I was anticipating this book because I like Cait / @Paperfury (CG Drews). I’ve liked her blog since I found the ONE review on Goodreads I could trust about a book I didn’t like at all. So naturally I stalked the life out of her blog. When I saw her book was coming out I figured, “she can’t disappoint, she GETS it.” But like…I was right??? And now I am in tears people.
From literally, LITERALLY page one, I was HOOKED. Why? It was…haunting? That’s the best word to describe it honestly. It just struck some kind of chord and stayed with me until it was all I could think about. Honestly I knew the barest of details. I just saw a few snippets the other day when i came out, and the basic information as to what the book actually entailed. Like cake and sadness. I needed to know more, the words, the style, something resonated and the entire thing stuck until I had no choice but to finish.
Also, when you have to go to work early to work with the small peoples and you finally catch a break, aka getting cosy in bed…NOT the time to start a book you know will shatter you into a million pieces. I was so tired. It was kinda late. I had to get up. Yet I opened this book and I am found with:
“What he wants most in the world is to cut off his own hands.”
And it only gets worse from there.
Like, it was just…. Haunting. I was engrossed and all I could think was this poor wee child. And he is…kind of? But he’s also just amazing. I thought about this book every day since it arrived and it was like I was being haunted by the words, by the characters, the story itself…??? It just kind of did something. So let’s see if I can try to make this coherent for you guys…and non-spoiler-y…maybe.
Long story short:
Beck is in love with his music. His Maestro wants him to be perfect with HER music. To achieve greatness and all that antiquated crap that seriously has me boiling with rage right now. The Maestro doesn’t deserve another title aside from that. She’s. just. UGH! NO.
When I first read a brief description about this book, I completely somehow missed that his mother WAS the Maestro…so like I thought she and the Maestro were pals?? And that like she didn’t know the Maestro was an abusive d***…..I WAS WRONG AND I AM SAD.
This entire story had me because of the family. Because Beck loves Joey and Joey is an innocent small child and is in desperate need of attention, affection, and love. And one person, one big brother cannot provide all of that for one small child. Not under their living circumstances anyways. He tries and he works hard to make sure she’s safe, but the pressure and the knowledge that it’s not enough is unnerving and I connected with Beck on an emotional level. I wanted to shield and shelter the poor child from his misery.
Beck is sarcastic, and a total dear, and a marshmallow as his new self-proclaimed friend, August descries him. Beck is protective, and kind, and strong and I was in SO. MUCH. FEAR.
For his life.
And Joey’s. Like I seriously thought the Maestro would hurt Joey and just no. I wanted her to stop hurting Beck, but as a fellow older sibling I just split a little and completely understood why Beck would have to save her before himself. Or feel the need to do so. Beck made himself better than the Maestro. He told himself he would not be like her and he tries not to be. He is in. CONSTANT. Fear for his life. And I keep saying it and I just need to TALK about it. Like the boy needs a hug and food and people that care. So I am SO glad for August and like some others whom were kind of a shock to me and also, thank you Cait for not making me hate everyone aside from the trio that is Beck, August, and Joey.
August is a huge freaking mystery to me and it boggles my freaking mind. Like why don’t you wear shoes???? I get the need to doodle all over yourself but bro…shoes???? If you’re going to go around hurting people with your feet at least make sure it’s not YOUR feet getting wrecked. #Tipsforlife
But I like that she was the catalyst. I liked that she was the pushing force to spiral Beck’s life into motion, that she helped him see the light that could be in his own life. She was that tiny ray of sunlight glinting from the clouds of darkness that covered his life. And I LIKED IT. I was like pffttt totally not going to be a romance in this. I was wrong and I am ENTIRELY OKAY with this. Because Beck deserves a hug and a kiss and a nap and a nice big meal. Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.
Joey is just in dire need of a proper meal, clothes, attention. Like I know Cait knows the life of small children cus she’s surrounded, and like fellow child person I sympathize. But seriously, Joey is seeing all of this violence as part of her daily life, to her it’s become normal and expected?? So of COURSE she lashes out. Of COURSE she has moments where life is okay and she’s a perfect angel. She lashes out at school, because that’s what’s seen as Normal to her. The cursing in German, the insults, and the “affectionate” shin-kicking. It’s too normal, and Beck can only do so much. But also…THE FREAKING MAESTRO. Beck can only do so much. She’s a kid, she needs structure and discipline obviously, but like a parent that oh I don’t know…SHOWS THE HELL UP????? A parent that like…. PARENTS? FEEDS YOU??? FREAKING DOESN’T BEAT YOUR BROTHER TO A PULP???? DOESN’T LET YOU MAKE YOUR OWN MEALS FOR BOTH OF YOU AT THE AGE OF FIVE????
