- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 12
- Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1 edition (July 19, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805092072
- ISBN-13: 978-0805092073
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 22.4 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pearl: A Novel Hardcover – July 19, 2011
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“Knowles has perfectly told an intriguing story of dysfunctional characters who cannot, will not, or are unable to communicate because of fear...fear of learning the truth, fear of hurting others, fear of losing love.” ―VOYA
“…the story […] funnels family oddities, secrets, and personal melodrama into eventual respect for family differences.” ―School Library Journal
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Top customer reviews
That said Pearl is a well written book, one I read in one sitting. Delving into family secrets, relationships, love, grieving and friendship Jo Knowles packed a lot into this fast paced family drama. The characters were well developed in a short time and I was drawn into this story and enjoyed it (for the most part).
Content: Some language and other content that may bother conservative readers.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Source: ARC Tour
Pearl is a story about two very flawed, imperfect, and dysfunctional families, dysfunctional may be an understatement. Many secrets and lies are hidden among both families who are connected by Henry and Pearl(aka Bean). I love how close and comfortable Henry and Bean are since they've been best friends since they were seven and have their fathers being absent from the lives in common. They both only have each other has friends which makes them even closer.
What occurred in the pages of Pearl, I wasn't expecting. I'm not sure what I was expecting while reading this or even beforehand, probably a love story of some sort, but that's far from what I read. No complaining is coming from me because at certain points while reading Pearl, I was a bit stunned. I had my mouth hung open in astonishment at one point while reading Pearl, If I was to tell you what it was, it would ruin the book for you. Pearl is a book if you mention too many things, you will be very spoiled and I try to stay away from those pesky spoilers.
How could you love and hate someone at the same time?
Sometimes you have to take things back before you can let them go.
One time Gus told that me when I was learning to talk my mom tried to teach me to call her Lexie, not Mom. I swear Gus thought this was funny. But now looking back, I just think it's really sad. Because even then, my mom didn't really want to be my mom.
If you're looking for a quick contemporary read with some shocking secrets spilled among the pages, pick up Pearl.
First 50 Pages: I struggled a bit through the first 50 pages. It wasn't that I didn't like it, but it was just so slow. 50 pages is a lot though in this book since the entire book just reaches past 200 total pages. Regardless, I was enjoying the characters and the laid back style of writing the author has.
Let me just stop and take a moment to say this is a difficult book to try to review. Why? Because I hate giving out spoilers and for a lengthy review, I would have to spoil this book way more then I want to.
The Plot & Style of Writing: As said before, the author doesn't mince her words. The style of writing she incorporates is very straight forward and has a relaxed feel to it. This book is no exception from her previous titles. Everything flows very easily.
The plot is quite simple and I hate to say it, but predictable as well. The story centers on Bean and her best friend, Henry, in one setting, their neighborhood. There are multiple, big family mysteries and secrets going on in both households, which is what the book reveals along the way. Unfortunately, I figured most of secrets out about half way through the book. I wish the author had decided to hold back on giving hints throughout the story when she wrote the book. It would have made the ending and final wrap up much more surprising. Although, there was one twist I didn't see coming regarding Bean and Henry's fathers.
Characters: Bean and Henry have this really amazing relationship with one another and it is sweet to see them blossom in this book. They have this incredible bond of friendship and it was touching to see how Henry was always there for Bean when she needed him the most. Even though Bean is the central character and pushed the story along, the character I thought was the most interesting was Henry's mother. As a reader, I felt more sympathy towards her character then I did for the children. Bean's mother is quite the character as well. To say she is a horrible mother is a bit drastic, but she does lack in the whole motherhood department for most of the book.
I wish the author would have advanced Bean and Henry's relationship just a bit more. Their romance could have been better developed then it was. It would have been nice to have seen Bean's feeling progress for Henry. Her feelings seemed so sudden to me.
What I really love about Henry is that he isn't your typical hot guy. He is a shy, slightly overweight loner type. So many books always make the main character's love interest out to be this perfect guy every young girl would want to date. That isn't the case here, which is so unique and I love it.
Final Thoughts: This book started out slow and was predictable, but was still a really good read. I really enjoy the author's style of writing and the characters in this book are great. If you are looking for a heavy theme or heavy romance, this isn't the book for you. There are some interesting and unexpected twists that kept me reading and I look forward to reading more books from this author.