Pearl: Review

Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall (audio book)

Published by Brilliance Audio

Performed by Brittany Pressley

My rating: 4.5/5

Spoiler free review : )

Thank you so much Deirdre Riordan Hall for sending me a copy of this incredibly touching and important novel.

Summary:

Pearl Jaeger is the daughter of a “has been” rock star, Janet Jaeger, who spends all of her time thinking about where she will get her next drug fix. Throughout Pearl’s life she has been carted along to various locations and she has ridden the rollercoaster that is her mother’s life until one day her mother takes it too far causing an accident at a shelter. Pearl’s uncle gets involved and Pearl is taken away to a boarding school where she starts her new life. At this school she meets new friends, foes, a tough art teacher, and a guy that sparks her interest. Pearl must learn to navigate her new life and figure out how she wants her future to look. Should she follow the path that her mother carved out for her or should she break free from the cycle and learn to forgive those around her and herself.

Review:

“The only way out is through”

Let me start this off with commending the author for the incredible writing. I have never been more immersed in a story like this. The metaphors and description used created such an atmosphere that I knew this book was going to be one for the records! It definitely makes me add another novel of Deirdre Riordan Hall, Sugar, to my “to buy” list!

Another note, I so adored the cover art of this book. I mean look at it. It is gorgeous and every time I look at the cover I can not help but exclaim about the colors and textures and ahhhhhhhhhhh

Now, on to the story. I am not going to lie, through most of this book, the main character, Pearl, aggravated me to no end. I am not well versed in the scene of drugs and parties so I could not relate with what she was feeling and the choices she was making. With that being said, I understand that Pearl’s situation would lead to her to the dark places she entered and that she needed to go through this in order to reach a place where she understands herself and her future. Pearl is a very broken character and she needed to see the darkest parts of herself and understand what her mom was feeling and doing in order to find who she wanted to be and to develop into a smart and artistic person. The character development of Pearl was one of the best I have read in YA. It was believable and raw.

There is a strong theme of forgiveness in this novel. Pearl has spent the majority of her 18 years being blamed for everything that went wrong in her mother’s life. When she escaped from her mother she still held on to that burden causing her to feel alienated from her fellow classmates. She does not allow herself to get close to anyone because she does not know how to love or be loved and she does not want to be hurt like she often was throughout her life. When she finally allows herself to accept being accepted by her friends and Grant she can look forward to her future and take steps toward her better self.

Grant came along at a time when Pearl had nothing and he gave her a little bit of something, a little bit of hope. Grant taught Pearl how to love and how to accept love. I personally don’t think Pearl could have made such a huge difference in her own life without the constant presence of Grant. Even when they were not together he was always on her mind. Grant also gives Pearl the stability she has been craving. He is one of the first people that makes Pearl feel safe.

It seemed as though there was a constant struggle for Pearl between following the path of her mother and following her own heart and making a better future for herself. I think this manifested itself in her thoughts through Grant and her mother. When Pearl was making good decisions and bad decisions she often felt a struggle between thoughts of Grant and thoughts of her mother.

Pearl is a work in progress and through her friends and loved ones she is able to make steps toward becoming the person she wants to be.

Quotes:

Because I loved this book so much I decided to do something new and give some of my favorite short quotes from the novel.

“Losing myself in the motion of creating stillness.”- Chapter 7

“The little planets that make up my personal inner universe stop spinning.”- Chapter 10

“I’m tainted, stained.”- Chapter 17

“The only way out is through.”- Chapter 47

“No one has ever wanted me for me.”- Chapter 48

“I forgive you”- Chapter 49

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I am still relatively new to reviewing books so if there is anything I could do differently or anything you liked about his please let me know in the comments.

Have a fantastic rest of your week! 🙂

5 Reasons to Stop by your Local Library Today!

 

IMG_2275
Books, books, and more books!!!!

Look, I completely understand why you would want to own a book. It just feels more comfortable in your hands and you can spend as much time with it as you want. However, there are so many benefits and awesome reasons to go to the library so I decided to make a list of a few of them!

  1. Cheap!

    Most cities give their residents free or discounted membership. Just do some research to find the nearest library to you and what your options are for getting a membership.

  2. So many options!

    The library offers so many books in so many genres that your options are practically endless! Just wonder around the shelves picking up random books and you are bound to find one that suits your fancy!

  3. Try it out!

    If you are unsure about a book or series, you can go to the library and pick it up and try it. If you don’t end up liking it, it is so easy to return. No more worrying about buying an expensive book just to hate it! If you end up liking it, you can still buy a copy for your personal collection.

  4. The smell!

    Lets be honest, the smell of a huge building full of books is just… there is nothing like it! Don’t be afraid to sneak a sniff while you are searching for the right book  ; )

  5. The environment!

    There is nothing like being surrounded by books, books, and more books. Not to mention the BOOKS! Every corner you turn there is a new shelf of books to explore. There are also so many bookworms around. My people! Overall, the library is a quiet and calm environment where I do my best thinking.

