My Rating ~ Five stars
RELEASED: 7 June 2018
Publisher: Orchard Books
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?
Beck’s mother was a famous piano player, before illness set her hands shaking and claimed her career. She’s determined that Beck will carry on the family legacy, playing her music, whether he likes it or not. Forced to play constantly, with no distractions allowed – including having any friends – Beck starts to resent the piano. If he could only play the music he composes in his head, he could start to love it again. But any attempt to play anything other than his mother’s music results in violence. It’s not only himself Beck needs to look out for, he is in constant fear that his mother’s temper will turn to his five year old sister if he doesn’t toe the line.
Despite his protests, his school teams him up with free-spirited August for a school project. He tries his best to avoid August to appease his mother’s ‘no distractions’ rule, but August is not easily deterred. As his mother’s violence escalates and his friendship with August blossoms, he starts to cautiously wonder if theres a way out of his difficult life.
I loved this book so much. Beck’s desperation and desire to still gain the approval of his abusive mother, coupled with his crushing sense of responsibility to his sister was just heartbreaking. A Thousand Perfect Notes gave me ALL the feels – my rage towards his mother was blinding and I just wanted to sweep in and steal those kids away from their lives. August was such a great character. She was real and kind and so….persistent. 😀 And Joey. I adored Joey. She was so perfectly five years old, so full of life, and at the same time, just that bit broken due to her home life.
This was the kind of book that had me laughing one minute and getting my heart stomped on the next. The family violence was confronting and hard to read, without seeing red myself. The choice’s Beck faced were the type where you knew whichever way the story went, you were going to have your heart handed to you on a platter. It’s a book I’ll think about for a long time, and recommend to many people!
Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl