The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle


The Book of PearlThe Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle

Publication Date: June 2, 2016 by Walker Books

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]

Goodreads Summary:

A compelling story of a first love that defines a lifetime; perfect for fans of David Levithan, told with the intricate and beautiful writing style of bestselling author Timothée de Fombelle.

Joshua Pearl is from a world that our own no longer believes in – a world of fairytale. He knows that his great love is waiting for him in that distant place, but he is trapped in our time. As his memories begin to fade, he discovers strange objects, tiny fragments of a story from a long time ago.

Can Joshua remember the past and believe in his own story before his love is lost for ever?


My thoughts:

I requested for this book because I liked the idea of story fragments paired with magic. The cover strongly suggests the involvement of fairies, and I love fairies!

It took some time before I understood what was happening, because the chapters were switching from third person to first person, from one time period to another. I think it would’ve been better if the time period was indicated on each chapter – it would’ve been easier to understand the timeline of events.

One thing that I wished to read more about was the romance between “Joshua” and his love. How did they fall in love? What made them desperate to be together again?

How did the little things add up? What do all the objects mean, aside from being the proof the characters needed? There were a lot of unanswered questions, especially with how the book ended.

The Maison Pearl

This is a marshmallow shop that played a big role in the story – the iconic wrapping paper of the shop marked important scenes. (I would love to visit a marshmallow shop someday – do you happen to know where I can find one?)

Fantasy x History

The timeline is mostly set during the World Wars – there were a lot of tidbits that I couldn’t process because I don’t really like history. I struggled a bit with that aspect of the book, but the fantasy part made up for it.

I enjoyed the twists that led to the final chapter of the book. Finding out why this character appeared in this scene disguised as someone else, learning the motives of the enemy, and reading how all of it made sense in the end was quite a good ride for me.

What do you believe in?

The key to immersing yourself in this book is imagination. With the narrator of the book, everything is possible. You’ll connect with the characters once you let yourself believe that what you’re reading is real.

The Book of Pearl is the fantasy book for historical fiction fans – it’s a story for those who believe that love is timeless, and it can wait a lifetime if it has to. This is for the hopeless romantic with a mind full of wonder.


Quotes I love:

I’d discovered that hidden behind the shock of first love was a bullet that shattered into a hundred pieces on impact, and it was called heartbreak. First love is a double-barrelled shotgun that doesn’t forgive.

This quote is by far, the most painful description of first love that I’ve ever read. This accurately paints a picture of first love gone wrong, of a heartbreak that scarred someone forever. </3

Happiness is a dance where each step brings you closer together or further apart, but you never lose sight of one another. You could even say that it’s made from the tears of separations, safe in the knowledge that there will always be reunions.

Beautiful, beautiful quote about happiness, isn’t it? It feels like it came from a heart longing to meet someone again, despite the circumstances that go against a love worth fighting for.


Initial Rating: 3.375/5

Bonuses: 0.125

Demerits: None


Final Rating: 3.5/5

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