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Presented by State Library Victoria

A Thousand Perfect Notes | A review

Hey guys! Sorry for being off for a while, but it’s finally the holidays! — which means more time to read! (and procrastinate…)

Image result for piano gif

A quick summary

A Thousand Perfect Notes follows Beck, an abused boy who is forced to play the piano by his mother. He hates this life and is afraid to tell his mother his true passion until August comes along, a girl full of energy and life, who helps him carve out his own pathway.

Thoughts

After putting this book down, I felt a pang of sadness? Relief? I would say that it told an incredibly heart-wrenching story; it explored unspoken themes such as abuse and mental health, and shed light onto those themes. The way the author crafted the storyline was intriguing; coupled with the strong descriptions, the story unfolded into a reality for people with similar experiences.

Now… #unpopularopinions

  • Abuse is a commonly untouched topic, but in relation to the character, I feel that more information should’ve been provided concerning the Maestro. Although the author gave glimpses of the Maestro’s past, some of it involved guesswork. It would’ve been more understandable if a character background was provided, or even a small snapshot to see how the Maestro evolved to being abusive or was abusive initially. In this case, I feel that this theme could be explored more deeply, and although we do see the Maestro acting in a ‘motherly’ way for just a moment, perhaps a detailed background could allow the reader to fully understand the context more.
  • The juxtaposition was quite thought-provoking: the fluffy romance on top of the cruel landscape of physical and emotional abuse. I can see how this could provide a sense of balance or contrast, but the actions of the characters can feel a bit odd in relation to the personality of the character.
  • Characters…again (sorry). I loved the range of characters Drews created; they are unique, relatable and sympathetic. However, I was pretty confused with the character traits. Referring back to the abuse element, Drews highlighted it well through the Maestro and conveyed to readers realistic situations that are currently happening. Yet, the character of August also had an aggressive manner underneath her ray of sunshine. It seems that using violence as a solution is ‘okay’ if it’s for a ‘good cause’. Is kicking people in the bathroom the best solution in regards to people hurting animals? Supporting a cause is one thing, using violence as a solution is another.

Like before, the book covered many themes, however, it didn’t really illustrate the Maestro’s past. I guess another concept I took out of this book is failure. In life, along with the presumed life of the Maestro, failure is not uncommon. This book allowed me to realise that it’s our attitude towards failure that changes life. In general, our attitude and our perspectives change the world around us. If we choose to understand that it’s just part of life and see that there is a light within the darkness, our outlook can be brighter. (a bit cliché, sorry!) However, sometimes there’s not really a choice, and it’s hard to see that there is one. Failure can be taken negatively, however, you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Rating

6/10

4 comments

bookwithbane

Do readers gain much insight into the Maestro's mind and is it backed by psychology? Because a lot of abusers have some sort of abuse done to them as a child that leads them to do the same(but not all)

30th Jun, 19
booklover

Not really, only a little bit was revealed about her physical changes (her hands) that caused her to act in this fashion :/

1st Jul, 19
inky Centre for Youth Literature

Great review!

1st Jul, 19
booklover

Thanks! :)

2nd Jul, 19