I. Have. Many. Feelings. About. This. Book.
The Maestro. Ummm…. She’s a controlling, abusive, brutal, giantess that needs to be slayed. 50 Galleons to whoever defeats this beast. Any takers??
Seriously though, I didn’t think I’d hate her as much as I do when I first started. At first I thought it was going to just be forcing her wishes on him, living vicariously through her son…but…then…the coffee. That was what set off the avalanche to me and it pisses me off. Because I half expected ALL of her life to be a wreck. Like no job or anything?? But instead she’s a self-absorbed douchebag that doesn’t care for anyone or anything else. Look, I understand caring for something so much that you feel you’d rather die than be without it. However, you can NOT ever. EVER. HEAR ME IDA MAGDALENA KEVERICH???? EVER beat your kids, if the kid isn’t bouncing off the freaking walls with excitement over it it’s probably a sign. Kids are not here to appease your every weird freaking desire. Did she hate her brother so much she thinks Beck would be worse off as a composer? No. Excuse.
She was just emotionally and physically abusive. She was just so controlling.
Every. Little. Word. Was. A. Way. To. Control. Him. Every sentence she spoke was just a mind game that she had ingrained so deep into his internal hardware that who even cared if he even COULD think for himself? Beck was wired to think he was worthless and stupid and useless. Because she had already implanted that into him and she should die. I mean…uhhhh…nope totally what I meant. Haven’t felt so passionately in desire for someone to die since Umbridge. But the Maestro, yeah there’s a special form of torture for you. And it SUCKS because the fact that she does these things and the things she says and how she may say kind-is words of “i want what’s best for you” is all lies and bullshit. It sucks because it. Is. Real. It sucks because at some point or another we’ve been there, in some sort of abusive place with someone and you aren’t quite sure how to get away. It sucks because it hurts, because it resonates with us on a way too real level.
And it sucks.
The Maestro needs to die.
I was scared:
- I got scared so many times. I got so scared when August started showing up at his house.
- I got scared when they picked up the pears.
- When August’s foot needed tending to I was shaking because…WHAT. IF. SHE. WAS. HOME?
- Every single moment, ever. I had a fear inside of me that somehow the Maestro would strike again and any ounce of joy at all was destined to be stripped away in some harsh blow.
“What if we agree on everything?” someone yells.
“Then get married,” Mr. Boyne says without blinking.
- When August tickles Beck with the grass…it was just SUCH a strange thing to do and I laughed because she’s just such a wacky and random girl and I love it.
- When August invites Beck over for dinner and he’s like “you want to EAT me?” and she’s just so done with him. 😣😩🙄😑 <—All of the emotions and faces she probably made because this kid’s ridiculous.
- Joey’s conversation about her big pink knife.
I wanted to cry:
- When Joey talks about what happened at school.
- When the Maestro beats Beck after the performance.
- When the Maestro hits Joey.
- Any time that August is kind, because she doesn’t KNOW.
- Any time there was any kind of trigger to Beck and it was just painful because August didn’t know and it just sucked so hard.
- When August’s mom held the knife and Beck flinched, cus you know he probably flinched or showed pure fear and that’s a trigger. But. NOBODY. KNOWS.
- When August’s dad is genuinely concerned.
- THE ENTIRE BOOK HAD ME PUSHING BACK THE TEARS. Because like, you never knew what was coming. By the last few chapters I thought the Maestro had succeeded and that there was going to be a funeral because like I was in fear of a funeral and it never came so I was like “if this ends in death I will scream”.
- I cried.
- I cried and I was satisfied and slightly less petrified. Slightly.
I was happy:
- There is no redemption for the Maestro. And I am happy about it. So go on and kindly do me the favor of jumping off the tallest cliff and onto a burning inferno please. Thanks.
- Whenever Beck would think of August because it wasn’t even that she was pretty or ‘perfect’, it was her heart that really got him hooked and wanting more. The possibilities, and hope that she exemplified. It was the freedom and the life that she represented that really made him want her in his life. This totally freaking weird girl with her no shoes, savior complex, and sharpie doodles. She cares and he didn’t realize how much he wanted it until it was all he could see.
- All of their banter.
- Every time that the fourth wall was broken and there was cake. That cake sounded awesome.
- Also when lasagne was said because proper spelling based off origin country matters to me.
This is long so I will shush…but like… TALK TO ME BECAUSE I HAVE MANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK AND LIKE I NEED MORE FRIENDS.
I need friends who read books I want to read…so like talk to me about this. Please. I beg of you.
Later bros, stay hella fab.