixed reviews, almost split down the middle with people who are anti-ATPN or dIEHARD FANS. I, for one, fit into the latter group, and don’t understand why people don’t fall in love with Beck and August and JOEY. I am confusion. exPLAIN.
content warning: mentally/physically abusive character, one graphic scene. ages 13+
Joey and her beAUTIFUL STABBY HEART AAH. If it isn’t obvious, this ball of innocence and destruction is my absolute favorite character. I flipping adore little Joey and all her glorious little-kid violence (i was also a stabby child hahahaa). I will point out that I loved Beck, and did really like August. The three of them had lovely interactions – and, um, talk about personality!! Each character had their own independent charm and arc.
But Joey is my special child. No hurt Joey.
The romance is pretty darn aDORABLE. The contemporary genre is swamped with a lot of problematic romance. But these kids are just?? So pure and sweet??? I wouldn’t call it slow burn romance, but it is a beautiful progression from not-friends to class-ditching, folk-music-blaring buddies. Also, they bond over cake. There is nothing more romantic than cake, thank you very much.
LOTS OF SMALL THINGS. Things like indie rock bands. Like pink knives (and NOT pink whisks). Like loads of dogs and paper crowns and white pianos. There’s something about the way every scene has so much love and care poured into it. That’s something you don’t read every day and I soaked every bit of it up.
The writing/voice is top-notch!! Cait’s blog has probably the best writing I know. She can make any seemingly boring topic into an entertaining experience. So I do not know what I was expecting in her book because it blew me away on so many levels. Like, words. so pretty. show me your ways o word lord. Not to skip over the voice — who knew third person could be so deeply personal?? And realistic, gosh. This book has the most gorgeous writing.
The villain was incredibly well written. There are moments where Beck’s mom is strict. There are times when she’s mean. And then there are points where she’s a downright disgusting human being. But there are also a few small moments where she is deeply vulnerable. And, in a strange way, relatable. WHICH IS INFURIATING. What an awful (gOOD) villain.
It’s a character-centered story !!!! So, while the plot might be a little… nonexistent at times, the characters have such complicated arcs and relationships that the characters themselves are half the story. And yall know my favorite part of books are the characters themselves, so I had a fantastic time diving into the character’s thoughts instead of, you know, the real world.
It’s pretty great.
August was a little… I don’t know… overwhelming? August is a sweet, spontaneous little ray of sunshine who will do anything to brighten Beck’s world. I can see where the author was approaching her character as a contrast to Beck’s repetitive, dull way of living, but her unexpectedness was a bit of an unpleasant detour from the actual plot.
Continuing on the subject of August, I read one mostly negative review that mentioned how, at one point of the book, August practically stalks Beck. He asks to be left alone multiple times, but, August, being the hyperactive, free-flying hippie that she is, continues to hang around. That’s supposed to be endearing, but what a different situation that would be if the gender roles were reversed. Just because you’re a cute flower girl doesn’t mean you can get away with everything. I donno. It rubbed me the wrong way.
The Beck’s mother doesn’t get much of a story. As mentioned earlier, I loved how the author wrote the Mastero. I hate her. It’s awesome. That being said, I wish we could have some more screentime with her. At least a little bit of backstory? I understand that Beck’s mom is generally an awful person, and sometimes that’s just how people are, but I’d love to see some reasoning behind her actions. Not necessarily bad, it’s just something missing.
Pacing was quite a bit off. I don’t know whether Cait was aiming for a shorter book or not, but it feels like she was! The first half (plus) is painfully slow, basically just filling in backstory and showing contrasts between the Mastero and August. But then, the climax shoots past and you’re at the end. Just like that! It’s so fast askdfhksjhk!!!
FIVE STARS. FIVE THUMBS UP. FIVE… DIAMONDS… IDK BUT WHATEVER IT IS I LOVED ITTTT.
I’m so, sO GLAD I took the time to read this book. Yes, it did have a few bumps along the way. Yes, it did emotionally damage me for all eternity. But! This book is too beautifully aMaZiNg to earn anything less. It’s now a top-ten favorite book of mine so if you haven’t read it, you really should. Like, soon. Maybe you could, I don’t know, enter a giveaway of the book, perhaps?? Hm…
✨ giveawayyy ✨
OH LOOK AT THAT A CONVENIENTLY LOCATED GIVEAWAY.
Funny story, I asked for ATPN for Christmas, and when it arrived my mother opened the box to find… two copies…?? We didn’t buy two, but I’m not complaining because now I get to share the heartbreak with one of you!!
Yes, I’m giving away a free copy of A Thousand Perfect Notes! Now is the perfect opportunity to catch up before her next book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, releases in April. So sign up below to be entered in a giveaway drawing! The winner will be announced on March 3rd both here and on my Instagram.
Was this post just a huge ad for Paperfury? Yes. Do I regret it. NOT A BIT MY FRIEND. Cait is a great blogger and amazing human being and um you should do yourself a favor and go follow her. Then you can be blessed with sarcasm and cake even more than usual!! YOU’RE WELCOME.
Thoughts? Have you read ATPN? IF SO HOW DID YOU LIKE IT EEP?!! Who’s your favorite character? anD UM LET’S ALL SCREECH AT THE MASTERO. Are you a fellow Paperfury stan? Or are you only just hearing of her blogging majesty?? Comment below!