There are so many fantastic reasons to go to the library! I want to hear your reasons for going to the library so comment them below!

 

 

Book Review: The Testing

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Published by Houghton  Mifflin

My rating: 4/5

Spoiler free review : )

Summary:

This series opens up in the United Commonwealth, which is what remains of the USA after a seven stage war. Much of the land is full of toxic radiation and mutated animals. The United Commonwealth has been divided into different colonies, where the main character, Cia, has just finished her general schooling. After graduation she is accepted into an intense testing program with the purpose of testing applicants physically, mentally, and emotionally to determine who will be allowed to continue their education in the capital, Tosu City. Those who make it through testing are guaranteed important jobs in the United Commonwealth. However, a warning from her father makes her suspect that there is more to the testing process than meets the eye. Cia must decide who she wants to trust and what she can do to ensure her safety through The Testing. 

 

Review:

This is my very first review of a book so I am very excited. Let me know what you think and if you thought that I left anything out 🙂 So, here we go!

This novel was introduced as something fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will love. Therefore, walking into this series, I was expecting it to be like every other dystopian novel that has been released in the past couple of years. In some ways, in this first novel, there were some aspects that were similar to both The Hunger Games and Divergent and I can understand why people may feel as though this series is attempting to copy or hop on the bandwagon. This was often a reason for people’s lack of interest in the series. However as I dove deeper into this book and explored the world and the characters, especially as you move into the second and third novels, there are clear separations that make this book unique and brings up many interesting topics about society and many different types of relationships.

I also thought the author was really successful in displaying how these young adults would be feeling under the stress that they were experiencing. When the main character, Cia, experiences pain she has never had to deal with, she is unable to understand her emotions. She goes from having “a scream [build] inside [her]” to feeling completely numb and unsure of what was happening around her (Charbonneau 112).

I was really intrigued by the way in which the students were tested throughout the novel. I think the author explained the tests in an easy to understand manner that left me excited to find out the results. I was also interested in the focus that main character had on the restoration of the toxic wasteland surrounding her colony and many of the other colonies at the start of the book. I feel as though it says a lot about what she was taught as she was growing up. However, near the end of the novel she comes to realize what is really going on in the United Commonwealth and is more focused on what is going on in the capital city rather than the surrounding colonies.

The different relationships in the novel were a bit strange for me. I really enjoyed the reliance that Cia put on members of her colony because i think that is what any young adult would do in this situation. I found it believable that she would become closer to these other testing students. However, I feel at some points she puts a little too much trust in the other students after she had a warning from her father not to do just that. I feel as though it made his warning seem unnecessary. I felt this way especially with Tomas. I think some of the things he did throughout the testing was a little sketchy, but Cia never seemed to lose any trust in him.

Overall, I found this book very enjoyable. I read this book very quickly and I never had a problem with the writing or the plot. I was often on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen. I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted a quick and easy YA dystopian read.

Thank you so much for reading!! Let me know what you think 🙂

hello my name is

 

 

Used Book Store & Mini Haul

So… with all the book stores I have entered in my lifetime, I have never been to a used book store *gasp*!!

Well, the other day I went to a dollar book store near where I live and my entire life has changed! I don’t know why I have never stepped into this magical land before! But I am so gad that I did.

As soon as I walked in I was greeted by thousands (maybe, idk I am not good at math lol) of books of all different genres. They had a great fiction section from all different amazing authors.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.43.27 PM

Four of the books shown above are from the used book store (The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, A Million Pieces, Rebel Angel, and Second Chance Summer). The other two are books from Barnes & Nobel (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and It’s Kind of a Funny Story), which I stopped at after.

I have to tell you I had a huge stack of books the I had to cut down. I just have too many darn books.

I was really disappointed to find that there were no Harry Potter books. I have always wanted to read that series and I was hoping to find them for a discounted price. I looked throughout the store and could not find any : / Even though there was a HUGE Twilight section (I am not a fan)! I guess I will just have to go there more times in hopes of finding a series that has been recommended to me countless times. *Oh no, more bookstores! How will I ever handle this* (I say in a sarcastic tone)

Overall, I am beyond thrilled with this little adventure and I am so thrilled that I found this little gem of a store in my town! Thank you book gods!!!!

Have you read any of the books I got? Are they good? Any recommendations for future book finds? Any recommendations for future blog posts?

Also, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ❤

About Me

Hello! This is my first blog post and I am incredibly excited. I figured I would start off with a little bit of an introduction.

5 Facts About Me:

  1. I love reading!!!!! (I know, shocker)
  2. I am a college student
  3. I am studying dance in college
  4. My favorite book series is The Hunger Games
  5. I really like Netflix

p.s. That started at 50 facts about me and I could only think of 5 so… ya

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 5.34.52 PM.png

 

I am hoping to post about a lot of different books including reviews. I hope you enjoy my page and comment below any suggestions for posts that you would like to see on here!

Love,

Jackie : )