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The Blind Faith Hotel

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
When fourteen-year-old Zoe is forced to leave her coastal home—and her father—and move into an old midwestern farmhouse her mother wants to turn into a bedand- breakfast, she is miserable. A shoplifting episode lands her in a work program at a local nature preserve, where she learns to appreciate the prairie and meets a boy who shares her love of wild things. “Permea ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published October 7th 2008)
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Jul 24, 2011 Allie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Technically I shouldn't mark this book as read since I didn't finish it. I wanted to learn about the Ivy character but honestly I didn't feel like reading another 40 chapters about some girl whining and complaining while watching a vulcher with stolen binoculars.
Nov 17, 2009 Tori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome! It's books like these that give me more faith in humanity. This book is kinda tragic. For this little girl, sorry, almost 15 year old to have to go through all the moving, and the parents splitting up, and having a mother that isn't really a great mother or who doesn't have the time to be one, which I can relate to sometimes. And I would DIE. Period. If I was moved to some some little house on the prairie. I mean, having to deal with people that have never seen an ocean?! SAVAGES!!! And ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful novel for young people, but for adults too. A coming of age story with an odd-girl-out main character who's plucked out of her element--the Pacific Northwest, to move to her mom's midwestern hometown where she has never been. At first everything seems like a bad fit, and her prickly relationship with her mom and sister seems likely to combust. But she grows to love the prairie landscape, mostly makes peace with her family and discovers a lot of strength in herself. Beautifully writte ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Zoe has always had a love affair with nature. Growing up on the Northwest coast and spending all her free time with her father on his fishing boat, practically made her one with the sea. When her mother and father separate and her mother drags her halfway across the country to the Midwestern plains, Zoe thinks her world has come to an end.

Why do they have to move? They've moved a lot in the past several years, but that's been movin
John Clark
Jul 27, 2014 John Clark rated it it was amazing
What do you do when life falls apart and you're fourteen? This is the dilemma Zoe faces. Her dad is hooked by the sea. On land, he's moody and sometimes gets very drunk, but when he's on the ocean, usually going after giant crabs up in Alaska, he's completely different. Zoe is very close to him and he's taught her how to read the subtle changes in the natural world. When her parents separate, her mother heads back to the Midwest with Zoe, her older sister, Nelia and her little brother Oliver. It ...more
Heather Miller
I liked the book it was a coming of age. I liked how her views changed as the book progressed
Fourteen-year-old Zoe is forced to move to the Midwest when her mother separates from her father. She has a very hard time adjusting as she's always been near the waters of Washington state and there's nothing but grass and trees in the Midwest. Leaving her father behind isn't easy, either. And there's an additional problem: she has no breasts.

This is where it gets a little weird. Zoe tries to talk to her older sister, then her mother and a family friend. But no one seems to have the time or the
Nov 05, 2008 GirlwiththeBraids rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to GirlwiththeBraids by: BookDivas at CollectiveX
All of her life, Zoe has never had a real home. One year after the other, her family packs up their things and moves on. Her father had always been her role model by being a fisherman. He knew and explained things differently then others did, but when the family is separated by divorce, Zoe starts doubting everyone. Zoe, her older sister, younger brother, and mother move away once again, to a run down house they plan to fix up to become a bed-n-breakfast. While there, Zoe goes through puberty an ...more
Kristen Lemaster
Not the worst YA book out there, if only because Zoe is a good balance between snarky and sincere and doesn't change her entire life when she meets a boy whom she thinks she loves. However, this novel is super frustrating in that it seems like the different storylines are used only when convenient - her father's absence, her grandmother's garden, her mother's history, the hawks, the bed and breakfast, even her own love of books, all randomly pop up and then disappear just as randomly only to app ...more
Example #2 Zoe’s Dad is absent from the family
Book Information Title: The Blind Faith Hotel; Author: Pamela Todd; Place of Publication: New York, New York; Date: 2008; Pages: 312
Evidence for Evaluation: Zoe is a 14 year old girl who is moving from town to town with her mother, father, and siblings. Until, one move, her father does not go along. Zoe misses her father terribly and does not always relate to her mother or older sister. She is having a hard time finding someone to listen to her probl
