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The Existence of Bea Pearl

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Sixteen-year-old Bea Pearl knows her brother isn’t dead. Even if her parents don’t agree. Even if the entire town doesn’t believe her. She knows it’s true. When orders came to evacuate Lake George due to rising floodwaters, Bea Pearl saw Jim head toward the river. She followed him. Only she returned. When her parents have Jim declared legally dead, Bea Pearl decides it’s u Sixteen-year-old Bea Pearl knows her brother isn’t dead. Even if her parents don’t agree. Even if the entire town doesn’t believe her. She knows it’s true. When orders came to evacuate Lake George due to rising floodwaters, Bea Pearl saw Jim head toward the river. She followed him. Only she returned. When her parents have Jim declared legally dead, Bea Pearl decides it’s up to her to figure out where her brother could be if he is alive, and so begins to unravel the mystery of his disappearance. But it seems like someone else wants to know what he was hiding when his bedroom is ransacked. More clues come together: a scrap of paper, mysterious numbers that may lead to swamp monkeys, Jim’s shoes turning up in unexpected places. Bea Pearl can’t figure out what connects them all until she’s stolen from her bed in the dead of night. Bea Pearl’s insistence that Jim’s alive and her quest to figure out why he went down to a flooding river in the first place takes a toll on her shattering family. But she must unearth the truth surrounding her presumed dead brother. Otherwise, the rumors are true and she has killed him. Because if Jim can stop existing, could she too?


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Sixteen-year-old Bea Pearl knows her brother isn’t dead. Even if her parents don’t agree. Even if the entire town doesn’t believe her. She knows it’s true. When orders came to evacuate Lake George due to rising floodwaters, Bea Pearl saw Jim head toward the river. She followed him. Only she returned. When her parents have Jim declared legally dead, Bea Pearl decides it’s u Sixteen-year-old Bea Pearl knows her brother isn’t dead. Even if her parents don’t agree. Even if the entire town doesn’t believe her. She knows it’s true. When orders came to evacuate Lake George due to rising floodwaters, Bea Pearl saw Jim head toward the river. She followed him. Only she returned. When her parents have Jim declared legally dead, Bea Pearl decides it’s up to her to figure out where her brother could be if he is alive, and so begins to unravel the mystery of his disappearance. But it seems like someone else wants to know what he was hiding when his bedroom is ransacked. More clues come together: a scrap of paper, mysterious numbers that may lead to swamp monkeys, Jim’s shoes turning up in unexpected places. Bea Pearl can’t figure out what connects them all until she’s stolen from her bed in the dead of night. Bea Pearl’s insistence that Jim’s alive and her quest to figure out why he went down to a flooding river in the first place takes a toll on her shattering family. But she must unearth the truth surrounding her presumed dead brother. Otherwise, the rumors are true and she has killed him. Because if Jim can stop existing, could she too?

