A blog for young adult book lovers

Save the Pearls Part One: Revealing Eden by Victoria Foyt

Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls, #1)
Synopsis from Goodreads: Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson.

Number of pages: 307
My review: I was not paid to write or say anything in this review. These are my own personal opinions.
Okay. So prior to starting this book I did some casual research on it and realized there was a lot of controversy surrounding certain aspects in the novel. And I'd like to address those first before I move into how I feel about the controversy and the novel itself.
As the synopsis states, the main character Eden, is a Pearl. In this dystopian world pearls are the Caucasians, and the lowest class, while coals, or African Americans and those with darker skin tones are the ruling class. The reason for this is that global warming has caused an overheated environment on earth which is not safe for those with low melanin levels (those with lighter skin). They have developed skin cancer, or "The Heat", and have died off in numerous numbers. Those with darker skin tones have managed to survive due to their high melanin levels.

Okay, so many people feel that the terms used to describe the different races is extremely offensive. But Victoria Foyt clearly states on the savethepearls.com website... "Why are whites called Pearls, while blacks are called Coals? Imagine a gritty, post-apocalyptic world where all that matters is survival. What good will a pearl do you when luxury items have no use? Coal has energy, fire, and real value. It is durable and strong, not easily crushed like a pearl. Pearl is a pejorative term here. Coals are admired. Coals oppress Pearls because they fear that those with light skin will add to a population unable to survive “The Heat,” and drain meager resources." 

The terms are not being used in anyway to mock either race or to promote "black face," another topic that has to be discussed. Eden, and other light skinned people in this dystopian world color their faces and entire bodies with a dark coating in order to protect themselves from the sun. They are doing it for protection, again, not to poke fun at the other races or to mock them.
Going through all the reviews on Goodreads it became clear to me that most people had either never read the book, or had never finished it. Honestly the only time these two "issues" are thrown in your face are in the first 50 or so pages. Then, other events occur and Eden learns to adapt and recognize her true inner and outer beauty. 
Personally, I believe the novel does an excellent job of tackling racism. Racism, is an extremely hard topic to cover without someone somewhere becoming upset over it. I mean if you think about it, the series Noughts and Crossses by Malorie Blackman discusses the same ideals, but just in a different setting. 

Also, apparently a lot of people are extremely offended by the cover. Which, just by looking at, and not actually reading the book, makes you seem judgmental too. It's no different than looking at someone and making assumptions about them right? Right!? Plus, if you don't like the issues discussed, or can't handle them in this particular setting, ignore it. Don't read the book. It's really that simple. You have to remember this is not taking place in today's world. These are dire circumstances presented in a dystopian world. 

Anyways, I personally liked the book a lot, and I appreciated how the racism, and struggles were overcome by Eden in this dystopian world. Maybe she's a little stuck up or so in the beginning but she grows and she learns. That's the most important part, she learns that by embracing her true self she has become beautiful inside and out and others see that too. And the romance was pretty awesome too. This novel was packed with adventure and romance so if you're into that kind of thing check it out. 

I am looking forward to  the next novel, and can't wait to see what issues Eden and Bramford will get into next. I proudly rate this with 5 stars.
See you soon!
P.S. Thank you to the Victoria Foyt for sending me the book and autographing it for me!
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Top Ten Tuesday #20

Check out all the info here at The Broke and The Bookish's website!
May 28: Top Ten Tuesday Freebie! 
I decided to Top Ten Books I want to read this summer
1. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
2. The Stand by Stephen King
3. Matched trilogy by Ally Condie
4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
5. Finish the Percy Jackson series
6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusack
7. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
8. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
9. Finish the Marked series by P.C. and Kristen Cast
10. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James 

What's on your list? Let me know in the comments!
See you soon!

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Ashes by Kathryn Lasky

AshesSynopsis from Goodreads: Thirteen-year-old Gabriella Schramm's favorite pastime is reading. With Adolf Hitler slowly but unstoppably rising to power, Gaby turns to her books for comfort while the world around her changes dramatically: The streets become filled with soldiers, Gaby's sister's boyfriend raises his arm in a heil Hitler salute, and the Schramms' family friend Albert Einstein flees the country. When Gaby's beloved books come under attack, she fears she may have to leave behind the fiction - and the life - she has always cherished.

