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Customer Reviews for Barbour Publishing #1: The Wishing Pearl

Barbour Publishing #1: The Wishing Pearl

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield can't wait to escape the confines of her home, where she endures nothing but perpetual torment and abuse from her stepfather while her mother turns a blind eye. She dreams of being accepted into a prestigious music school far, far away . . . but until she graduates from high school, Olivia must make the best of her dire situation. When poor choices lead her to the brink of a complete breakdown and she finds herself dealing with the unexpected death of her best friend, Olivia comes to a crossroads. Will she find the path to ultimate hope and healing that her heart longs for? Or will the demons from Olivia's past prove too much to bear?
Average Customer Rating:
4.9 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(10 Reviews) 10
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10 out of 10100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Review 1 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Modern Day Book!

Date:March 5, 2012
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Alyssa Liljequist
Age:18-24
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!
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Review 2 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome Book, Every Girl Needs To Read It!

Date:February 21, 2012
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Virtuous Girlhood
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Nicole O’Dell’s newest book The Wishing Pearl. From the minute I started to read this book I knew that I was in for a treat.
Olivia Mansfield is a troubled teen. Her step-father is abusive and her family life is less then happy. So she turns to other things to fill the void. Until one day God get’s a hold of her attention.
Some might argue that Olivia’s choices are a bad influence, but I digress. The author doesn’t sugar coat the issues dealt with in the book, rather she shows teens the consequences and does a wonderful job of writing about the struggles that teens are facing.
I don’t cry in books. Ever. I did in this one. I honestly connected with Olivia so well. I didn’t want the book to end. I wanted to read the rest of her story. I felt like I was leaving behind a dear friend.
I loved The Wishing Pearl. It is one of my favorite books and I’ve already read it several times. Every teenager needs to read this book. It’s geared towards girls, but boys can learn a lesson too. I recommend this book for teens 15+ just because of the content, but I loved the story.
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Review 3 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Compelling

Date:December 5, 2011
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Gram
Location:Spokane, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The main character Olivia's living conditions require some choices and decisions be made. She is living in a girl's worst nightmare with regard to her step father's advances toward her and chooses to run headfirst into the "party scene" hoping to escape. Not having her mother's support, and having lost her father when she was young, she did not have good resource people for making good choices. At her worst point, in conflict with her mother, and having gone way further into the "dark" world than originally intended, her mother insisted she go to a rehab type of environment. It is there that she starts making good choices and eventually ends up totally turning her life around with God's help and the people at the center. This book shows what a huge difference our choices can make in the direction of our lives. It is an excellent book for teens to show them situations and options of choice they may have when facing similar situations. Great preparation for teens.
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Review 4 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This book sucked me in and didn’t let go

Date:December 3, 2011
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Jill Williamson
Location:Oregon
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Olivia Mansfield has everything a girl could want. She lives in a mansion, has a rich stepfather, a mother who spoils her, and a wonderful big brother. But it’s all a mirage. Her stepfather’s abuse, her mother’s indifference, and nightmares of her real father’s death make Olivia’s live something she wants to get away from.
So when her friend introduces Olivia to the party scene, Olivia is only too happy to indulge in this means of escape. But one too many parties and the death of her friend lead Olivia to a girls’ home called Diamond Estates, her last hope at getting her life on track before she loses it.
Talk about your coming of age novel! Wow. This book sucked me in and didn’t let go. And when it was done, I was sad. I wanted to keep reading about Olivia’s life, all the way until she was a grandmother. Alas, the book stopped WAY before then. Ah well, it was worth it. Olivia’s story and her journey to find herself enthralled me. I was rooting for the truth to be revealed every step of the way. This is a wonderful book for young girls. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!
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Review 5 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Powerful story about teen struggles

Date:November 21, 2011
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MaryAnn
Location:OR
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This first book in the Diamond Estates series is a winner, not just for the compelling story and the fine writing, but for the spiritual victory portrayed within its pages. Nicole O’Dell has a gift for creating real-life characters and situations that seem plucked right from today. I truly cared about each of the girls involved, especially the main character—troubled Olivia Mansfield. The author tells the tale through Olivia’s point of view, a wise choice since the reader becomes intimately involved in her experience.
I whizzed through the novel, but the story sticks with me. Although it’s a teen story, it appeals to women too. I think adult readers can better understand how teens become attracted and trapped in the web of alcohol, smoking, and drugs, and also how a place like Diamond Estates can help them break free and find a new way of life.
Olivia struggled with whether God is real and there for her, a common dilemma. She also had to deal with an abusive stepfather and a mother who seemed distant. I liked the way she related to her hearing-impaired brother and the incorporation of sign language in some of her dialogue. I think the relationships portrayed in the book offer positive models. Even the negative ones were eventually resolved. (I confess, though, I felt no compassion for her stepfather.)
I recommend The Wishing Pearl as a powerful read. It sounds trivial to say it’s enjoyable, but it is also thought-provoking and encouraging. I think it can literally help change lives.
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Review 6 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Stunning

