C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Pearl Thief

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth E. Wein
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, historical-fiction, read-2017, young-adult

Okay WOW this was so fantastic and my heart is so full of love for this beautiful story right now!! I absolutely adored Code Name Verity, so when I heard there was going to be a prequel about Julie, I just about lost my left sock in excitement. I am SO PLEASED!! Although fair warning: this is literally nothing like CNV. It is more like a whimsical Scottish frolic and romp in the 1930s when Julie was 15 and caught up in her family's estate that includes castles, pearls, and the occasional dead man.

I honestly adored it!! Even though the pace was slow and it didn't punch me in the feels like CNV at all. It just felt lovely anyway. And it actually reminded me a whole lot of my childhood favourite books called Billabong. I DON'T KNOW WHY. They're Aussie and this is Scottish??? But still??? The whole vibe was there and it was just so so nice.

THIS IS A NICE BOOK.

It was also sooo good just getting to be around Julie again, plus Jamie is in here! And Jamie is a piece of exceptional sweetness. <3

And something I'm really impressed with? It's how delightfully feminist this book is. Julie is a powerful character. She's totally flawed and privileged and often doesn't even know it and makes kind of awful mistakes because of it...but she wants to learn and be better. PLUS she is all about femininity and being empowered. She doesn't ask permission -- she does things. She's also very queer in a time when that's not acceptable. But she doesn't think of herself as broken and I really appreciated that. I also liked how it explored Julie being bisexual and omg I shipped her and Ellen soooo much. But I just left this book feeling so HAPPY because Julie was epic and awesome, and full of wit and intelligence and wasn't afraid to get dirty, but was afraid of ghosts, and loved to be pretty, but could fire a gun. Plus the book is full of Julie's strong female role models who take no shenanigans and just put forth all the epic.

More books like this??? Please??? It made historical fiction something to admire instead of wade through and cringe at.

I also loved how the book handled the travellers! Although it made my heart BREAK at how horribly they were treated. They're called "tinkers" by the locals, (so kind of gypsies) and they're basically abused and railed against at every turn and arughugugh it was so unfair. I love how Julie becomes friends with Euan and Ellen. And quite frankly Euan is the SWEETEST and most precious cinnamon scone in the world and anyone who beats him will BE DIRECTLY BEATEN BY ME. And Ellen was a piece of frosty ice and absolutely amazing.

Jamie: Ooh, Julie! You and Euan!
Julie: *STARING AT ELLEN LIKE 😍😍😍*
Julie: Mmm? Maybe later.

The plot was definitely a slow one...actually the whole book was slow, but this was a fine thing for me. I enjoyed the lazy summery pace. And quite frankly it was the setting I was monstrously in love with! All old castles and manors and beautifully described rivers of pearls. The writing is just SO GOOD that every scene somehow was lush and delicious and I felt like I was there, taking my summer in Scotland.

Also 10/10 to the audiobook! THE SCOTTISH ACCENTS ARE GORGEOUS and I fully blame the audiobook on the reason I loved it so much. AHHHHHHHH.

All and all? This is DEFINITELY a fantastic and beautiful book. I think you can read it without having read CNV? But I think you'd appreciate it more if you did read CNV first. It's methodical and lush and contains powerful females and a ton of hilarious moments -- coupled with mystery and murder and beautiful old historical items, and an EPIC sister/brother duo, and all the tea you could possibly want. ALSO IT WON MY HEART SO THERE'S THAT.
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Reading Progress

September 21, 2016 – Shelved
September 21, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 3, 2017 – Started Reading
August 3, 2017 –
page 39
9.56% "THE AUDIOBOOK HAS SCOTTISH ACCENTS. EXCUSE ME BUT I'M DOOMED TO LOVE THIS BOOK ETERNALLY NOW."
August 4, 2017 –
page 78
19.12% "Everybody: There might've been a dreadful murder.
Julie: OH THAT SOUNDS EXCITING.
Everybody: *stares*
Julie: I mean...oh...how...bad."
August 4, 2017 –
page 94
23.04% "omgggg THIS is the kind of historical fiction I love!! Girls who are feminist, intelligent, buckets of witty retorts, love feminine things and prettiness, believe in equality, and can also shoot a gun.

#am #a #fan"
August 5, 2017 –
page 132
32.35% "EUAN IS A PRECIOUS CINNAMON SON AND NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED."
August 6, 2017 –
page 208
50.98% "it's just always nice to see more queer historical fiction okay."
August 7, 2017 –
page 286
70.1% "they are climbing through old abandoned cASTLES and this is why I need Scotland to adopt me immediately thanks"
August 8, 2017 –
page 380
93.14% "omggggg Ellen just called Julie QUEENIE!!!!! CODE NAME VERITY MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW."
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: 4-star
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 8, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Ashley (new) - added it

Ashley Elliott I AM READY.


message 2: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie  Hanna This sounds absolutely splendiferous and I am all the impatience to read


Natalie Cotterill I loved this too! Also, I read it not even realising it was a prequel (I don't know how I missed it) and I haven't read CNV, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything. (I do desperately want to read CNV though because of it!)


Annie-JoElizabeth I'm like a chapter into this and you've just made me all the more excited to keep going! THE SETTING IS EVERYTHING.


C.G. Drews @Ashley: IT CALLS TO YOU.

@Jessica: Yesss do!! These books are so underrated!!

@Natalie: Omg that's really good to know that it's still totally enjoyable without having read CNV!! The writing was just so amazing.

@Annie-JoElizabeth: AHHHHH I hope you love it!!


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda A Oh man, that cover...


Sarah I finished this on the same day you posted this review. Such a good book!


C.G. Drews @Brenda: It's so gorgeous!

@Sarah: YAY! Accidental-nearly-twin-reading! :D


Shona H I loved this book- I hoped it would go the way it did but never dreamed it actually would! I'll have to read Code Name Verity now :D


message 10: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Shona: Omg definitely read CNV!! Julie is the best!!


message 11: by Finn Longman (new) - added it

Finn Longman Ooh, I think I might've glimpsed this in the library the other day but totally didn't realise it was a prequel or anything. When I next go there I'll see if I can find it.


message 12: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Miriam: I so hope you like it if you do read it!!


message 13: by Hailey (new) - added it

Hailey Hudson Oh my gosh! I didn't even know this was coming out or anything. I just put it on hold and I can't wait to read it!


message 14: by Gieliza (new) - added it

Gieliza Do you think I should read this first? Or Code Name Verity first? I have both books and I don't want to accidentally spoil myself on any of them.


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