Pearl by Jo Knowles


ARC provided by Jen Bigheart from I Read Banned Books as part of ARC Blog Tour

Summary from Goodreads:

Bean (née Pearl) and Henry, misfits and best friends, have the strangest mothers in town. Henry’s mom Sally never leaves the house. Bean’s mom Lexie, if she is home, is likely nursing a hangover or venting to her friend Claire about Bean’s beloved grandfather Gus, the third member of their sunny household.

Gus’s death unleashes a host of family secrets that brings them all together. And they threaten to change everything—including Bean’s relationship with Henry, her first friend, and who also might turn out to be her first love.

My Thoughts:

At first I had thought I made some obvious predictions about how the story would turn out and boy was I wrong!  I really enjoyed the many facets of Pearl.  I find this book a little hard to talk about because I really don’t want to give too much away, so I will try to stay as generic as I can.  I would really hate to ruin the book for you all!

Bean’s character is such a typical teen!  I loved her.  And Henry, how can you just not adore him?  The adults in Pearl were very intriguing to me.  Their unique characters each held a bit of mystery that really helped frame Bean’s story.  I really liked how the setting and characters became so real and vivid without too much written description.  I often find that reading books that are overly descriptive really detract from the story and Ms. Knowles set her story very well.

While reading Pearl I found myself going back in time and remembering people from my past who I found out years later had some intense family secrets.  I always wondered how the families were able to keep their secrets from coming to the surface and when they did, how they dealt with the ramifications.   I really didn’t have a very high opinion Bean’s mom Lexie until she began to unravel her story.  I also felt that Gus may have died with a lot of regret and it made me very sad to think of how real that is in so many families.

I ended up really enjoying Pearl.  I was so glad it was not as predictable as I thought it would be.  I think that this book is definitely a great book to pick up and read with your teen.  So many lessons to be learned and discussed in this book.  I don’t think that this book is just for teens to pick up and discuss, I think that it would make for a great book club pick as well.  So many different stories, secrets and emotions locked up in this book that would make for an unforgettable discussion.  It is certainly a read that lingers long after the cover has been closed.

Keeping secrets, no matter who it protects, always has ramifications.


  1. Jen Daiker -

    What a fabulous review!!! Thanks to Jo’s tweet I was able to find your awesome blog and an awesome review of a book I just ordered!!

    I’m a new follower and happy to be so! This blog is so cool!

  2. Cici -

    Thank you! I am glad to have you following!! Thanks to Jo for the tweet!! I am sure you will enjoy it and hopefully see how hard it is to talk about without revealing too much! :)

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