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This Beats Perfect

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Amelie Ayres has impeccable taste in music. Bowie. Bush. Bob. So when she finds herself backstage at The Keep’s only UK gig she expects to hate it; after all they are world’s most tragic band. In fact she feels a grudging respect – not (obviously) for their music, but for the work that goes in to making them megastars. And when lead singer, ‘Maxx’, is not dressed up as a cross between Elvis and a My Little Pony, he is actually rather normal, talented and has creative struggles not too dissimilar to her own.

But the next morning she wakes up rolls over and discovers a million new @’s on social media. Overnight a photo of her backstage has made her a subject of global speculation. Suddenly the world needs to know #Who’sThatGirl? – but for all the wrong reasons.

All Amelie wants is to play her music. She’s got the guitar, the songs, the soul and, in the safety of her bedroom, she’s got the voice. But when it comes to getting up on stage, she struggles with self-doubt.

Immaculate’s a concept. Flawless is fake. But just sometimes music – and hearts – can rock a perfect beat.

288 pages, Paperback

First published February 2, 2017

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Rebecca Denton

3 books36 followers

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5 stars
125 (36%)
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94 (27%)
3 stars
88 (25%)
2 stars
34 (9%)
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5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews
Profile Image for Carlie Sorosiak.
Author 9 books265 followers
September 14, 2016
The fact that I read This Beats Perfect in a less-than-24-hour binge is a pretty clear indication that I enjoyed it. Reading this novel also made me feel really cool somehow? Like I should pick up a guitar and learn how to play like someone suitably bad-ass.

Think if David Nicholls and Stephanie Perkins had a musically oriented book baby, and that's basically This Beats Perfect. It's not only a love song to the London music scene, but it's also really, really funny. There are some cracking one-liners and classic British banter. Denton does dialogue superbly.

Amelie is incredibly relatable. You'll root for her and also love her friend Maisie. (Can I get a hallelujah for female friendship?) The novel profiles several journeys of self-discovery that readers will dive into completely - and there's also a swoon-worthy boy. So yeah, obviously I'm all about that, and all about this book.

It's also an incredibly astute exploration of fame, social media, and what it means to be in the music industry. Great insights!

Put it on your TBR pile!

Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews805 followers
January 19, 2018
5 Words: Music, family, fame, dreams, attraction.

This was just what I needed. This book was so comforting and uplifting.

I warmed immediately to Amelie, I just loved her narrative voice, she seemed so familiar to me. I could recognise a bit of myself in her character (and isn't that just the best?). I also loved how she changed from the girl we saw at the beginning of the book, she really found her self and changed ever so slightly. There was a slight feel of Sarra Manning to the writing, especially when the characters were in Paris.

I liked how this story had all of the usual BoyBandLit tropes, but explored them in a fresh way, with its own little twists.

Each chapter is a song, and I had a lot of fun looking them up. And I was sometimes surprised by an old favourite, or thrown by a WTH was that?

I found This Beats Perfect easy to pick up, easy to get lost in. I loved how the ending was wrapped up nicely, left slightly open but with no loose threads. I loved how I still want to read more. And I loved when the author hinted on Twitter that there is more to come!

Edit 19/12/2017: I need moooooorrrrree!
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,150 followers
December 12, 2016
As far as the plot does, it was extremely predictable but that didn't stop it being the kind of self-indulgent fan fiction fun everyone loves to read! Amid all the boyband drama, it's a story of being true to yourself and overcoming fears that hold you back from your dreams. With a quirky cast of characters, playing on the stock personalities of boy bands, 'This Beats Perfect' was a quick read with a happy ending we all totally saw coming!

Additional half star for the punny title, though. Top marks for that double meaning!
Profile Image for Alice-Elizabeth (Prolific Reader Alice).
1,157 reviews160 followers
August 28, 2018
DNF @ Page 110

This Beats Perfect is the first book in a series about a young girl called Amelie, who loves music but is far too shy to perform her own songs. She ends up at a UK gig for a famous boy band called The Keep and isn't sure that she would like the band members or their set list. After a photo of her and one of the band members goes viral, there is nowhere for her to hide. School friends and bullies are jealous, family worried and the media printing stories trying to share the gossip around about Amelie and the photo. The story pacing was just far too slow for me, not a lot happened within the first few chapters to make me want to continue on. I struggled to connect to Amelie as a character and didn't like the members of The Keep. I won't be continuing on with the series!
50 reviews
October 9, 2016
When I was a kid, I would go to this local CD shop and spend hours every single week with a boy I had a huge crush on. We would pick CDs, take them into the listening station, and go through track after track until we knew if we liked it or not. We would do this for hours with new CD after new CD, just flirting and discovering new music together.

