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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  615 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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

Kindle Edition, 332 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Skyscape
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  615 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Feb 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry, but teens drinking and doing drugs is not my cup of tea.

While I have always appreciated realistic and gritty stories - take a look at some of my favorites, Little Peach and Living Dead Girl - something about drugs has always put me off.

I didn't like Ellen Hopkins' Crank, though I know it was meant to show how damaging drugs are. Something about it made me feel foul and I was beyond relieved when I finished it. The same went for this book.

Pearl has had a hard life. She grew up with her
Adam Webling
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I was sent Pearl in exchange for an honest review…and can I just say I’m so glad I was because I really enjoyed it.

It’s about the daughter of a drug addict who used to be a famous singer. When Pearl’s mother messes up for the million time, Pearl is sent to a private boarding school by her rich uncle to save the family face. Once there, Pearl finds herself battling the demons of her rough past, while trying to refresh her life and make something of her life.

I mainly liked this book because Pearl
Emily May
Lots of attention to character details and development, but I'm kind of over the "girl working through her troubles with art and a new boy" trope. ...more
Ashley Owens
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!

I really really loved this book! I loved the concept, our main character, her struggles, and the flow of the writing. There was enough time spent with Pearl getting to know her very intimately, but also it takes place over a good year and a half I believe, so we see her change and learn and lots of events happen to keep you turning the pages. And Pearl herself had unique interests, so that she not only
Pearl was a random precious find; one that caught my eye because of the cover. Of course, after reading the synopsis I knew it was a Me book; shocking given the fact I don't read much young adult coming of age but I'm beyond happy that I was able to listen to it. There is so much to love about Pearl and I'm quite shocked it hasn't gotten a lot of buzz.


Deirdre's writing is metaphorical, lyrical and just straight up beautiful. I would listen to/read her writing all day long. She flawlessly
Cheyanne Young
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was comprised of several things I love: traipsing around New York City, boarding school drama, and a main character you desperately want to root for. Pearl is the daughter of a drug addicted, has-been rock star. Unlike the typical rock star tale, Pearl and her mother are not filthy rich—they are far from it, living in a slum and struggling to get by. Pearl is a victim of her circumstances but when her mom goes away to rehab, Pearl’s wealthy uncle sends her to boarding school. This is h ...more
❧ Cristina ☙

You can check this review with more details on my blog (x)

OR my video review on my channel here -

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Bear in mind that these are my thoughts on the book until 53% where I stopped reading. I know nothing of the book after that.

"I don't care if she doubts me. I don't need to prove that I'm hardcore, having seen and done things that she probably on
Nino Fray
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Deirdre for sending me an e-copy to review.

This book follows Pearl Jaeger, a young lady who is the daughter of Janet Jaeger, a drug addict who once was a rock star. Being the daughter of a drug addict was causing problems to Pearl, and one day something bad happened and her uncle started to take care of her. She was sent to a boarding school, and there she met some cool friends and a few problems too. In other words, this book follows the life of a young girl who once believed she was
Zoë P
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pearl is the seventeen year old daughter of a former rock star, JJ. Years after her rise to fame she has crashed hard, dragging Pearl along for the ride. Drugs and homelessness are nothing new, but after a tragic series of events Pearl is left lost and alone, with only her Uncle who’s more concerned about the media than Pearl’s well being. She is sent off to an elite boarding school, an opportunity Pearl never thought possible. How will she cope with her past and her new found future? Follow in ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
I got 150 pages in. The book covers the span of two years, but the pacing is terrible and Pearl's charm wore off quickly. We also get two different one-note mean girls. Noooope. Not here for that.

Diversity: Pearl's roommate Charmindy is Indian. Pearl's mother is a drug addict.
Megan (ReadingRover)
I don't know why I waited so long to read this book because it was so good. Well yeah I actually do. I hate the cover. It's just horrible. I hate the girls face and it made me not want to read it. Then I realized that Hall was the author after I read Sugar which was fabulous and I finally read it. Turns out it's an awesome book. Hall really has a way of writing about characters you can connect with. I'm glad I finally gave it a chance. ...more
Nicole (scottishgirlreads)
First off, I want to thank Deirdre Riordan Hall for contacting me about reading Pearl and sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When first hearing about Pearl I was automatically intrigued by the synopsis, the writing already had my attention which is a hard thing to do in just a small blurb. And let’s not forget the cover, although honestly who could, it is absolutely GORGEOUS.I really don't think the cover could fit the feel and message of the book any more perfectly!
Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.

4.5 stars

After reading and loving Deirdre Riordan Hall’s Sugar, I was excited to read Pearl. This was a book that was full of heartache and tough subjects, but it was also beautiful, hopeful, and inspiring.

Pearl hasn’t had an easy life. As the daughter of a has-been rock star who’s more worried about her next fix than about her own daughter, Pearl has been left to fend for herself for a long time. The streets of New York City and her love
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books

This was a tough book to read, not only because of how it was written, but because of the content. This sounds bad, but it's actually a compliment.

This story follows Pearl who has grown up in poverty because of her mum's recklessness and drug addiction. Her mum's desperation throughout the early parts of the book is tangible. You realise early on that in order to cope with this, Pearl internalises everything - this is her strength and her weakness. When circumstances abruptly change and she
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Esmeralda Mendoza Solis
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great reading

Surprisingly enjoyed this book,I started thinking it wasn't going to catch my attention. Worth reading. Brings everything together beautifully, sadness, selfishness, self growth
Christina Farley

What a gritty, beautiful and heartfelt story. Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall is about a girl who is the daughter of a drug addict and former rock star. When things turn sour, she’s sent to an elite boarding school in New York to have the chance to start over and make a better life.
I love the perspective of this story and how there’s hope in the middle of pain and suffering.

