Book Reviews

Review: All the Rights Notes by Dominic Lim

All the Rights Notes is a charming romance debut about falling in love, second chances, and being brave. If you love music and childhood crushes, this is for you! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Quito Cruz might be a genius piano player and composer in New York City now but it doesn’t mean that he’s any closer to his Broadway dream. Although Quito knows what the problem is. Or rather who . Because ever since that night in college—with pretty-boy jock Emmett Aoki—his inspiration has been completely MIA . .  .

Now Quito’s dad wants him to put on a charity performance in his hometown. And there’s one hella big string convince Emmett—now one of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities—to perform.

It’s all shaping up to be the biggest musical fiasco of Quito’s life. Especially when Emmett agrees to attend, and Quito realizes that undeniable vibe between them is stronger than ever. Because there’s nothing simple about falling for a movie star . . . even when he’s pitch-perfect.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: homophobia

We love a pianist and musician. As someone who grew up surrounded by music, All the Right Notes was the perfect romance read for me. I deeply enjoyed being back not only in the world of high school music, but also of downtown bars and musicals. Lim brings such a joy to All the Right Notes in the ways in which music is such a core theme of the book. The ways music can transcend words and make us believe in something bigger than ourselves. Feelings we can’t quite voice yet, but that are moved by music.

All the Right Notes is very much a book about a life shaped by music. But it’s also shaped by the memories we have to our parents. How we can sometimes ignore their calls, but the slightest panic in their voice leaves us running. I appreciated the relationship between Quito and his dad. Not only did their relationship touch on grief, but it also navigated when someone truly knows us and sees us. Now getting to the romance, All the Right Notes is swoony.

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It’s about budding conversations, hurt feelings, and misconceptions. I wished there was a little more space in the last 25% for the emotional lows to give the characters and their tension more balance. All the Right Notes feels like a second chance romance. It deals honestly with the truths we cannot bear to voice aloud. The ones we aren’t even sure about. Lim keeps switching us between the past and the present increasing the tension. We want to know what happened in the past. Why their relationship was strained and what it says about each of them.

Find All the Right Notes on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


Who is your favorite literary pianist?

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