This book feels like that. It feels cool and exciting and fun and triumphant, all at once. I fell in love with Amelie and Maxx and their discussions about boy bands and Pet Sounds. Watching them grow, both independently and through their interactions, was immensely enjoyable and completely delightful. My teenage self wanted to go to seedy music clubs with them and discuss the sub-genres of punk for hours, and I wanted to get lost in their cuteness and flirting.

I utterly adored this book.
Profile Image for Kayla.
Author 15 books404 followers
October 7, 2016
You guys, I was 100% hooked from the moment I cracked this book open. THIS BEATS PERFECT is unapologetically—*delightfully*!—British and compulsively readable, with these huge personalities that absolutely leap off the page.

I loved main character Amelie for so many reasons, but one of the biggest was that I felt like I hadn't read anyone quite like her before. I loved her for her talent, for her oh-so-real fears and layered dimension, for the way she was completely unimpressed with all things boy-band-flashy and didn't seek superficial approval from anyone. Not only those things, but she was this awesome mix of humble-yet-confident and determined, set on succeeding with her own talent instead of riding anyone else's famous/reputed coattails. So, not only did I really enjoy reading her perspective, I just super *respected* her. The peripheral characters in Amelie's life were also fresh and fun to read—I loved her parents, and her unusual relationship with them, and I loved Maisie, her best friend.

And then there is Maxx, current member of boy band The Keep who isn't satisfied with his superficially flashy life, who longs to use his legit musical talent (vocals! guitar! drums!) in ways he hasn't been able to truly explore before. Those talents have gone unused for so long, buried by hair gel and spotlights and gimmicky group dance numbers, and he's ready for something real, something he's earned on his own.

Maxx and Amelie are on similar journeys from opposite ends of the fame spectrum, and that makes them the perfect complement for each other—I loved seeing how their stories intersected and affected each other. I hope you'll pick this book up, and I hope you'll love it like I did. If you're like me, you won't want it to end.
Profile Image for Maggie.
Author 2 books223 followers
February 10, 2017
Friends. I absolutely FLEW through this ooey-gooey in all the right ways contemporary. This Beats Perfect was laugh-out-loud funny with a lot of heart (and it's British, which automatically puts it a step above.) Even while dealing with a MC who is uber famous and, therefore, seemingly unrelatable, I felt deep feels for Max. Denton's background in the music industry shines through and makes everything feel that much more authentic. I was listening to each song on the track list along with each corresponding chapter (highly recommend this experience!) and absolutely adored every minute of reading this novel. Also, raise your hand if you need the lyrics to The Ballad of Beginnings in your life. *raises both hands and a foot*

Eager for everyone to get their hands on it in February! Definitely worth adding to your TBR!
Profile Image for Bibiana In Bookland.
325 reviews1,830 followers
November 8, 2018
Me ha gustado la historia, pero me ha fallado la manera de escribir de la autora, ya que había momentos que no entendía de qué me hablaba, o cambios muy bruscos que conseguían que perdiera el hilo de la trama. Me han gustado los temas de esfuerzo, de luchar por los sueños y enfrentarse a los miedos. Me ha gustado como se ha ido creando la conexión entre los personajes. Creo que la idea es buena, pero me ha faltado más chispa, podría haberse explotado mejor. Me ha faltado algo más de emoción. Aún así, es un libro que cogía con ganas de leer más, pues quería saber cómo evolucionaban las cosas entre los personajes y ellos mismos.
Profile Image for Kirsty .
3,476 reviews329 followers
February 7, 2017
This book is so good. Stay up reading past your bedtime good.

I love a YA novel based around music and boybands and this had me hooked from the first page. I adored the main character Amelie and loved that this book was more focused on her and her musical ambitions rather than the boyband as such.

I loved Amelie's best friend Maisie. There's not enough good girl friendships in YA and this did that aspect wonderfully.

If you loved Chris Russell's Songs about a girl or Sophia Bennett's Love Song you will adore this.

