ARC via Publisher + Author
Published: March 1, 2016
Goodreads || Amazon
Run fast and run far, unless you’re fearless. Unless you’re courageous. I’m not, but I’d like to be.
Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.
This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me.
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.
I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.
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 would just like to begin with I adore SUGAR by Deirdre Riordan Hall. PEARL, unfortunately, let me down. This book is about Pearl, whose mother is a used-to-be rocker with an addiction to drugs and doesn’t really care about her daughter. After her mother reaches a new low, Pearl’s uncle comes to pick her up and ship her off to a boarding school. The rest of the book follows Pearl trying to live. She tries to make friends, tries to find the will to live, tries to paint and breathe and just be.
Onto my opinions.
I found myself skipping chapters through the book, as well as wondering who in the world talks like that. Some of the discussions, well, they were very poetic. When I’m breaking down about some tragic I don’t start comparing my life to the night sky, or something equally gorgeous. Maybe that’s just me, but I found it very off-putting while reading. It startled me. This way of speaking made the characters less relatable. This, for me, is important in book. Whether the actual situation the characters are in is something I’ve experienced, or not experienced, is not what’s important to me. However, I would like to be able to sympathize and feel some of what the characters are feeling. But in PEARL, I just was unable to.
That was my biggest issue with the book. I just felt completely removed from the characters and not entirely interested in the story. It definitely wasn’t poorly writer; it just really wasn’t my cup of hot chocolate. When choosing from Ms. Hall’s books, I’ll be re-reading SUGAR and setting aside PEARL.