30 review for The Existence of Bea Pearl

  1. 5 out of 5

    debbicat *made of stardust*

    "Limestone covered in Ferns, Spanish Moss hanging from Cypress Branches, Mullet jumping, Damselflies spreading Rainbows"~~~~The Beauty of a River. (quoted from a card the author sent me for winning a little Instagram contest called this or that). "I am indebted to the past of Lake Geneva and the stories told to me by other generations. To Michael McDowell's Blackwater Saga (and Lake Pinchona) that first showed me how to wrap the familiar into atmospheric stories" ~From the author under Acknowledg "Limestone covered in Ferns, Spanish Moss hanging from Cypress Branches, Mullet jumping, Damselflies spreading Rainbows"~~~~The Beauty of a River. (quoted from a card the author sent me for winning a little Instagram contest called this or that). "I am indebted to the past of Lake Geneva and the stories told to me by other generations. To Michael McDowell's Blackwater Saga (and Lake Pinchona) that first showed me how to wrap the familiar into atmospheric stories" ~From the author under Acknowledgements I loved this book! No, I mean...I really loved it! I came across this local author thru a Facebook book club I am in. I read a few of her short stories in some of the Mobile Writer's Guild Anthologies. I mostly knew I would love anything she was putting her hand to when she co-led a discussion we had in our book club for Michael McDowell's, The Elementals last summer/fall. (August 2020). She brought so much background to the setting and about McDowell himself. We also couldn't help but discuss Blackwater in our week-long group read. I was blown away by her enthusiasm and knowledge of the author and the place Blackwater was set in. She "brought it!" and I was amazed! I was so excited when I began to see her post about writing this book about sweet Bea Pearl. When I saw it was going to be offered on NetGalley I requested it immediately. I was not disappointed. Candice will be a go-to author from here on out. This is a coming-of-age novel set amidst the rivers and swamps about 3 hrs away from me. I loved young Bea Pearl so much. While I admit I enjoy beaches, sand, and waves, seashells and mermaids more than swamp life, I have to say I grew up spending summers off a river in Greene County, AL, and I have some of the best memories of floating down the river and swinging from a rope into the river. I broke my ankle doing that one summer. I think I was about 13. I let go too soon and hit the bank. Oh man, that hurt! But, anyway...I loved river life until I moved to the Gulf Coast and became a beach girl. I still love Spanish moss and damselflies! So..the story begins...hey have declared Bea's brother dead. They never found his body after he and Bea got swept off by a flood. Bea is miserable. Some would say it was her fault. Maybe even her own mother thinks that. Bea cannot give up hope her brother is still alive out there somewhere. She saw a boat pick him up and lift him out of the water. Half the town thinks she has lost it. Nothing seems like it will be normal for her again. A lot of shenanigans go down at the restaurant her father owns and people blame her. She meets a cute boy and we find out he knows a little bit, but is it enough? They share some summer kisses on the river (and of course you want them to). How is he involved tho? And then there are mean girls. Really mean girls who want to see Bea suffer and someone definitely thinks Bea might be on to something with her investigations and make attempts to stop her. Bea questions her own existence. She is falling in love too. The author said she loved reading Nancy Drew growing up and I did too. (and sometimes still do!) This is so much better! The author's note is one you will not want to miss. Bea's world is a world I feel I know very well and setting can make or break a book. I also grew up spending a lot of time out on some property my grandparents owned close to Tuscaloosa, AL, called Big Sandy. We often swam in that icy cold creek water, dark and full of little bugs and what other little creatures...who knows what. But we loved it! Conner shares, "The two rivers in Bea Pearl's world are modeled after real ones that flow down lower Alabama and reach the Gulf of Mexico near the Destin, FL and Fort Walton Beach area-the Choctawhatchee and one of its tributaries-the Pea River. Talakhatchee is the Muscogee name for the Pea River which translates to "pea green stream." The Chatothatchee is modeled after the Choctawhatchee. It's an incredibly biodiverse area (hence Colin's sturgeon storyline), and along with two other neighboring river basins, it makes up the highest level of biodiversity in the United States. The Choctawhatchee is named after the Choctaw Indians. But the Native Americans that lived in this region were the Chatots, though the name was spelled incorrectly on those early British maps. This story is my little way of correcting the clerical mistake and paying homage to the now extinct Chatot tribe." (author's Note). I really can't say enough about this book. It is most certainly my favorite read so far of 2021. Many thanks to the publisher, Oak Hollow Press, via NetGalley, and the author, Candice Marley Conner, for a digital copy to read for review. The pleasure has been all my own. Publishes June 14. $4.99 on kindle. It’s totally worth that price. Go read it! #swampwild

