Monday, February 27, 2012

Diamond Estates: The Wishing Pearl & Giveaway

Olivia Mansfield
Dreams of a Land
Far, Far Away..."
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms

Storyline - Missing her father, terrified and hating her abusive step-father, and angry with her mother, Olivia dreams of when she can leave home to attend a prestigious music school. Because of her rotten life, she can't understand why she plays the good girl and begins to rebell with smoking, alcohol, and soon drugs. But when her best friend dies, she is left with a choice about her own life. Choosing to do something, she goes to Diamond Estates, a school for troubled teen girls, to change her life around. But things are just beginning for her and she is pretty sure she will not find God here. No matter that others are saying she will.

Author - Nicole O'Dell

Publisher - Barbour Publishing

Age Group - 15 or 16 and up

Content - Drinking and smoking (and a little pot) by Olivia and her friends before going to Diamond Estates. Olivia is close to her brother and makes an effort to communicate with him (he's deaf). She works hard to over come what has brought her down and is good to her friends, very supportive. Lots of intense issues that the girls are experiencing (abortions, anorexia, living on the streets, and more that are even more intense than these). They all search for God. He is very present within the school.

Personal Opinion - I believed this book and the characters so much. Even though I have never met anyone like these girls or lived in their situations, from what I hear about the world, their situations, choices, and feelings are not off at all. I thought Olivia got out of the cigarettes and alcohol too quickly for how long she had been in it before going to Diamond Estates but I think that is probably my biggest complaint. The romance story was well handled and the friendships that were made were awesome (I loved those girls and felt for them). As a side note, I loved how there were deaf characters in the book. I am partial to the language (by the way, the description of the signs were correct for the ones I knew, which was most) and think deaf culture needs to be represented in more in literature. As a sum up, wonderful book and talented author. But I still think that the guy running the program should not be the one setting the schedule for girls. Half hour to wake up and put on make up? I don't do make up and I still need more than half an hour. Just saying.

Video -

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from Team Novel Teen. Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O’Dell by clicking on the links above, and check out for more information about Team Novel Teen.

Giveaway -
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants - Check out other reviews of this book at:
My Life with a Mission
ADD Librarian
Audacious Reader
The Book Fae
Book Nook 4 You
Gillian Adams
Jill Williamson
Katie McCurdy
The Librarian’s Bookshelf
The Pen and Parchment
Rachelle Rea
Terri Harr
Virtuous Girlhood

Buy - Amazon, also available off the author's website

Links - Learn more about the books and author here.

Special Notes - Book 2, The Embittered Ruby, is due out in April 1, 2012.

To read, comment, and rate this and other reviews, stop by Bookworm.


  1. Hahahaha 1/2 hour does seem fast, like maybe a guy's idea of how long it takes!! Hilarious.

    Thanks for your review!! :-) Nice!

  2. That's funny, Rachel. Now that you mention it, I did think that morning schedule was a bit harsh. But I also remembered thinking that it might (in the long run) help the girls not be so obsessed with how they look. It's interesting to think about.

    Now that I'm on your blog, I see that the bookworm does appear in all your book pictures. I love that! :-)


  3. Thanks, Jill. Even though it might have helped with the not being so into their looks, I know I wouldn't have been able to get up with only a half hour. Oh well.

    Thanks for liking my worm. That idea was with me from the very beginning of my considering having a blog so even though the idea seemed silly on occaision, I had to have him.

  4. Nice review!

    Haha...I'm probably one of the few girls who think that half an hour was a good amount of time. I volunteered on the Logos Hope (a mission ship) for 7 1/2 weeks and sometimes had to be at work at 6 a.m. (morning shift). I was often exhausted and wanted to sleep as long as I know from experience that 15 min. is enough time to get ready if necessary :)! I take showers in the evening, though, and don't wear make-up so that saves time. Oh, and since water is super expensive on a ship, we were supposed to take 3 min. showers :).

  5. Thanks so much for the fun review and I love the bookworm pic!

    BTW, the morning schedule was taken from my own experiences as a resident in Teen Challenge at 15. And believe me, it was exceptionally harsh! But it was the only way to have prayer time before the day started. And, to quote the director, "You're free to get up earlier than that if you want to." But it was all girls, so we usually chose the sleep. ;)

  6. I love that the bookworm is in all the cover-pictures, too. So unique and fun! :)

    I totally agree with you about the romance. That's one of my favorite genres to read and this book had just the sweetest love story without going overboard (they are still in HS after all). Very well done.

  7. Thank you everyone who come to me blog and commented.

    Laura, yeah, the half hour thing gets to me and I bet it is a guy thing because it just seems that guys don't need that kinda time that girls do. :)

    Alyssa, nice work with the mission stuff. I guess when you have to do half hour get up stuff, it can be done but still not liked. I could never take a 3 minute shower. Good for you that you can do that stuff.

    Nicole, thanks for shareing about your time at Teen Challenge. That should put some perspective on the storyline. I would also like to sleep more than get up earlier and dress. :)

    Rachelle, thanks for liking Squirmy (I'm sure he likes doing the pictures to and getting more attention from me than my other TY's). The romance was very good and usually I like books that the romance is not the main thing. I like books with sword fights, danger, and death around every corner along with romance.

    Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you liked my review.

  8. The worm is so cute. I love that you use him in your reviews. :) Great review Rachel!

  9. This book sounds like an excellent read! I love that Nicole O'Dell isn't afraid to write about the tougher topics...especially for teens.