I want a sequel. I want a whole series of sequels.
Profile Image for Amy Giles.
Author 5 books206 followers
October 5, 2016
Rebecca really puts her knowledge of the music industry to hard work here. She deftly explores everything from the perils of the paparazzi to the mixed dreams of wanting to “make it" in the business, but maybe without all the attention. There are so many laugh out loud moments from truly likeable characters that you really care about and root for. A fun, fun read!
Profile Image for Bee.
430 reviews848 followers
December 12, 2016
I don't think I like boy bands enough for this.
The plot in general felt a little cliche, and I thought that Amelie was pretty inconsistent, like she couldn't decide whether she was really nervous or confident and was somehow able to slip the switch immediately.
Profile Image for Kate.
829 reviews32 followers
February 23, 2017
Have you ever read a book only to realise it's a hundred percent better than the blurb led you to believe? That was the case with Rebecca Denton's This Beats Perfect.

This book surprised me because I went in expecting to read boyband fanfiction. Instead what I got was a beautiful story about music, friendship, love and growing up. Seventeen year old Amelie Ayres is not the boyband type. You're more likely to find Oasis and the Beatles on her playlist than One Direction or bubblegum pop. When her father invites her backstage at a concert for The Keep, Amelie goes along even though she's not sure their songs even qualify as real music. It's there that things start to get interesting and Amelie finds herself having to face some hard decisions regarding her own musical future.

What sets This Beats Perfect apart from other books is how perfectly is blends the unrealistic with reality. Getting up close and personal with the biggest popband is somewhat of a fantasy for many a fangirl. And whilst this premise could come across as cheesy it works in this book. I think that's because this is a book which doesn't take itself so seriously. It takes a swing at the boyband industry yet respectfully acknowledges its place in music world. Social media is embraced and events in the novel feel like a real life representation of what might actually happen if Amelie really did brush shoulders with a world famous pop group. And whilst this book has elements of romance, what shines is the story of a young woman finding her place in the world.

The characters are interesting. Amelie is the product of a summer romance and her relationship with both of her parents is complicated in different ways. Whilst they both love her and support her, their own lives have caused them not to be the most stable of influences on Amelie. I loved how her parents interacted with her and each other. Amelie's best friend Maisie was delightful to read and the differences between Maisie and Amelie just helped to show how strong their friendship was. The supporting cast of characters who are involved in the music scene were entertaining and helped move the plot along without taking over the focus.

There is a romantic storyline in This Beats Perfect with Amelie getting to know The Keep's resident bad boy better through their shared love of music. It's sweet and moves along at a steady pace. It's not a grand romance but it is perfectly pleasant and was nice to read.

This Beats Perfect surprised me in so many lovely ways. It's a fun take on the music scene from the perspective of a teenage girl wanting to break in and create something real. The relationships shine with Amelie's friendships and her parents feeling wonderfully authentic and real. It's also a lot of fun and nothing like so much of the boy band fanfiction which seems to be floating around the universe at the moment.

Many thanks to Hachette Australia for the review copy.
Profile Image for Caroline.
Author 5 books237 followers
November 6, 2016
You know that you are loving a book, when you find yourself making excuses to your kids why you might just need an extra ten minutes... thirty minutes... an hour... before you can take them where they want to go because you've got to do some 'work' first. And then they catch you, again, curled up on the sofa, nose stuck in a book - okay, it was my iPad, since I read this as a digital ARC.

Basically, THIS BEATS PERFECT made me happy. Even when all the stuff was going on which made me grit my teeth - Charlie, I'm looking at you! - there was an underlying pleasure in this book. Set in my old home town of London, Denton captures the atmosphere of the city and of a generation of musicians who are way cooler than I ever was. Amelie is sweet, but packs a punch, and Max is... well, Max is everything Max needs to be. And yes, I teared up at the final page because the whole story did beat perfect.

