eARC MINI-REVIEW: Perfect Harmony by Emily Albright // cellos & first love

perfectharmonyTitle: Perfect Harmony

Author: Emily Albright

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Format: eARC

Page Count: 233

Release Date: September 25, 2018



“17-year-old Pippa Wyndham is a top cellist, never settling for second chair. But she faces stiff competition from cocky Declan Brogan, a transfer student who matches her in ambition and talent. Forced together for a duet, the battle gets heated. But as the recital approaches and their rivalry evolves, Pippa finds herself at risk of losing her best friend, her future, and the boy she’s falling for. 

An orchestral YA romance in the key of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.”



I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my overall rating of this book.

This book follows a cellist in high school, Pippa. She has her life put together. Her life is dedicated to her cello and getting into the top music school in the country. She puts virtually no time into thinking about anything else. Until a transfer student, Declan, joins her school and threatens her spot in the school orchestra’s first chair.

The first thing about this book that sparked my attention was the fact that the protagonist is a cellist. I used to play cello for about a year or two. I was terrible at it, but the cello is such a wonderful instrument.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like Perfect Harmony for about the first 20%. It had absolutely nothing to do with the characters, but the writing was a bit… I don’t want to be mean and say atrocious. But it was atrocious. The writing either got better as the book went on or I didn’t notice it as much because the story got better.

Either way, the book was still very predictable. I predicted everything that happened in this book. Usually I don’t mind if I’m able to predict a few of the things that’re going to happen, but when I’m able to predict everything, then there’s really no use in finishing the book. It took me a long time to finish this book, despite it being a relatively short, because I felt like I knew everything there was to know.

Besides the predictability and bad writing, I ended up liking the characters and cared about where they would end up. Pippa was a great character and I admired her dedication to the cello. Even when she started getting feelings for Declan she didn’t forget about her cello and what she truly loves to do. This is very important to have in a book for teen girls to read about.

I loved Pippa’s family. Her twin brother, her mom, and her dad were great. She didn’t have a bad relationship with her parents and although she got into little disputes with her brother – which is normal – they didn’t hate each other or try and make each other’s life hard. They talked with one another and supported each other. This isn’t that common in Young Adult, to be honest, but it should be.

What I didn’t like was the unnecessary love triangle. Pippa has had a lifelong crush on her brother’s best friend, but when he finally seems interested in her, she kind of blows him off. She explains that there’s no ‘spark’ and she’s not mean about it and doesn’t lead him on, but it was still a bit too uGH for me.

its like when rory’s grandparents offered to pay for rory’s college tuition in gilmore girls but she was being a little brat and still decided to ‘take time off’

Coming from someone that used to play the cello, I think the author did a great job describing the instrument and how it feels to play the cello. I might have not been good at playing the cello and I gave up, but it’s a magical instrument to play. There was only one part of the book that bothered me, which was when Pippa mentioned trying not to trip over a cello’s endpin during class, but one of the most important things about being in an orchestra with a lot of other musicians is to close your endpin before lying the cello down! It’s extremely dangerous for the cello and cellist. You’d think Pippa would know better than to put her cello down like that. This was a minor mistake that didn’t affect the way I read the book, since all of the other cello details the author included were perfect from what I can tell.

Although there were a lot of tropes, the plot was predictable, and the writing wasn’t the best, I liked reading this book and liked it for what it was: a story about a girl with a dream and her strive to accomplish that dream.


My Rating: 3 Stars

Overall, I thought this was a good book if you like classical instruments (or music) and first love. But there’s more to the story than just that – strong family ties, complex friendships, and a girl with a dream fills the story, making up for the bad writing, cliches, and predictable plot.


Purchase This Book:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

**side note: the book is free if you have kindle unlimited!

Do you have a favorite book that revolves around playing an instrument? Do you – or have you ever – played an instrument? Have your read this book or plan on reading it? Let me know!

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6 thoughts on “eARC MINI-REVIEW: Perfect Harmony by Emily Albright // cellos & first love

  1. This sounds like such a cute story! The beginning section aside haha, at least the writing got better the further the story went. I appreciate the honest review and I liked that you kept it balanced 💛 will be adding this to my TBR x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing that stays bad is… well, bad haha! I was so happy it got better. I hope that if you end up reading it, you’ll enjoy it 🙂


  2. This sounds great! I recently finished A Thousand Perfect Notes, and realised that I quite enjoy ya books about writing music and aspiring musicians!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this was my first experience with a musician as a protagonist and I really loved that aspect of the story! Ahhh I still need to read A Thousand Perfect Notes ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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