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm Extraordinaire

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ -- Mixed Bag This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the book overall. I loved Bea, Honey, and Colin. Loved the setting. However, I hated every adult in this book. Especially Bea's parents. There is one incident that takes place in the book that you find out Bea's mother was responsible for that just nailed the coffin shut for me. These people basically let the entire town think their daughter is crazy!? I also had an issue with the ending. It felt rushed, far-fetched, and honestly, ⭐⭐⭐⭐ -- Mixed Bag This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the book overall. I loved Bea, Honey, and Colin. Loved the setting. However, I hated every adult in this book. Especially Bea's parents. There is one incident that takes place in the book that you find out Bea's mother was responsible for that just nailed the coffin shut for me. These people basically let the entire town think their daughter is crazy!? I also had an issue with the ending. It felt rushed, far-fetched, and honestly, a little eye rolling. 🤷🏻‍♀️ **ARC Via NetGalley**

  3. 5 out of 5

    Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition

    BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR, so far! Candice Marley Conner tells a unique coming of age story abut a misunderstood teenage girl who is convinced her missing brother is alive, against all odds - and the local belief that he was caught up in the river and drowned during a storm. I especially enjoyed this book because it reminded me of one of my all time favorite family sagas, "Blackwater" by Michael McDowell, the way this author knew her way around a swamp and the creatures who lived there. The characters BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR, so far! Candice Marley Conner tells a unique coming of age story abut a misunderstood teenage girl who is convinced her missing brother is alive, against all odds - and the local belief that he was caught up in the river and drowned during a storm. I especially enjoyed this book because it reminded me of one of my all time favorite family sagas, "Blackwater" by Michael McDowell, the way this author knew her way around a swamp and the creatures who lived there. The characters were realistically fleshed out - the only one who remained an enigma was her mother. I think because it was Bea Pearl's narrative and they were both too caught up in their own grief and frustration to see each other's point of view. The story kept me engaged through all the interesting twists & turns and I absolutely loved the ending! Highly recommended as a suspenseful mystery for adults as well as teens.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eilish

    I loved everything about this book. It grips your from the very beginning and has you guessing through the whole story. So many twists and turns, and finally you think you’ve worked it out and then something changes or is discovered and has you back guessing again. I loved the characters how there all so real and relatable, and how your always second guessing whos good and who’s the villain in the story. I’ve never read a book as fast because I couldn’t stop wanting to know what happened next an I loved everything about this book. It grips your from the very beginning and has you guessing through the whole story. So many twists and turns, and finally you think you’ve worked it out and then something changes or is discovered and has you back guessing again. I loved the characters how there all so real and relatable, and how your always second guessing whos good and who’s the villain in the story. I’ve never read a book as fast because I couldn’t stop wanting to know what happened next and what Bea would discover about herself, her brother or someone else...it was amazing. It is truly a great book and the ending was not what I expected which was exactly what I hope for from a good book! I received this free for reviewing purposes, nevertheless this is a review of my true thoughts and feelings towards this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    4 Stars Many thanks to the author and NetGalley for advanced access to The Existence of Bea Pearl! This title releases June 15, 2021. 6 months ago, Bea Pearl followed her brother Jim to the flooding river during a storm. She and Jim were both caught up in the current and Bea was knocked unconscious, only to wake in the hospital and learn that her brother had not been found. But while the rest of the town and her family and friends have accepted that Jim is dead and try to move on, Bea is convinc 4 Stars Many thanks to the author and NetGalley for advanced access to The Existence of Bea Pearl! This title releases June 15, 2021. 6 months ago, Bea Pearl followed her brother Jim to the flooding river during a storm. She and Jim were both caught up in the current and Bea was knocked unconscious, only to wake in the hospital and learn that her brother had not been found. But while the rest of the town and her family and friends have accepted that Jim is dead and try to move on, Bea is convinced that her brother is still alive and is determined to figure out the mystery of what happened to him. It is rare that I come across an author that writes likes they are painting- that you can truly see each and every detail, and practically feel like you are right in the book with the characters- Candice Marley Conner absolutely has this talent. I live in the south, although not as deep in the south as Bea does, and greatly appreciated how beautifully the author painted the scenery, wildlife, and culture of the south. She made it seem truly magical. I greatly enjoyed this book, and in fact, had a lot of trouble putting it down. Again, the author's writing is truly beautiful and she really develops her characters very well. Bea's character really kept me guessing- in some ways, she is very much an unreliable narrator which really moves the plot along and has you second-guessing every aspect of the book. I found the plot to be fast-moving and entertaining, and it really brought out a lot of empathy in me for Bea and her family. My only critique is that I wish the ending had been more fleshed out and well-rounded. It seemed to come very suddenly and didn't provide some of the resolutions I wish it had. Lastly- how beautiful is that cover??

