Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O'Dell

Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield dreams of a land far, far away. . .
          A land far away from her stepfather’s abuse and torment.
          A land far away from her mother’s blind eye.
          A land far away from the haunting memories of her past.
          But then reality sets in, and Olivia knows she must make the best of her dire situation—at least until her high-school graduation. But when poor choices lead Olivia to the brink of a complete breakdown and she finds herself dealing with the unexpected death of her best friend, she comes to a crossroads. Will Olivia find the path to ultimate hope and healing that her heart longs for? Or will the demons from her past prove too much to bear?

My Review:

I had a lot of things to do (as usual) when The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O'Dell arrived at my doorstep. I figured it couldn't hurt to crack it open and read a page or two. I was sucked right into the story. What initially looked like a thick book that I didn't have time for yet ended up being a fast, enjoyable read. It was hard to put down!

I really felt bad for Olivia Mansfield. From the outside, she looks like a spoiled rich teen girl who is great at playing the oboe and can't get over the loss of her dad. But she has secretly been suffering because of her evil stepfather while her mom goes about shopping...oblivious to her daughter's real needs. Olivia is trapped. To relieve the pressure of her situation, she begins making bad choices which lead to awful consequences. Eventually, Olivia ends up at Diamond Estates which is a loving Christian place for girls who want to turn their lives around.

Olivia's older brother and counselor at Diamond Estates are both deaf and I love how sign language is integrated into the book. I also like the three girls who are Olivia's roommates. They each have their own unique personality and background.

Will Olivia find God? Or will she go on feeling unloved?

Read The Wishing Pearl to find out! You can view the trailer here.

~I received this book free of charge from Barbour Publishing via Team Novel Teen in exchange for my honest review.

My Life with a Mission • ADD LibrarianAudacious ReaderThe Book Fae • Book Nook 4 You • Bookworm Reading • ColorimetryGillian Adams • Jill WilliamsonKatie McCurdy • The Librarian’s Bookshelf • The Pen and ParchmentRachelle ReaTerri HarrVirtuous Girlhood

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.


  1. Thanks, Alyssa! I'm so glad you loved it! :)

  2. Yes, I wasn't expecting to be sucked in as much as I was. I was also reading a fantasy book at the time for review... I think it's the first time in my life that a modern book has won out over a fantasy novel in my reading priorities! :)

  3. Don't enter me in the drawing please.
    I really enjoyed the book too. I felt for the characters and loved the signing because I know some myself. Great review and keep up the good work.

  4. Alyssa, I loved the sign language too! Great review!

  5. That's so cool that sign language is integrated into the book! I'm taking a sign language course right now and I love it.

    Great review! :-)

  6. WOW! lol Won out over fantasy on a Novel Teen tour? I know that says a lot, Gillian. ;)

    Thanks again!

  7. I loved the sign language, too, Alyssa, and Jill! And the way I could "hear" the song "The Voice of Truth" and "It is Well." Such beautiful descriptions!

  8. Great review Alyssa! This book was one of my favorites that I have reviewed so far.

  9. Hi Alyssa, new follower here. Nice to meet you ;)
    Great review.
    And thanks for the info on Team Novel Teen. Sounds like a great resource.