Challenge criteria: A book about a hobby
(Trigger warnings: this book contains instances of domestic abuse, thoughts of self-harm, starvation, child abandonment)
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?
What I liked:
This book is utterly addictive. I simply couldn’t put it down, and it was one of those books that drew me in whenever I read it.
I really felt for Beck, and his whole family was written spectacularly. In fact, the book as a whole is beautifully written, and it flows wonderfully. The terror of the Maestro is also fabuously portrayed, and she quickly became one of my favourite literary villians.
August’s warmth and Joey’s childhood innocence were some of my favourite moments of this book, and they were real rays of sun in what could otherwise be very difficult reading.
What I didn’t like:
At times I felt August and Beck’s friendship was a little forced. It looked at times to be a saviour complex type of friendship, and I really wish nothing romantic had come from it.
Out of five?
Five. This book will stay with you for a long time, and it’s definitely one to read before Cait’s second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, comes out later this year.