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Henley

    I saw a comment from the author that she grew up reading Nancy Drew and I could totally feel the Nancy Drew inspiration as I read - especially in the quick pacing of the story and the slightly unrealistic turn of events. Are some aspects of “The Existence of Bea Pearl” a little far-fetched? Maybe. But for me, that just added to the charm. Overall, the writing is great and the mystery kept me intrigued. It was a quick, enjoyable read that kept me guessing. I loved it. Thank you to Netgalley and t I saw a comment from the author that she grew up reading Nancy Drew and I could totally feel the Nancy Drew inspiration as I read - especially in the quick pacing of the story and the slightly unrealistic turn of events. Are some aspects of “The Existence of Bea Pearl” a little far-fetched? Maybe. But for me, that just added to the charm. Overall, the writing is great and the mystery kept me intrigued. It was a quick, enjoyable read that kept me guessing. I loved it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the digital arc.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    Author review here! :) I'm so thankful to the amazing ladies at Owl Hollow Press for believing in Bea Pearl's existence as much as I do. My favorite pastime growing up was reading Nancy Drew books by a swamp in the middle of the woods. I grew up on a fish farm that had been a recreational hotspot from the ‘30s to the ‘70s thanks to an artesian-fed pool, and heard stories from teachers and old men in front of the hardware store of how they met their love out there as teens. My family and I would f Author review here! :) I'm so thankful to the amazing ladies at Owl Hollow Press for believing in Bea Pearl's existence as much as I do. My favorite pastime growing up was reading Nancy Drew books by a swamp in the middle of the woods. I grew up on a fish farm that had been a recreational hotspot from the ‘30s to the ‘70s thanks to an artesian-fed pool, and heard stories from teachers and old men in front of the hardware store of how they met their love out there as teens. My family and I would find fossils in the limestone banks from when the whole area was under a primordial sea. We had alligators eating out of the dog’s food bowls, ‘possums in the cat’s food, crawfish in the swimming pool, and had to check our boots for tadpoles or snakes before putting them on. It was an amazing swamp-wild childhood with such history that I wanted to claim it somehow. Let the past and present exist together somewhere. Thus Bea Pearl was born. This story is my ode to girls who search out the truth no matter how society tells them to behave, and my love letter to the swamp and river that shaped me. As one of the most bio-diverse river systems in the U.S., I want people to see past the mud and decay to the natural beauty and know it’s something valuable to treasure. It's also about believing in yourself and those you love. About existence and what kind of life you choose. I hope you fall in love with Bea Pearl, and Honey, and the mysterious Chatothatchee River as much as I have.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this title. An absolute YES to “The Existence of Bea Pearl” - a fantastic YA story about hope, strength, and believing in yourself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    여리고

    Soooo you're telling me this is basically kind of similar to All The Bad Apples' plot? Hell, sign me up already! Soooo you're telling me this is basically kind of similar to All The Bad Apples' plot? Hell, sign me up already!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Hawkins

