A Thousand Perfect Notes

Reader Notes: a mini review

2020 reads: book 1, A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

January 11, 2020

Oh. My. Heavens.

This book is sweet and bitter and I can’t tell if it feels like 90% dark caoco, or like I got hit in the mouth and am tasting blood. It’s deep and dark and golden and violently beautiful and it feels like the deep woods that I’ve only haunted a few times but are always calling me back. This book is elegant in its catastrophe, and devastating, and simple, and just STUNNING.

My favorite quote:

He likes her because there’s sunshine in her eyes and she knows the secrets to smiling.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (five out of five stars)

Turtles All the Way Down


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

About the book: 

“Wrenching and revelatory.” An instant #1 bestseller, the widely acclaimed Turtles All the Way Down is John Green’s brilliant and shattering new novel.

“A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control.” – People

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.



My Review: 


Five stars

It’s been a month since I finished reading this one and I still don’t have words for it. So sorry.

felt this one more than his others, and a little like Jack Black in Jumanjii, I forgot that he’s not, in fact, a teenage girl. It was that kind of relatable.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the language and some of the content means I recommend for 16+.

Love and the Sea and Everything in Between

Love and the Sea and Everything in Between by Brian McBride

About the book:


For fans of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower and John Green’s The Fault in Our StarsLove and the Sea and Everything in Between shines a light on some of the darkest places of human struggle. Heart-rending and raw, it reminds us that love has the power to bring healing to even the most broken places.

College Freshman Adam West’s world has been falling apart for a long time. Broken, betrayed, abandoned, alone… there’s nothing left for him but a handful of mental illnesses. He’s tired and ready to end it all. Then, Elizabeth Richards comes along. All it took was the kindness of a stranger to make Adam’s world a just little bit brighter. For the first time in a long time, as they travel the West Coast together, he’s starting to see that there are still some adventures worth living for. But pain isn’t easily forgotten. And the past doesn’t just disappear. Sometimes the only way to come alive is to fight and wrestle through all the darkest places.



My Review: 

Five stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this.

It’s not a perfect book. The best ones rarely are. It’s a story about broken people and about edges and lines and humanity. It’s a love story in the rawest sense, and I wish I could explain it better. Love is so much more than romance and this book captures that well.

I’m torn, really, between loving and hating this book. It’s good because it’s a beautiful snapshot of humanity and it’s terrible because there’s no filter, no softening of the edges, but that is also good… This is not for the faint of heart.

I cried over this book because there is so much honesty here, but it’s given so gentle and so lovingly that I feel as though I’ve spent a few hours unburdening myself to a good friend, and it’s a relief.


Recommended for 17+.



Within These Lines

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill


About the book:

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.

My review:

Five stars.

I’m a fan of WW1 and WW2 literature, so when I got the opportunity to read Stephanie’s newest novel, I jumped for it.

Within These Lines delivered everything it promised, and then some. Tackling a lesser-addressed area of American history and WW2, this book broke my heart. The story is fictional, but no less real.

This timely message should serve as a reminder of what the war cost us as a nation, and as individuals. It’s not so long ago that we can dismiss it.

Never again.


Highly recommended for ages 13+





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