Number of pages: 318
My review: What an incredible novel. Reading about the Holocaust and the time period of World War II and historical fiction really interests me so this book was perfect and fit all three categories. 
Even though Gaby and her family are fictional characters they fit real enough that I could imagine a different child in Germany during this time period to go through the same conflicting thoughts and emotions. Gaby wishes to have a happy and perfect life with her family, but with Hitler rising to power this is soon becoming impossible. At just 13, she quickly understands that things are changing in the world that are history in the making and she tries to soak in as much information as possible.
For example, when the adults in her life discuss affairs in which they believe are too young for her to hear, she eavesdrops on them and then builds conclusions on her own. Gaby is an incredibly smart character and I love how she is able to still think for herself in this time of brainwashing and corruption. Her family is not Jewish, but they still hate the Nazis who infiltrate their town and impose rules and laws upon people which they feel are wrong and unjust. 
I've actually never read a book set during the time of Hitler's rise to power from the perspective of a non-Jewish girl. It was a very interesting perspective. You can clearly tell the author took a lot of time researching the time period, the events that took place, and the general history during this time. 
I also liked how the author implemented a lot of important events that lead to Hitler's rise as chancellor, such as the Hitler Youth (which I have a personal connection to, since my own grandfather escaped Germany to avoid being put into the Hitler Youth) and the banning of Jews from establishments, the political side of Hitler's rise, and book burning's. 
The book ended with some book burning's and it made me think about the symbolic book burning's that still occur today. Many people agree that this is a dark time in history for literature, but if you think about it, this still happens today! I mean, we have a whole week in the year dedicated to banned books. Isn't that the same thing? It's really disgusting how stuff like this still happens. 
And within the novel Gaby feels deeply affected by these burning's because she often turned to the fictional worlds to avoid the harsh realities of her world falling apart around her. There is one particular quote in the book I thoroughly enjoyed; Gaby is at a book burning fire in Opernplatz, and her sister's (Ulla) boyfriend (Karl) has just "rescued" a book that Gaby's father had written. Gaby becomes angry because Karl had to do this in secret and only did it to be seen as a good person in Ulla's eyes, when in reality Karl has burned countless other books, making him a hypocrite. Gaby yells at Karl and Ulla exclaims that Gaby should keep quiet so no one else hears her proclamations and Gaby retorts with: "I'll say whatever I want. I'm not a book. You can't burn me!" (pg 304)
Truly, a wonderful act of defiance. And such a wonderful quote. Definitely going down as one of my favorites ever. Makes you wish that more people would stick up for themselves like this. 
See you soon!

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Stacking the Shelves #13


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews. Stacking the Shelves is a way to show off what books you have received throughout the week (whether they be for review, from the library, etc.)

This week: May 19th-May 26th
So I haven't posted one of these in a while because I've been so busy with school ending, so some of these books I got in past weeks. 

Received from paperbackswap.com:
Fruits Basket 2 and 3 by Natsuki Takaya

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Gossip Girl the Carlyles: Love the One You're With by Cecily von Ziegesar

I Will Always Love You by Cecily von Ziegesar

Received for review:
Saving the Pearls Part One: Revealing Eden and Saving the Pearls Part Two: Adapting Eden by Victoria Foyt (Found a lot of controversary over these books so I can't wait to read them and see what's up for myself. She did autograph them for me though which was super nice!)
Adapting Eden (Save The Pearls, #2)

That's all for now! Leave a comment below and I'll come check out what you got this week!
See you soon!

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Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

PromSynopsis from Goodreads: Philadelphia high school who doesn’t care about the prom. It’s pretty much the only good thing that happens there, and everyone plans to make the most of it—especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee and has prom stars in her eyes. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money and Ash finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance. But she has plenty of help—from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from the principal, from her fellow classmates. And in making the prom happen, Ash learns some surprising things about making her life happen, too.