This is definitely for those who love boy bands, and for those who hate boy bands, and for those of us older folk who loved the British/American love stories set in London like NOTTING HILL and FOUR WEDDINGS.
Profile Image for Laurie.
Author 19 books3,478 followers
October 25, 2016
THIS BEATS PERFECT has a catchy YA premise - girl meets boy in boy band. Author Denton not only has the razor-sharp wit and pitch-perfect ear for dialogue to pull off a story like this, she's worked with MTV and some of the biggest names in music (Jack White, Sonic Youth, etc.) - so she gets her details right (which makes for a fascinating inside glimpse into the music industry, which I thoroughly enjoyed). The characters are well drawn (and often quite funny - Geoff and Julian are my personal faves), the chemistry between her romantic leads is sizzling HOT, and the settings (London, Paris) are charmingly drawn. And underneath this lighthearted send-up of pop music, fame, social media and first love is an uplifting tale about having the courage to embrace your passion and follow your dreams. I highly recommend THIS BEATS PERFECT.
Profile Image for Joanne O'Sullivan.
Author 32 books58 followers
October 14, 2016
I adored this book! It swept me away to a world of all-access backstage passes, East London recording studios and street markets and Paris! Amelie Ayres is a heroine to root for, daughter of a brilliantly eccentric single mom and a sought-after sound engineer dad. She dreams of music-biz fame, and indeed achieves it in privacy of her own bedroom recording studio, but freezes when it comes to performing in public. A special invitation on her seventeenth birthday puts her in the path of The Keep, a still populuar but waning boy band (which she's way too cool to like), and two of its members, leading both to complications and unexpected opportunities. This book was such a pleasure to read- both because of the literary writing and the lovable and always interesting characters. I will definitely be looking out for whatever Rebecca Denton writes next!
Profile Image for A.V. Geiger.
Author 4 books544 followers
October 26, 2016
For pop music fans like me, this book is a must read. Maxx is the hottest guy in the biggest boyband in the world… the dark, brooding one who’s chafing to break free from his bandmates and actually has some musical chops to back up his manufactured image. The other MC is Amelie, a talented singer/songwriter with a terrible case of stage fright. She’s a bit of a music snob, so of course she turns her nose up at Maxx and everything his band represents. And of course, she can’t help but find the real Maxx irresistible. The romance is delicious, but this novel really sets itself apart in its behind-the-scenes depiction of the music industry. Denton has worked in the business and seen it all first hand, and the authenticity shines through on every page. Pure wish-fulfillment fun. I couldn’t get enough of it!
Profile Image for Shaila.
Author 5 books636 followers
February 4, 2017
I received an ARC for an honest review.

This book was adorable! The characters were engaging, relatable, and just so well-written. She also creates an authentic and insightful portrayal of the music world which (after reading her bio) she has first hand knowledge of. It made it that much more captivating! I LOL'd at parts and at the end--the perfect ending, by the way--I do believe I actually sighed!

If you're looking for a well-written and engaging light romantic comedy, this is the book for you! Now only if I could convince her publishers to release it with all the music downloads included!
Profile Image for Rachael Johns.
Author 60 books1,136 followers
August 11, 2016
I may be a little biased, cos this is my cousin's debut YA, but I reckon it rocks!
Profile Image for Kristi.
Author 3 books50 followers
September 16, 2016
I loved this blend of music, friendship, romance... Ah, so good. Definitely his all the right notes!
6 reviews
October 15, 2016
I loved this book. It's set all around the area I live in and it's such a romp through gritty cool London. If I was a teenager I'd be so jealous of Amelie and her life. Cool to the bone!
Profile Image for Angel - Angel Reads.
429 reviews100 followers
February 19, 2017
I received an ARC of This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading this book. I wasn’t expecting much, I just felt like a good read for summer. But, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I sat by the pool for a couple of hours and finished with a smile on my face.

This Beats Perfect follows protagonist Amelie Ayres a music lover, who isn’t into your ‘typical’ teen music. But, when she’s allowed backstage at The Keeps only UK concert, it’s not what she expected. She doesn’t love their music, but respect them as musicians. And then she finds herself connecting with lead singing ‘Maxx’ over creative struggles. However, before all this – she is thrown to the sharks – or the media with the hashtag of #Who’sThatGirl. And boy bands, fans, new girls and social media don’t really mix.

I really enjoyed Amelie as the protagonist of This Beats Perfect. She has this love for music that is so strong, but her nerves always get the better of her. She feels like she home with the music and you can feel it while reading. The passion that she has shines through, but also the anxiety that comes with it. It’s nice to see anxiety presented in this way, as I don’t see it much in YA. Amelie is totally relatable, and the reader feels for her the whole way through.

I really liked the sense of family and friendship throughout This Beats Perfect. I adored Amelie’s relationship with her dad. Even though he was always away for work and her parents weren’t together - it worked. They cared for each other and nice to see. The friendships that Amelie has before and builds throughout the book were also really nice to see. It’s getting g more and more comma to have these amazing friendships in YA nowadays and I am loving it.

