Review: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
Published by: Orchard Books
Released: 7th June 2018
Page Count: 282 Pages
Edition: Kindle
Genre: Contemporary YA

Thank you to Orchard Books for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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?


Before I start this review I just want to give out a few trigger warnings. A Thousand Perfect Notes brings to light the topic of abuse and some of the scenes are very harrowing. Please read at your own risk.
15 year old Beck hates his life. He hates his home life. He hates his violent mother who he dubs ‘the maestro’ and he hates the piano that the maestro forces him to play day after day, hour after hour. He will never play like she did, before illness ended her career and left her broken. Beck’s true passion is composing his own music but he is too scared to stand up to his mother because it would end in violence. However, when Beck meets August a girl full of life and laughter, love awakens within him and he starts to see a way of escaping his pitiful existence. But is he brave enough to reach out for it?

First things first…WOW..what a tear inducing, powerful, beautifully written read. This is the kind of book that really pulls on your heartstrings. I was so absorbed in Beck’s story and I was just praying that everything would work out for him. I didn’t want to stop reading and kept willing myself to carry on. Even when I wasn’t reading I was always thinking about Beck and wondering what would happen to him next. When a book does that you know it’s a good one.

Like I mentioned A Thousand Perfect Notes does have themes of abuse and some parts in the book horrified me – they just felt so raw and real. At some points I just wanted the  scene to end. Like I mentioned at the start of my review the scenes are very distressing and the author certainly doesn’t shy away at how harrowing abuse can really be.

Beck was a character that I fell in love with immediately and his development throughout the book was just outstanding. I won’t give much away but it’s done so gracefully. It’s a slow process but that just made it all the more believable. You could feel his mental state improve with each chapter and my heart soared. His relationship with his younger sister, Joey was so heartwarming to read. The love he had for her was so authentic and it really did get to you. Joey was also a joy to read about. She brought innocence to what was a really dark story.

August, well I ADORED her! Her free spirited nature brought out the best in Beck and in a way I think she helped aid his character development. I found myself smiling whenever she appeared and when Beck was with her I knew he was going to be alright. We all need a friend like August in our lives.

Despite the Maestro being a horrible piece of work I did understand why she acted in ways that she did to a point. To have your passion taken away must be hard to handle and a lot of parents do sometimes live out their dreams through their children. Obviously she could have gone a better way about it mind you.

A Thousand Perfect Notes was a phenomenal YA debut novel. It was an amazing read and one that I still haven’t stopped thinking about. It’s also great to see a YA book tackle issues that aren’t spoken about as much as they should be.

Author Bio

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her piano and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novels to make you laugh or cry (or both). She never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.

She blogs at

Blog / Twitter Instagram

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