Number of pages: 215
My review: Before I started reading this and before I had read the summary I thought it was going to be a super girly book about prom night and everything leading up to prom and how everything would be just perfect in this perfect little world. Boy, was I wrong. And I'm glad I was wrong. The story was so much better as imperfect because it made you root for the characters more and you could understand the struggles they were going through.
Ashley goes to a not-so-typical high school, where metal detectors and fights are prevalent. The high school is pretty much in a bad part of town, and the students are sort of underachievers. Personally, I could connect to this since there are schools like this in the city I live in (not my school specifically since my high school is pretty high-achieving, but I've been on the other school's campuses).
Anyways, one day a math teacher steals the prom comittees money and Ashley's best friend Nat, the head of the prom committee, ropes Ashley into helping her plan a new prom on a limited budget. The next half of the book shows the trials and tribulations the prom committee goes through in order to get a prom for their fellow students.
Problems keep arising in the form of, first of all, Ashley does not even want to go to prom, let alone plan it. Also, Ashley has so many detentions that if she does not serve them out in a timely manner she will not graduate, and the prom planning causes her to skip a lot of these detentions, and she becomes a target for the vice principal who is always gunning for her, and finding other excuses to give Ashley detention.
Ashley also has a older boyfriend who is a pretty big jerk. He constantly berates her, doesn't call her, he participates in suspiscious activities, and he often tries to get her to have sex with him. I hated him from the very beginning of the book and kept thinking to myself "Just dump him!"
We meet a slew of other characters from Ashley's and Nat's families who are all hilarious. They add so much more character to the book and I always looked forward to reading about interactions between Ashley and these family members.
This book was one half very cute, and the other half, very realistic. I could actually imagine all of this stuff happening. Ashley was a very real and down to earth character, who enthralled me with her simple and blunt narration. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and let's just say that I'm glad that what happened with their prom, did not happen to my prom.
See you soon!

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Top Ten Tuesday #19

Check out all the info here at The Broke and The Bookish's website!
May 21: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers of Books I've Read

(These are not my all time favorite books, just covers that I love of books I've read.)
1. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (specifically THAT cover)
3. Shiver by Maggie Steifvater (The UK edition)
4. Unremembered by Jessica Brody
5. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
6. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
7. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
8. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
9. The Doll People by Ann M. Martin
10. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

What's on your list? Leave a comment below and I'll come check it out!
See you soon!

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Book Blogger Confessions #6

Here's what it's all about: "Started in January 2012, by Karen - For What It's Worth & Tiger - Tiger's All Consuming Media & now co-hosted with my good friend Pam from Midnyte reader, Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about blogging/bookish topics. Feel free to share, vent and offer solutions.

Just keep it respectful - no bashing authors or other bloggers!"

May 20th Topic: Have you added or considered adding additional reviewers to your blog? Why or why not? If you have, please share how you found the right match when bringing new people to your established blog. Did you encounter any problems?

I have not added other reviewers to my blog! It's just me, myself, and I here at The Paige-Turner. 
Have I ever considered adding reviewers to my blog? Sometimes I wish there were other reviewers just because I find that towards the end of the semesters in high school I get extremely busy (finals, last minute projects, etc.) and I wish someone could be here to kind of keep it going while I'm gone. 
But then again, when I do have time to blog I realize that I don't think I would want anyone else helping me. I created my blog and it's my baby. I don't want other people to come in and mess it up you know? It's like if someone came in your house and put their dirty shoes on your nice clean carpet. 
Plus, I feel like I have my own certain voice, and that would change if I added someone else. 
I'm not condoning blogs which have two or more reviewers because I often read those blogs, but for me personally I just couldn't do it.

Yes! Please share everyone of how you found the right people and brought them into your blog! I'd love to hear about that! Did you encounter problems?

As always leave comments below and let me know what you think! (For some reason in this format that I have my blog in I can't respond to people's comments, so just know that I love all your comments!)
See you soon!

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