Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Pearl Among Princes

A Pearl Among Princes
by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Welcome to the island where Princes learn to be charming...

Gracepearl Coal is the Cook's daughter on Miramore, the island all Princes visit for their summer program in the Charming Arts. Each year Princes-in-training arrive on gallant seacraft, guided by captain's trained to navigate the island's treacherous waters. Passage on one of these boats is the only way to leave the island - thus betrothal to a royal is the only way for Pearl to find her far-off destiny, the one that's started haunting her dreams. Luckily, this year's crop of Princes include some promising prospects, but how will Pearl leave behind her ailing father or - hardest of all - marry a boy other than her long-time beloved, Mackree...who now finds it too painful to even speak to her?

This was a charming book. I found Gracepearl to be a likeable character. She was nice, sweet, conscientious, but also balanced. Her love was true, even if it was confused. She never led on the boys she was considering and she took her friends feelings into consideration all the time.

The other main characters were all likeable as well. Some were gruff, some misunderstood, some shy, but all were true to themselves. This is a good book to give to a tween or less self-assured teen who needs a little dose of a "nice" book where the characters treat each other fairly well and remember who they are when all's said and done.

Parts of the plot were a little predictable, and it all seemed to work out very well at the end, but it is such a nice story that I was left smiling at the end anyway. I think there are a lot of readers who would have this same reaction. A good read!

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