Jan 05, 2009 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 07, 2010 Wisteriouswoman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zoe's relationship with her fisherman father is a close one. The book shares the wisdom he has passed on to her about the sea while they go out on his boat in the San Juan Islands. It is surprising how realistically bratty she is when her mother moves the family to the prairie and leaves Zoe's father. The reader learns to love the prairie along with Zoe as her life changes and she adapts to her new environment. The book explores growing up and dealing with love and loss. There is one scene that ...more
Fred Kirchner
Nov 24, 2008 Fred Kirchner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: teen-fiction
Books like this make up for all the Gossip Girl waste clogging the shelves in my Young Adult Fiction collection at the library. A tear-jerking, meditative and lyrical novel telling the story of Zoe, a 14 year old girl, her siblings, Nelia, 17, and Ollie, 6, their mother, Annie. The family leaves the west coast, and father, Daniel--a life long crab fisherman--and heads to Illinois, where Annie grew up on the Midwest Prairie, to rehab an old family house and open a bed and breakfast. Annie is exci ...more
Catherine  Mustread
Jul 11, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: Great Lakes Book Award; Green Earth Book Award '09
Shelves: teen, ethics
Uneven -- two stars for first part, 4.5 for the last, very slow starting and the 14-year-old protagonist, Zoe, is so wrapped up in her misery that it was easy for me to feel more sympathy for her mother. Of course, I am an adult. Still found this to be a good coming-of-age, deal with your problems and move-on kind of book. An emotional family story about finding one's way through life with themes of relationships, forgiveness, honesty, and as a bonus an environmental theme too. I'd compare this ...more
Yuan Zhou
I found this book at the back of my book shelf so i decided to give it a chance. This book was very sad and i don't like how depressing the characters were, but at times the author was very descriptive of the environment and how it affect the characters, and I liked that, because it makes me feel like i can understand them. I feel the characters could have been more energetic and more cheerful because reading this book was very sad and lonely, so if there was more comedy or energy it would have ...more
May 08, 2009 Additeenlibrarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zoe, 14 (almost 15!), does not understand why her mother is moving them to the Midwest. Without their father. They've lived in the Pacific Northwest, on the ocean, for Zoe's whole life. She loves the ocean, boats, the damp ocean air -- and her father. But when you are 14 and your family moves, you move, too. After a little run-in with the law, Zoe is given community service work at the prairie nature reserve, where she begins to learn about the ocean of prairie that now surrounds her. Where she ...more
I read this book hoping it would be a good YA campaign novel to Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler for One Book One Community. Although the story does take place in the Midwest and Zoe does community service at a forest preserve, I don’t feel the premise was good. More importantly, this story won’t entertain boys at all. The story itself was OK and teen girls may enjoy it. I just didn’t get what I wanted out of it. However, my biggest issue was that Zoe confesses to shoplifting and still recei ...more
Mar 21, 2009 Bayareabookaholic rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Zoe, Nelia and Oliver are bidding good bye to their sailor father who Zoe adores- he is heading on a fishing boat to Alaska, they are heading to the midwest to fix up their mother's family home and create a bed and breakfast hotel. The kids are leery, who would want to stay with us? they wonder.
When they arrive, the old house is in ruins- as they fix it up, find friends and move on with their life, Zoe has to come to terms with who her dad really is, why her mother would choose to move on in her
Oct 15, 2011 Caitlinleah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-o-week
it had such promise! i guess i was hoping for a "remodeling the run down mansion to turn it into a bed and breakfast book" or even "as the house is remodeled so is the soul" or "the life and times of the crazy guests who visit the bed and breakfast." alas, it is none of these things. it's just your basic "preteen is afraid of the changes her body is going through and upset about her parents divorce" book. if you're reading it waiting for the bed and breakfast to open, be warned- it doesn't until ...more
Jan 29, 2009 Daria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was fine, the biggest problem I had with it was that there just wasn't enough tension to keep the story moving forward at a good clip. Also, the pace of the story was inconsistent--what I mean is for some sections, descriptions were given on a daily basis for a number of days in a row, then in other parts, the story jumps forward by months without much description.
Zoe's mother has given up on their fisherman father and decided to move the family to the midwest and rehab her childhood home to open a bed and breakfast. The novel follows the first year in their new place as they all try to adjust to life away from the sea and their father. This is a well written, thoughtful novel about a family trying to adjust to big changes.