The romance in This Beats Perfect was a little shaky for me. I really enjoyed them together but felt it moved a little too fast. They had some beautiful scenes together and I loved how Amelie and Max connected through music and what they believe in. It was nice and different to see.

I’ve read so many books (mostly on Wattpad) about girls and boy bands – but this was something different. There was something more than the girl and boy falling in love. It’s about finding yourself.

Something that would have been love the book, even more, if there wasn't as many characters. This Beats Perfect ­felt overcrowded. I kept on forgetting who was who, what their jobs were. There was just a little too much.

Just a quick note, I really don’t like the cover – at all. It seems so outdated to me. The ARC cover, on the other hand, I loved.

Overall, I was so surprised with This Beats Perfect. It was fun, addicting and put a smile on my face. It explores the notions of finding yourself, loving what you do and finding those who will stand by you. It’s about family, friendship and those you love.
Profile Image for Katey Lovell.
Author 27 books87 followers
February 21, 2017
Amelie doesn't like boybands. She'd rather be listening to her diverse collection of original vinyl. However, because of her dad's job in the music industry, she finds herself surrounded by the biggest pop band of the moment 'The Keep'.

This is a book I'd been really looking forward to, and it was a quick YA read. The plot wasn't complex, but didn't need to be as it was still very readable.

My main issue was that I didn't always like Amelie and her ways. Yes, she is a teenager, but she came across as a bit brattish at times. However, I really liked the character Maxx and his motivations and story were very believable.

I'd have loved this book in my teens and I'm sure many fangirls will be hooked by this story of romance, the music industry and being true to yourself.

Profile Image for Rosalyn Eves.
Author 9 books666 followers
October 5, 2016
I got an electronic copy of this book for early review and it was just what I needed to get through a rough patch: fun, breezy, cool with a simmering romance.

Amelie Ayres lives with her hippy mother and works hard at her music, growing an anonymous online channel. But what she really wants to do is perform live. But her work towards a summer performance are complicated when, for her birthday, her sound-technician dad takes her to a concert of *the* it boy band, known as the keep. As Amelie is drawn into their orbit (particularly into that of the off-beat Maxx), she finds herself stretched and challenged in ways she didn't imagine.

The characters were fun, but my favorite part of the book was the behind-the-scenes look at the music industry (something that Denton knows first hand). Perfect escapist read.
Profile Image for Alatea.
484 reviews41 followers
November 5, 2017
The style was a bit off-setting in the beginning, but in the end it didn't bother me anymore. A nice and easy read for those sweet cravings.
Profile Image for Annette.
285 reviews37 followers
March 19, 2017
Great British author... Will be reading more by her in future!

Kept me up until 3AM...
511 reviews
September 11, 2017
Good fun. Not quite Guitar Girl or This Lullaby but pretty great anyway.
Profile Image for Caroline Hanssen.
107 reviews22 followers
April 15, 2017
This is a quick and easy read for those that wants something light to read between other books! Even though it was very predictable, I really enjoyed it! I could easily finish this in a day if I didn't have anything else to do!

Is there going to be a sequel?!
Profile Image for Emma .
2,506 reviews353 followers
January 10, 2017

This Beats Perfect is a relatable story of overcoming your fears in order to realise your dreams.

The story is told in third person narrative but it has the feel of an omniscient narrator providing insight into the thoughts and actions of both the main character, Amelie, and the significant supporting characters. All of the characters are extremely well-developed, their individual personalities shone through the narrative. Each character developed through the plot and became more interesting as a result.

Amelie is a gifted singer/musician whose dreams of achieving recognition for her talent. Unfortunately, Amelie suffers from paralyzing stage fright, freezing in the face of a large audience. No matter how many times she tries she is unable to overcome her fear. It is easy to empathise with Amelie, from the stage fright to the emotions she feels about her mother, she is a very realistic character and easy to identify with. The plot takes us on a journey of friendship, confidence and determination to follow our dreams, when you have the right people in your life, their support can help you realise your dreams.

The plot flowed well throughout enhanced by the realistic setting and relatable characters. For me the main message of This Beats Perfect is that no matter how difficult the path you can always achieve your goals if you persevere.

This is the first contemporary novel I have tried and it has definitely made me want to investigate the genre further.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews

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