Date:November 10, 2011
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shellie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Haunted by the memory of her father’s death and subject to her stepfather’s abuse, Olivia Mansfield turns to drugs and alcohol to numb her pain. When her addictions lead to a fatal accident, she turns to Diamond Estates for help. There she befriends a group of girls struggle with difficult pasts. Together, the foursome overcomes self-destructive behaviors, feelings of worthlessness, and even the center’s resident mean girl.
Nicole O’Dell treats each of the girl’s issues with discretion and wisdom. I don’t say this often, but I loved this book. It truly was hard to put it down. Well-written and heart-breaking, The Wishing Pearl will leave you changed.
I received this book free from the Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 7 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Real Gem

Date:November 10, 2011
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Connie
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Wishing Pearl, by Nicole O’Dell, is a story about a young girl, Olivia, whose life is slipping out of control. Reeling from the effects of abuse at the hands of her stepfather, she begins to make very bad choices … and those choices have consequences. She is referred to a home for girls where she meets many girls like herself, and begins to put things back in order.
This is not just a great story, it’s a great ministry. It comes from the heart of the author, Nicole O’Dell who really wants to speak to youth facing the difficult choices many teens face today. It is not only for the teen, who needs to be inspired to face peer pressure, but for those who grew up in “friendlier” households to understand the pain that can sometimes lead to the wrong choices.
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Review 8 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic New Series!!!!!

Date:October 25, 2011
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patti lacy
Location:Normal, Illinois
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Thanks to Nicole O'Dell, I've been able to share relevant books, and the gospel, with an eight-year-old neighbor. O'Dell's new Diamond Estates series reaches out and grabs 12-18-year-olds with engrossing, Good News stories, and I'm hallelujah-ing far and wide!
In "The Wishing Pearl," sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield spends her days playing the oboe during band class and searching for acceptance in the usual high school ways. By night, however, demons from the past...and present...stalk her and push her toward the security gates of her luxurious home that she shares with her shopaholic mom and the stepfather whose flippant smile masks sinister motives.
When Olivia succumbs to substance abuse and defiance of authority, a mentor suggests that she enter Diamond Estates, a home for girls nestled in the Rocky Mountains...and in the loving hands of caretakers who bathe the girls in prayer. Still, Oliva juts out her jaw and refuses...until an alcohol-induced stupor and death slithers into her life and forces a stand-off. Within a week, bags are packed, and Olivia's Colorado bound.
Such a restorative environment can't dim flaring tempers, jealousy, and ingrained dysfunction. Though Olivia longs to know the God that her counselors praise, a handsome boy, a hateful roommate, and that past keep sparking emotional forest fires. Can Olivia truly find healing and find a way to live a life supernaturally ordained?
Bravo to O'Dell, who tackles sexual and substance abuse without losing focus on a poignant story that will touch the heart of any aged reader! However, if you have a teenaged girl on your shopping list, get a copy of The Wishing Pearl in her hands. Now.
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Review 9 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

My Daughter Loved this Book

Date:October 20, 2011
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Cara Putman
Location:Indiana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I absolutely loved it, because Olivia Mansfield, the main character, is faced with a tough life. Her dad died in a car accident when she was seven. Olivia was in the car with him, and that's just the beginning of her troubles. She has an abusive stepfather (note: heavy content), starts going partying -- it would have been bad if her mom caught her, but it's even worse that her brother does -- and ends up in another car accident. She goes to Diamond Estate, similar to a Teen Challenge program but for girls only.
Olivia learns that she can't face everything on her own. She can't control life and has to turn everything over to God.
I kept reading because the book is filled with action and tough choices. It was fun to watch how she dealt with everything. She made some dumb choices, but it was fun all the same.
So if you're looking for a book that deals with the gritty details of life but shows you the way to hope, definitely give this book a try
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Review 10 for #1: The Wishing Pearl
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Debut of a Great New YA Series!

Date:October 5, 2011
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Valerie
Location:BC, Canada
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Olivia Mansfield’s brother has been protecting her, to some degree, from their abusive stepfather. With their mother blissfully in lalaland and her brother off to college, Olivia has no one but her new friends and her beloved oboe to divert her attention. Her new friends are leading her down the path of drinking and partying, but Olivia doesn’t much care. She can’t see any reason to change her life until the unthinkable happens.
Suddenly Olivia is face to face with the realities her choices have brought her, and she voluntarily checks into a Teen Challenge program at Diamond Estates in Colorado. But even though she desires to make a new beginning–most of the time–huge obstacles need to be overcome, not only for her, but for her mother.
If you’re a teen or know a teen, you need this book. The Wishing Pearl is a strongly written novel that will reach into teens’ lives and show them hope.
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