After an eternal pause, Mom cleared her throat, “Oliva, I had wanted to talk to you about going somewhere, just the two of us today-” Her voice sounded stern. Her hands frozen on the half peeled banana, Olive tried to smile. “That s-sounds nice.” She still didn’t look at Mom. “-But I can clearly see that last night was a repeat of a few weeks ago. In fact, you’re still drunk, aren’t you? You’re slurring and stumbling. You reek to high heaven of who knows what.” Mom cleared her throat. “You leave me with no choice.” Oliva put down the fruit. That didn’t sound good.
Book: The Wishing Pearl (Diamond Estates) by Nicole O’Dell, Barbour Publishing, 2011
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 15-19
Subjects: Alcohol, drugs, death, family relationships, sexual abuse, salvation
Summary: Locking her door doesn’t work. He takes removes it from the hinges and takes it away entirely. Telling the police certainly wouldn’t work. No one knows better than he does how to fool people. They’d definitely believe him over her. No, the only answer is escape. So escape is what Oliva does. Escape to parties. She learns to drink and smoke pot. This plan works great, even after the police catch them once. It’s not until someone suffers the extreme consequences of their choices that Oliva commits to Diamond Estates, a place of healing for teen girls. If Oliva will open up and let them in, she could find healing herself. But does her past have too strong of a hold on her to do so?
Notes: This is the first book in the Diamond Estates series, a series about a kind of rehab and healing center for teen girls. Each book takes a young girl with a serious problem and shows how only through finding Jesus and getting support and making changes in their life, can they find the healing they so desperately need. In this one, a girl has dealt with a stepfather sexually abusing her from the time she was twelve. She’s turned to alcohol and drugs and partying as an escape. When a friend is killed due to these choices she agrees to go to Diamond Estates, partly just to escape her stepfather but partly ready to seek healing. It’s a very realistic portrayal of how tough it truly is for a girl in this situation. They aren’t automatically cured as soon as they show up. They still battle addictions and relationships. Even after becoming a Christian, they still struggle. It shows not only the main character, but the side character’s struggles as well. It’s a good series for someone who needs to see a realistic portrayal of the struggles a teen girl faces and where hope can come from.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Psalm 42:11 –Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.