The Library Lady
I got involved with the main character, but I found this uneven. As noted by others the pacing here isn't consistent. I also felt as if the author was trying to hard--the gushing reviews on the back may speak to adults, but I'm not sure if a lot of this is going to reach the teens it's destined for. I also found the ending abrupt and unsatisfying.
Somewhat mediocre. Dialogue is loaded with metaphors I'd have eaten up with spoons as a teenager, but now find eye-rollingly heavy-handed. This aims for every emotional button without really hitting any of them, though (again) I'd probably have felt differently at 15.

Formal review to come some time from now.
Mallory Rowley
Zoe is a fourteen year old girl. She has three siblings and her mother takes them away from their father going from state to state. When they finally move to this old house she goes out and feeds the birds every morning. On her first day of school she meets some friends that thinks she is crazy. There is a man named Billy that is helping fix up the house that falls in love with her mother.
Nov 12, 2010 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could relate to Zoe in the fact that she fights with her mom a lot and wants to be almost anywhere except where she is now. I hated the end though. I want to know who the man on the porch was, her dad or her boyfriend. THAT was irritating.
Interesting start, but the plot progressively dwindled. Zoe started out as being a very strong-willed, compassionate girl but further actions led me to think less and less of her. Nice writing style and emotion, but lacked a good story line and development of the characters.
Oct 07, 2009 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
A sweet coming of age story with beautiful descriptions of a prairie restoration and prairie animals. The author is local and came to visit our mother/daughter book club which was an awesome experience for the moms and the daughters.
Aug 25, 2012 Britta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A teen girl trying to deal with her parents split as he mother moves them back to her hometown. Uninspiring and just too much 'same old stuff' going on in this story. The most interesting part too me is it starts out in Washington a place I know and love.
Jan 22, 2009 Ricki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one was just okay for me. There were parts that I enjoyed a lot, and other sections where I was a bit bored. Pamela Todd does an excellent job portraying the dynamics of sibling relationships, and the book is a nice coming-of-age story.
Stephanie A.
Jul 19, 2012 Stephanie A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the setting and the characters, especially Zoe. Wasn't as fond of the dream sequences, but otherwise it was a really solid novel for younger teens, with a great focus on family dynamics.
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“She looked at him and realized that she loved him, out of nowhere, pure and simple. She loved him: this boy who fit so naturally in the water, the wild, and in everything else. She loved him: this boy who seemed to grow up out of the ground itself. There was a part of her that had known this from the first time she had seen him. This was what love was: a landslide in your heart.” 13 likes
“There were days so clear and skies so brilliant blue, with white clouds scudding across them like ships under full sail, and she felt she could lift right off the ground. One moment she was ambling down a path, and the next thing she knew, the wind would take hold of her, like a hand pushing against her back. Her feet would start running without her even willing it, even knowing it. And she would run faster and faster across the prairie, until her heart jumped like a rabbit and her breath came in deep gasps and her feet barely skimmed the ground.
It felt good to spend herself this way. The air tasted fresh and delicious; it smelled like damp earth, grass, and flowers. And her body felt strong, supple, and hungry for more of everything life could serve up.
She ran and felt like one of the animals, as though her feet were growing up out of the earth. And she knew what they knew, that sometimes you ran just because you could, because of the way the rush of air felt on your face and how your legs reached out, eating up longer and longer patches of ground.
She ran until the blood pounded in her ears, so loud that she couldn't hear the voices that said, You're not good enough, You're not old enough, You're not beautiful or smart or loveable, and you will always be alone.
She ran because there were ghosts chasing her, shadows that pursued her, heartaches she was leaving behind. She was running for her life, and those phantoms couldn't catch her, not here, not anywhere. She would outrun fear and sadness and worry and shame and all those losses that had lined up against her like a column of soldiers with their guns shouldered and ready to fire. If she had to, she would outrun death itself.
She would keep on running until she dropped, exhausted. Then she would roll over onto her back and breathe in the endless sky above her, sun glinting off her face.
To be an animal, to have a body like this that could taste, see hear, and fly through space, to lie down and smell the earth and feel the heat of the sun on your face was enough for her. She did not need anything else but this: just to be alive, cool air caressing her skin, dreaming of Ivy and what might be ahead.”
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