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  • Unusual journey to find freedom and happiness

    I absolutely got pulled into this unusual story about a girl trapped because her body produces actual pearls. Her mother whilst not deliberately cruel certainly has issues and Amelia is desperate for a different life. She finally manages to get away and travels to Portland where initially her life is far from pleasant . However Amelia has a plan to sell her pearls and fund her new life but when she tries to get a buyer she meets Peter who changes her life. I enjoyed reading Amelias perspective and she certainly goes on a journey to find freedom and happiness. She's perhaps too trusting at times and certainly naive but I could empathise with her as her life up to now had been in many ways lonely. As much as things seemed to improve for her I did keep waiting for the other shoe to drop as they say. It certainly did but not in the way I had imagined which was certainly a shock. If I'm picky I thought the end was rushed and I would have preferred the last few chapters to have been longer and more detailed because everything just seemed very quick but I did enjoy this story and thought the cover art was lovely. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

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  • Strange, creative, and twisted, but good.

    'Constellations of Scars' by Melissa Eskue Ousley had such an unusual premise, I just couldn't pass it up. The story follows Amelia, a girl in her early twenties with one incredibly unique attribute. Her body grows pearls. Every month, a crop of valuable pearls breaks through the skin along her back. Her mother considers it a blessing, but to Amelia it's the opposite. It's painful and humiliating. Each harvest offers a brief respite from the agony of the crop, but the scars left behind are almost as embarrassing as the cause. Kept hidden, home-schooled, and even locked away at times in the attic to 'keep her safe,' Amelia just dreams of freedom. Having been told since the pearls began growing that if anyone finds out about her gift, she'll be held captive out of greed, she soon realizes she's already in that situation at home. This is such a strange little story and I mean that in the nicest way. Amelia is not a weak girl, she really suffers with the crops of pearls and she has been through an awful experience with her mother. She's been isolated and controlled for almost half her life, stripped of any semblance of privacy, berated and abused. Determined to achieve a better existence for herself, she sets goals and pushes hard toward them. She doesn't give up at the first sign of difficulty. Amelia is probably one of the strongest female protagonists I've ever read, without becoming overbearing or being turned into a tough stereotype. She shows moments of vulnerability, but perseveres.. even in the worst of moments. Along the way, she finds a new family.. a group of human oddities that help run a museum on the coast. While she discovers what it's like to be on her own, experiences a lot of firsts, and even begins to form deep, long-lasting relationships.. not everything is sunny in the beachside town. There are dangers lurking that she isn't equipped to recognize. While I did see part of the twist coming, it still went a completely different direction than I expected and I really enjoyed that. The supporting cast is a bit stereotyped, but they were lovely characters.. especially Gabriel. If you're looking for something a bit strange, this one is a quick read. There is quite a bit of darkness here, but that just added to the atmosphere. It's not complex storytelling, but I think you'll find it's so intriguing that you won't mind. (I received this title as an ARC. All opinions are mine and freely given.)

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