    "The Existence Of Bea Pearl" by Candice Marley Conner Sixteen year old Bea Pearl knows her brother Jim isn't dead. She doesn't care if no one else believes her. When her parents choose to declare him legally dead Bea sets out to prove to those around her that they've made a mistake. Her heart says he didn't drown when the orders came to evacuate the river but only she followed him to the river that day and only she returned. Bea's persistence and love for her brother will send her on a dangerous "The Existence Of Bea Pearl" by Candice Marley Conner Sixteen year old Bea Pearl knows her brother Jim isn't dead. She doesn't care if no one else believes her. When her parents choose to declare him legally dead Bea sets out to prove to those around her that they've made a mistake. Her heart says he didn't drown when the orders came to evacuate the river but only she followed him to the river that day and only she returned. Bea's persistence and love for her brother will send her on a dangerous quest full of clues and it's up to her to connect them to find out the truth. This read started off pretty slow and I hate to say it didn't really pick up. Towards the end I found the ending quite rushed and also pretty anti climatic. I didn't care for Bea's character and I also found her to be quite unreliable as a narrator. I often forgot that Bea was sixteen because of how she spoke which I found to be confusing at times as well. I really wanted to love this novel but unfortunately I just didn't. 2.5/3 🌟 #TheExistenceofBeaPearl #NetGalley

  11. 5 out of 5

    B.S. Casey

    Bea Pearl knows her brother didn't die in the flood - but apparently nobody else does. Not her parents, her friends, the entire town in fact. And while everybody else tries to recover when he's declared officially dead, Bea Pearl tries to figure out what really happened. She doesn't know why he went back to the reiver, she doesn't know why she couldn't save him and she doesn't know if she really saw that boat near Jim either - she doesn't know where to start. But then there's Colin ... who may o Bea Pearl knows her brother didn't die in the flood - but apparently nobody else does. Not her parents, her friends, the entire town in fact. And while everybody else tries to recover when he's declared officially dead, Bea Pearl tries to figure out what really happened. She doesn't know why he went back to the reiver, she doesn't know why she couldn't save him and she doesn't know if she really saw that boat near Jim either - she doesn't know where to start. But then there's Colin ... who may or may not be a Water Sprite, or a merman, or something equally suspicious - who always seems to appear whenever Bea is near water and he might just be who she needs to finally solve the mystery once and for all. The existence of Bea Pearl was a southern mystery about family and deception - about really existing and what it means. The story was brilliant but for me it felt quite rushed, especially when we reached the climax and it left me feeling deflated. Bea Pearl as a narrator I found unreliable, and her voice felt very child-like so I just couldn't relate to her enough to get fully engrossed in the story. However, this was still a great little mystery with a very unique charm to it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    megan (wingsandfables)

    If you're looking for a bit of mystery and thriller in one of your reads this summer, this book is it. With a backdrop of a small town set on a swampy river in lower Alabama, this book had the perfect uneasy atmosphere to fit its tone. The writing was so immersive and I really enjoyed the simpler, shorter chapters which made it a really quick read for me. And although the writing is on the simpler side, it has a great undertone of more meaningful questions that really hit deep inside you while r If you're looking for a bit of mystery and thriller in one of your reads this summer, this book is it. With a backdrop of a small town set on a swampy river in lower Alabama, this book had the perfect uneasy atmosphere to fit its tone. The writing was so immersive and I really enjoyed the simpler, shorter chapters which made it a really quick read for me. And although the writing is on the simpler side, it has a great undertone of more meaningful questions that really hit deep inside you while reading. The main character, Bea Pearl, made for a really intriguing narrator throughout the story. At times I had full confidence in her version of events and then there were times when I was uncertain if she was a reliable narrator since she even questioned herself. The story had a really interesting spin of most of the side characters essentially gaslighting Bea Pearl which added a really eerie touch along with the uncertainty of what was going on. My entire time reading, I was paranoid about who I could trust and which characters were telling the truth. I also liked how the book portrayed different versions of grief through Bea Pearl's parents and friends and the way it contrasted with Bea Pearl's refusal to believe her brother was dead. There's a lot of tension in the book which added another layer to the uncomfortable atmosphere of the story. Although I felt the ending was rushed, I did enjoy its conclusion. There were some questions I was left with and I felt like some loose ends weren't tied up adequately but it didn't really dim my enjoyment of the book. I did think Bea Pearl read a little young for 16 years old which kind of feeds into the Southern stereotype of being naive but I did enjoy the unusual romance that crept up during the book. Overall, I think the atmosphere really adds a special touch to this book. I was supremely entertained while reading and enjoyed its quick pacing. I also think the cover art fits so perfectly with the vibe of the book and I'm really happy I picked this book up. *I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!*

