‘A Thousand Perfect Notes’ spoiler-free review!

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be reviewing A Thousand Perfect Notes, the debut novel from our very own Paper Fury! I was over the moon when Cait announced she would finally be getting published; imagine my delight when I then discovered that her debut novel would be about a pianist?! Never has a blog been more suited to reviewing this book 😉

 

What the book is about…

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?

 

What I thought of it…

I just knew I was going to love this. As a musician myself, I found it so refreshing to read something this unique – I mean, how often do we get to see a retelling of a classical musician’s life?! It was utterly brilliant. The way it was done was so clever and had me grinning like an absolute idiot.

The characters were definitely one of my favourite aspects of the book. Joey was a little bundle of joy and I loved her to bits. The sibling relationship between her and Beck was great and shone right from the outset. It was obvious that Cait was writing the kind of characters she enjoys reading about: those cinnamon boys and sassy girls were giving me life. I also thought it was very clever to constantly use the term ‘the Maestro’ as it really helped with the depersonalisation of that particular character.

Everyone (including the author herself) said that this book would emotionally compromise its readers but I wasn’t expecting to have my feels shredded from the very first chapter! It was an emotional rollercoaster, at times genuinely brutal, and I just wanted to wrap everyone up in fluffy blankets and feed them all the foods.

I cannot express how much love I have for this book. Beck, August and Joey have all carved themselves a place in my heart and will remain there indefinitely. I knew that Cait’s debut would not disappoint; having been a long-time fan of her blog, I could see that her voice was delightfully clear in every sentence. This book was so authentically HER and I can’t wait to read more from her.

I wholeheartedly recommend A Thousand Perfect Notes for fans of YA contemporaries with lashings of feels or for anyone with an interest in music. (It’s like Cait wrote this book for me 😉 )

 

a thousand perfect notes paper fury book review piano

Is anyone else a fan of Paper Fury? Have you read A Thousand Perfect Notes yet? 

‘Monday’s Not Coming’ spoiler-free review!

Hi everyone! Today I’m reviewing Monday’s Not Coming, the second novel from Tiffany D. Jackson. (I’m ridiculously late with my review of this one but I’m finally getting round to it.) Huge thanks to Harper360 for sending me an ARC!

 

What the book is about…

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

 

What I thought of it…

Unfortunately, this one left me feeling a bit ‘meh’. I acknowledge that the author tackled an important topic that is not being given the attention it deserves in the media; sadly, I just didn’t particularly enjoy the execution of it.

The narrative voice felt VERY young, to the point that I felt like I was reading the thoughts of a ten-year-old at many points. (And don’t misunderstand me here, because I enjoy reading young narrators when it’s middle grade and they are supposed to sound like ten-year-olds.) The immaturity may have been a conscious choice on the part of the author (for reasons I can’t discuss because they would be gigantic spoilers) but the tone just felt really incongruous to the character’s age. The whole ‘secret language’ thing felt very childish.

The book also featured the most confusing timeline ever (and I didn’t really feel any less confused when it supposedly resolved itself. I still don’t know when certain scenes took place.) It made it difficult for me to become invested in the story; I didn’t feel gripped because I was constantly being pulled out of the action into random ‘filler’ scenes in the past (or what I believe was the past anyway). I wasn’t very shocked by the ‘twist’, though I did find some of the details quite harrowing.

It wasn’t all bad. I liked the use of colour throughout the book – it was an interesting technique that I haven’t seen done very often. I also loved Claudia’s dad as a character – he was parent goals! He was so supportive and helpful, and a great father, which is something we rarely get to see in YA literature.

Overall, I respect what the author tried to do here in raising awareness of an issue she believes is not acknowledged enough (as explained in her author’s note). I just didn’t particularly enjoy the execution of it. This was a fast read but I feel like, ultimately, it will be forgettable.

 

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Has anyone read this one? Or Tiffany Jackson’s first novel? What are your thoughts on books that tackle difficult current topics? 

‘Love and Luck’ spoiler-free review!

“Labels aren’t big enough for people. And once you try to categorise someone, you stop looking for who they actually are.” – Love and Luck, Jenna Evans Welch

 

Hello my lovelies! Today, I’m reviewing Love and Luck, the second book by Jenna Evans Welch. This is a companion novel to 2016’s Love and Gelato, though it makes total sense as a standalone so don’t worry if you haven’t read that one!

 

What the book was about

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once-inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

 

What I thought of it

This was another lovely read from Jenna Evans Welch! I don’t often connect with contemporaries but there is just something about this series that I really like. I really hope she continues this series; she’s now written books set in Italy and Ireland, and I’d love to see her take on other places!

I loved the guidebook spin in this one; I thought it was very original and I really liked the tone of these sections. As someone who has tried many self-help books in the past, I really appreciated the non-patronising way in which Welch wrote these sections and loved the homework she set for Addie. And the Irish slang was right up my street (though there wasn’t so much of it that other readers would struggle with it).

The book made me giggle a number of times, which is just what I was needing after a string of disappointing reads. Yes, the storyline is fairly unbelievable but if you just go with it, it’s a fun ride.

I really liked Addie as a character and, of course, Rowan was an adorable little peach. I half expected Welch to go down the insta-love route with these two but I was delighted with what she actually did instead! It was also great to get a little cameo from Lina and Ren from the first book – but again, I will reiterate that this one will still make total sense if you haven’t read Love and Gelato!

This book also has some really lovely messages at its heart. It emphasises the importance of being ‘you’ and not letting other people put you into a box. The sibling relationships were fantastically portrayed and I loved the whole angle of building each other up and supporting our strengths.

This was another book that was chosen by my online book club and it was another success! I definitely recommend this one for contemporary fans or anyone who loves Ireland 🙂

 

love and luck

What are some of your favourite contemporaries? Can you recommend me some that I might like? And if you’ve read this series, where would you like to see Welch take us next?!