Claire works so hard to please her music teacher, Paul, but the way he withholds praise makes her feel bad and pick apart her playing until she half-drives herself mad. As music consumes her life, she pushes her friends and her mother away. A bad sexual experience makes her insecure about her appearance and her love life. So when her teacher begins to act less like a teacher and oversteps the boundaries between teacher and student, it's basically the perfect recipe for disaster.
I feel like in some ways this book is similar to MY DARK VANESSA. It's not quite as gritty or disturbing-- it's a MDV for the YA set. I liked the elements of Filipinx culture embedded into the story and I felt like the author did a great job showing how she lashed out or pushed people away to subvert her own feelings. I also felt like in addition to being a sort of #MeToo story, the book did a good job showing some of the microaggressions Asian Americans face and how Asia is treated as a monolith.
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting and I think it would have impressed me more as a teen, but it's still very well written and it spoke to my inner-teen me and her passion for music.
2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars