Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Publication Date: February 9, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Romance
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
In this stunningly creative debut, Nicole Castroman reimagines the origins of history’s most infamous pirate—Blackbeard—and tells the story of the girl who captured his heart and then broke it, setting him on a path to destruction.
When Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, returns home from a year at sea, he finds his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, all Teach wants is to return to the vast ocean he calls home. There’s just one problem: he must convince his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following the death of her parents, Anne Barrett is left penniless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne takes a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks and Anne longs to escape the confines of her now mundane life. How will she ever achieve her dream of sailing to Curaçao—her mother’s birthplace—when she’s trapped in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn together by a shared desire for freedom, but kept apart by Teach’s father, their love is as passionate as it is forbidden. Faced with an impossible choice, Teach and Anne must decide whether to chase their dreams and leave England forever—or follow their hearts and stay together.
When I realized I started reading Blackhearts after watching Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, I smiled. What an interesting coincidence.
I love that Nicole started the story with an awkward meet-cute of some sort. I was surprised to find out that Teach was the sailor, and his first meeting with Anne had sealed my ship (pun intended) and set it to sail. ❤
Anne’s background fascinated me, and her shared love for books (with Teach!!!) made her more of a developed character even in the beginning of the novel. The two both crave freedom, but an aristocratic society hinders them from living their dreams.
There is more to Anne’s identity than meets the eye – and her identity plays an important role in this story. It will turn things around and shake them up.
As heat builds up between Anne and Teach, surprises await them at every corner. Unexpected events occurred and there were questions that demanded answers.
The last chapters were intense, and I just have to say that there has to be a sequel. It couldn’t end there.
Blackhearts made me think about the stories of the villains, and I’ve realized, every villain has a story to be told. Think of Maleficent, and everyone else branded as one of the bad guys.
Blackhearts is a story of dreams, and how far one can go to make them come true. Because sometimes, you have to lose everything you have to get everything you want.
Initial Rating: 4.375/5
Final Rating: 4.63/5
An ocean of possibilities is out there. Be brave.