genre: YA, contemporary, romance
synopsis: Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.
When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn’t hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn’t straightforward.
Through the friendships she forms at school—especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive—she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother’s failures, which direction will Pearl choose?
*i received this book in return for an honest review*
when i first heard about this book, it sounded pretty interesting. it seemed quite different from typical YA books, so i agreed to read and review it. after i finished the love that split the world, i immediately started pearl, and i found that it wasn’t hard to get into at all. it flowed really well and was pretty easy to read.
i had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with the writing. all in all, i do really like it. deirdre riordan hall’s writing style is quite lovely, and i love the words she uses. her sentences really pull me into the story and keep my attention. the thing i didn’t like was all the metaphors she used. most of them were beautifully done, but some were just cliché and overdone. i felt like a lot of it was really over the top and unnecessary. some phrases/words were also repetitive; i noticed that the word “oblivion” was used at least three times in the same way.
this book deals with drugs and addiction, which i thought was pretty interesting. however, i thought there was TOO much emphasis on drugs, which might have been the point? however, it was just too much for me. this book definitely seems a little “mature”, and i would not recommend it to anyone under 13.
the main character, pearl, was okay. i didn’t hate her, but i didn’t like her either. i actually liked most of the side characters, especially charmindy and kiki. most of the characters seemed pretty realistic, which was nice. this book portrays a darker side of reality, which most contemporary novels avoid. the character development was pretty good; by the end, i could definitely tell that pearl had changed a lot. the romance was very eh. it felt pretty lacking in terms of emotional connection and seemed overly concerned with physical contact, but i did like the love interest.
the story moved pretty quickly, and unfortunately, i became less attached to pearl as it progressed. to me, she seemed most annoying in the middle of the story, but it somewhat evened out by the end.
some parts were also a little confusing, and i was stuck wondering who someone was or how something had happened.
overall, pearl was an enjoyable read, but it wasn’t amazing.
have you read this? what did you think?