The Wishing Pearl

Almost through with the book club reviews! Only one more after this. 🙂

Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield dreams of a land far, far away. . .
A land far away from her stepfather’s abuse and torment.
A land far away from her mother’s blind eye.
A land far away from the haunting memories of her past.

But then reality sets in, and Olivia knows she must make the best of her dire situation—at least until her high-school graduation. But when poor choices lead Olivia to the brink of a complete breakdown and she finds herself dealing with the unexpected death of her best friend, she comes to a crossroads.

Will Olivia find the path to ultimate hope and healing that her heart longs for? Or will the demons from her past prove too much to bear? 

I liked The Wishing Pearl (Diamond Estates #1) by Nicole O’Dell (ebook free on Amazon, btw). The way it portrayed the abuse was exactly how I can handle it – implied but off-screen and vaguely. I also thought it did a fantastic job showing how a series of choices can lead you deeper and deeper until you look back and wonder, “How did I end up here?”

The first half felt long to me because I was looking forward to Olivia getting to Diamond Estates (and for the mild romance to start). I loved Diamond Estates – it’s the kind of place I wish my husband could find to work at. It was so similar to the facilities he has worked at but with the added benefit of being Christian. (Though I know enough about his job to find a few Diamond Estates policies less than credible.) I did think the end dragged a bit – once everything was all out in the open the book started to feel like a very long wrap-up. And I got a little frustrated at Olivia wanting to sneak a smoke all the time. It didn’t help that my ebook didn’t have any spacing/**/indicators for scene cuts. So there’d be time-jumps between paragraphs and it would take me a minute to figure out time had passed and I was always confused. Date stamps would have helped a lot. (This is probably why it bothered me when someone’s boyfriend signed “I love you” at the end – so far as I was concerned, it felt like they’d only been dating a week!)

My one main beef with the book was that the ending was too neat & easy. For a book focused on real problems with troubled youth, it was unrealistic for resolution to be so tidy.  But I liked the characters, I enjoyed the setting – it was a good YA and an interesting premise. I’ll probably read the next in the series eventually.

What kind of resolution do you like in books?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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