Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall


by Deirdre Riordan Hall
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?
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Skyscape
I received an ARC from for review
I had one of those interesting moments when reading this book. At first I really had a hard time getting into the story, but it starts off really interesting and I wanted to see where it went. I decided to listen to the audio instead and found it a much more pleasurable experience, for some reason the physical book wasn't working for me (which doesn't happen often)
Pearl's mother was a rock star when she was younger, but somehow has succumbed to drugs and is on the borderline of hitting the bottom. Only two things can happen, recovery or death. She chooses to go to rehab and her brother offers to send Pearl to a boarding school to finish out her education while her mother is recovering. At school Pearl is able to make friends, explore art and try to figure out her future. She is constantly worried about her mother and being around wealthy people causes her to keep her old life a secret.
It's not too long before Pearl ends up making some of the bad decisions that her mother made. Unable to see what she is doing to herself, but thinking she can never end up like her mother, Pearl will have to grow up quick and make better decisions for herself, instead of always blaming her mother. She ends up meeting a boy who wants to keep it as friends, but we all know that rarely happens. Pearl falls in love hard. With so many things happening in her life it's hard to focus on what is important, but she has to or lose everything she's been given.
In most situations I would refer to this book as a coming of age novel, but with Pearl's past, it seems that she's experienced several times in her life she has had to grow up quick. In this particular instance, she is given an opportunity to change everything around, but finds herself not making very wise decisions and finding that she created her own problems that now have to be solved to be the person, and artist she's wanted to be.
This story deals with drugs, different levels of party only drugs to the hard addiction that ruins lives. Peer pressure and making your own decisions. It was at times hard to read, but in the end I think the plot is worthwhile and will give you something to think about.