  13. 4 out of 5

    U Fatima

    A good mystery. The story follows sixteen year old Bea Pearl as she struggles to find her brother, Jim, who went missing during a flood. Everyone in her town including her parents think that Jim drowned and declared him legally dead. Bea Pearl is the only one who believes that Jim is still alive. Going against her parents and her town, she tries to solve the mystery behind her brother's disappearance. Will she be able to find her brother? Or, Is he really dead? Read to find out. This book is loade A good mystery. The story follows sixteen year old Bea Pearl as she struggles to find her brother, Jim, who went missing during a flood. Everyone in her town including her parents think that Jim drowned and declared him legally dead. Bea Pearl is the only one who believes that Jim is still alive. Going against her parents and her town, she tries to solve the mystery behind her brother's disappearance. Will she be able to find her brother? Or, Is he really dead? Read to find out. This book is loaded with fascinating details of forests, swamps, and lakes. The book cover rightly compliments the natural setting of the story. The setting gives the story a mystical feel and many times I felt that I am reading a fantasy. Coming to the characters, I like Colin the most. Unfortunately, I didn't like Bea especially in the beginning. She is whimsical and a bit childish. The quality I like about her is that she didn't give up and believed in herself. The beginning of the story is a bit slow but it picks up somewhere around chapter ten. After that the story became more interesting and I enjoyed the mystery part of it. But, the conclusion disappointed me. It's a bit unrealistic. Overall, it's an interesting and good mystery to read. I would recommend this to those who likes light and easy to read mystery. Thank you #netgalley and the publisher for the arc copy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bookish_mim

    I received a digital copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The story starts six months after the disappearance of Bea Pearl’s brother, Jim. For six months there hasn’t been any evidence Jim is still alive that’s why his family holds a funeral and declares him dead. Everyone but Bea Pearl thinks he’s dead. We follow her on her daily life after the funeral and her search for clues on Jim’s whereabouts. The start of the book is really slow paced. It took me about half th I received a digital copy of the book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The story starts six months after the disappearance of Bea Pearl’s brother, Jim. For six months there hasn’t been any evidence Jim is still alive that’s why his family holds a funeral and declares him dead. Everyone but Bea Pearl thinks he’s dead. We follow her on her daily life after the funeral and her search for clues on Jim’s whereabouts. The start of the book is really slow paced. It took me about half the book to get me into it. Sometimes it felt like nothing was happening even though something was indeed happening and we were discovering things related to Jim’s disappearance. It was hard to connect with the main character. Maybe it was the writing style? It just didn’t get me to interest me for what was happening in the story. To put it simply, I think this book just wasn’t for me. Even though I said that, I read the last third of the book in one sitting, I just couldn’t put it down.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Carmichael Bell