The author does an amazing job at revealing how we each have choices in our lives, and though the past has molded us, w
Victoria Zieger
I felt like I was on a journey with Pearl throughout this book. From the beginning, where we explore her life with her mother and to the end where she develops her own identity. I really liked the way this was written and the characters in this book. It definitely made me think a lot and I believe this will stay with me for a long time.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.3 ⭐

A pretty run of the mill YA novel with a bit of drama, school and romance. Pretentious at times, and lacking depth in various places but still an ok read.
Jackie Maloney
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The only way out is through”

Let me start this off with commending the author for the incredible writing. I have never been more immersed in a story like this. The metaphors and description used created such an atmosphere that I knew this book was going to be one for the records! It definitely makes me add another novel of Deirdre Riordan Hall, Sugar, to my “to buy” list!

Another note, I so adored the cover art of this book. I mean look at it. It is gorgeous and every time I look at the cover I c
Amanda Taylor
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book, especially since it was a total departure from what I read most of the time. Pearl Jaeger is the daughter of Janet Jaeger, JJ, former member of the huge girl group known as The Shrapnels. JJ is not so much a mother as a drug addict, washed-up star who floats from place to place, boyfriend to boyfriend, looking for her next high. Because Pearl is so young, she is forced to follow
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pearl is a story about self discovery and learning to not allow your past and others define you.

It’s all about fighting your inner demons….and external ones too.

Big Points:

2. This is a CHARACTER DRIVEN STORY. I feel like this is super important to point out because you’re not going to experience major plot twists or “big reveals” like you would in most YA novels. It’s all about
Melody (theliteraryowl)

"I hear a whisper; maybe it's my heart. I belong with me. I almost instantly forget it, but like a seed planted in fertile earth, those words dig down, preparing the ground to help me reclaim my mind, heart and body. What little I have amounts to those three things, and they are mine and mine alone."

I don’t usually read contemporary YA novels because they usually feel somewhat cliché and unrealistic (at least those I’ve read so far) so I really was curious to see if Pearl would be able to su
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
** I was sent a copy of Pearl in exchange for an honest review! **

It took me a while to finish Pearl, but not from the lack of plot rather more a reading slump. I am not one to lean on contemporary fiction. I usually stick to fantasy and science fiction, but something about the synopsis of Pearl drew me in. I wish I hadn't taken so long to finish it because it was a surprisingly good read. Pearl is a story that is mostly steered by the characters rather than exciting events, which sets it apart
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

This book was a no-nonsense, gritty, definitely not sugar-coated tale of triumph after struggle. It was real, and it was spectacular. For anyone who has ever faced a harsh reality, but found a way through, or just enjoys a boarding-school story sprinkled with late nights, rock n' roll, and of course Deirdre Riordan Hall's signature sparkle, this book is a must read. Not to mention the absolutely gorgeous cover! Riordan Hall's second YA was just as full-of-the-feels as the first, Sugar (chec
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was simultaneously a wild ride from start to finish and also one of the most introspective books I have ever read.

Pearl lives almost entirely in her own head. She examines every moment carefully, tying it back to her previous experience. This starts off from page one. You’re dumped in the middle of Pearl’s life, just as it seems like there’s nowhere to go.

But even when Pearl was at her worst, there seemed to be hope for her. She never stops questioning her life - if she’s doing what she wan
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
PEARL is the daughter of a junky has-been rocker. After her mother sets fire to their homeless shelter, her wealthy uncle sends her to boarding school where she finds love and friendship.

At the beginning, PEARL drew me into the story and I was so interested in the plot. Once she gets to boarding school, the novel became progressively less interesting until I was skipping pages just to get to the lackluster ending.

Despite her interesting backstory, PEARL isn't a very interesting character. She la
Mariah Smith (Vibin With Books)
DNF'ing at pg. 149

This book is by no means bad, and I could see how some people could really enjoy this. But the combination of my reading slump and my inability to connect with the characters is making me really bored with this. Hopefully I'll be able to pick this up soon and finish it!
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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“The only enemy you have is yourself. Stay there, with her, until you aren’t enemies anymore.”

Pearl was a novel I didn't think I'd enjoy that ended up completely surprising me. It's a very in depth look at what trauma, abuse, and growing up around addiction will do to someone, especially a teenage girl.

Pearl is the daughter of washed up former rock star Janet Jaeger--or JJ, as others call her. JJ used to have it all--fame, money, designer clothes, an ardent fanb
Mimi Cross
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are so many lovely lines in Deirdre Riordan Hall’s YA Contemporary, Pearl. They are scattered like gems throughout the story, which is about a girl named Pearl who is on her way to becoming an artist.

The Artist's Journey is probably my favorite character arc, and I love art. My great aunt was a painter, and reading the detailed descriptions in this book made me want to get my hands on a canvas and some supplies. Paints, pastels—it made me want to learn how to draw.

I'm a big fan of minima
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Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the contemporary young adult bestseller Sugar, Pearl, and several YA fantasy novels. When she's not writing, she's probably surfing or in pursuit of magic. She also has a healthy case of wanderlust, is a major Harry Potter nerd, loves chips and salsa, and dreams about learning no less than three languages.

For more, please visit her blog or twitter

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