Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Buy the book: Amazon
Summary from Amazon:
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 17 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 an elite boarding school, she doesn't hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn't straightforward.
I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.
Through the friendships she forms at school - especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive - she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother's failures, which direction will Pearl choose?
I have never rooted for the main character of a book to come out on top more than I did with Pearl. Within the first few pages, I knew I was going to like this book, but I knew I would love the main character more. I felt so bad for her, but I also understood why she did the things she did and why she made the decisions she was making. I felt everything that Pearl felt, and my heart ached with every let down she encountered and every single ounce of pain she felt.
I knew immediately that my highlighter would never leave my hands throughout the book either. I highlighted so many quotes and made so many notes I don't even think anyone else could read the book without getting sidetracked now. I just felt like so many parts of the book were so good that I absolutely had to highlight them out of fear for not remembering.
The writing was amazing. It flowed smoothly and the prose was beautiful. My favorite quote out of the whole book was: "The only enemy you have is yourself. Stay there, with her, until you're not enemies anymore."
This would probably be the only book I've ever read that I will read over and over again. It was that good.