A thousand perfect notes: a standing ovation review

Last May, when I opened my illumicrate box themed Hidden talents I got super excited to see ‘A thousand perfect notes’ was featured. Everything from the coverto the plot made me want to dive in that book right away. Two days later, I was flipping the last page and C.G. Drews you did NOT disappoint me.

‘When passion turns into obsession’

Australia, Beck is a teenager whose life is all about piano. He woke up early to practice until his hand bleed. Yet, he has a simple wish, cut his hands off. The maestro, his violent mother, is trying through her son to revive her lost pianist career, rubbed away by illness. Every day, every notes Beck is playing crushed his soul a tiny bit more. Things were about to change when Mr Boyne, English teacher is pairing up students for a special assignment.

Beck ended up with the peculiar yet kind August. The girl is always covered in sharpie doodles and walks bare foot. She is a free spirit while Beck’s soul is enslave by his mother’s ambition. That is why they were paired together, to write a thousand notes on how different they are. The problem was the maestro won’t have allowed Beck to get distracted from piano practice. Even if it is for school. Still, August’s friendship will turn Beck’s life upside down and more.

Touching and fierce

Let me tell you this 276-page book is a concentrate of emotions. I was a very quick read; indeed, you could read it in a single sit. At first sight, the writing felt simple, no complicated words and long sentences. But my second thought was telling me every single word has been very carefully chosen. This book is poetry.


It is important to have a book portraying a sensitive subject like parental bullying. There are tons of examples of unhealthy relationships, but usually it is between a girl and a boy (I am not aware of a LGBT one, let me know if you have read a book featuring this situation). Bullying is also a ‘trendy’ subject. Nevertheless, it occurs to me those problems are not always addressed in teenage books. But some authors write about unhealthy relationship like this is what you need in your like (can have a look at my review on Wintersong).

The characters were well-developed. I liked the fact we know just enough about the maestro to understand her behaviour without having a ‘but she has a sad background story’. She is just a depressed and dilutional women obsessed with piano. Joey was portrayed as colourful little girl. She was so adorable. August brought some peace and serenity to the book while at Beck’s house chaos and violence occurred.


In the book we have a glimpse at someone’s life. Like you are at the train station catching a train you have no idea where it comes from and where it goes. But you don’t care you are here for the journey. To me, it felt so different from any teenage contemporary I am used to read. Where usually we are flooded with unnecessary information. Hence, it felt so real.

For once the ‘romance’ is a background story like it could be in an ordinary teenager’s life.



At the end Beck’s uncle Jan rescued him from the maestro and take Joey and Beck with to Germany. Beck is then living far away from August. The Romance ended up quickly then but Beck could live is true passion and free is soul. But who still believes in the happily ever after anyway? Or in the 21thcentury the unhappy ever after where we are told a manipulative and controlling partner is what we need.

To sum-up, a thousand perfect notes deserves a standing ovation for how true and beautiful is it.




1 designed by Sophie Burdess

2 A.K.A @paperfury

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