    As soon as I read the first page, I knew I was going to have to clear my schedule for the next few days! In the end it turned into an enthusiastic binge lasting around 36 hours, fueled by many pots of tea and a 6 hour snooze in between. Not only does Conner capture readers with the heady, swampy atmosphere that she clearly knows by heart, but also with the quirky and colorful characters that are well-developed as they are engaging. I was especially struck by certain sections of descriptive phrasi As soon as I read the first page, I knew I was going to have to clear my schedule for the next few days! In the end it turned into an enthusiastic binge lasting around 36 hours, fueled by many pots of tea and a 6 hour snooze in between. Not only does Conner capture readers with the heady, swampy atmosphere that she clearly knows by heart, but also with the quirky and colorful characters that are well-developed as they are engaging. I was especially struck by certain sections of descriptive phrasing that were so beautiful I found myself stopping to read over them several times simply out of appreciation. As a life-long fan of Nancy Drew, I was happy to see similar traits in this beautiful story, especially in the determined lead character who is willing to defy stereotypes and expectations to find the truth she is certain of. Full of heart, humor, atmosphere, and a nicely twisting mystery, The Existence of Bea Pearl definitely checks all of the must-have boxes for me!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    Bea Pearl is an interesting character - her ability to investigate and head strong personality, makes her a nice and likable protagonist. I like that the plot started straight away and the world building wasn’t too intense or too wordy. Every feature of the book meshed really well and Candace has a way of writing that is so beautiful, it is hard to not imagine the world whilst going through the plot. My image of the town was so dark, rainy and wet which fits the dreary topic and investigation. T Bea Pearl is an interesting character - her ability to investigate and head strong personality, makes her a nice and likable protagonist. I like that the plot started straight away and the world building wasn’t too intense or too wordy. Every feature of the book meshed really well and Candace has a way of writing that is so beautiful, it is hard to not imagine the world whilst going through the plot. My image of the town was so dark, rainy and wet which fits the dreary topic and investigation. This book made me think about how someone so close to us might be a stranger to us as well, no matter the proximity we have with people, we never really know them as well as we’d like to think. Overall, the pace and plot were executed excellently. I really enjoyed this book 💖

  17. 4 out of 5

    Colette Sewall

    For a thoroughly enjoyable swampy, atmospheric read, look no further than the Existence of Bea Pearl. The suspense at the core of the story kept me guessing until the end, and I loved the relationship between Bea, the determined teen, and the mysterious Colin, who always seems to appear out of nowhere. Brimming with delightful southern expressions, this breezy, yet suspenseful tale features a strong sibling tie and a teen who follows her beliefs no matter where they lead. The twists and turns alo For a thoroughly enjoyable swampy, atmospheric read, look no further than the Existence of Bea Pearl. The suspense at the core of the story kept me guessing until the end, and I loved the relationship between Bea, the determined teen, and the mysterious Colin, who always seems to appear out of nowhere. Brimming with delightful southern expressions, this breezy, yet suspenseful tale features a strong sibling tie and a teen who follows her beliefs no matter where they lead. The twists and turns along the way with episodes of possible gaslighting make for a great page-turning tale! Highly recommended!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kara Sofilka

    I received an eARC from @Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book! It wasn’t bad at all. It was predictable though. I enjoyed the setting, I thought the author did a great job placing us in that gulfy swamp bayou town. Even though it was predictable, I enjoyed the pacing. I couldn’t pinpoint a couple of plot points, which was nice. Bea was a developed character. Her pluckiness was admirable. Overall it felt like a Cajun Riverdale episode. Take I received an eARC from @Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book! It wasn’t bad at all. It was predictable though. I enjoyed the setting, I thought the author did a great job placing us in that gulfy swamp bayou town. Even though it was predictable, I enjoyed the pacing. I couldn’t pinpoint a couple of plot points, which was nice. Bea was a developed character. Her pluckiness was admirable. Overall it felt like a Cajun Riverdale episode. Take that as you will. (I don’t mean it in a negative way at all!!)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This had a good premise, with some interesting twists, but read at times like overwrought fan-fiction. The age of the main character was difficult to remember, as her thinking (“voice”) was often like that of an impaired 10 year old. Those inconsistencies and the rushed, ridiculous ending (local drug ring, including Sheriff, run by teenage girl?!) actually had me rolling my eyes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura Rueckert

    I was so caught up in this mystery I didn’t want to stop reading! The atmosphere was perfect, and I loved how the author showed how complicated family is—that it can both have so much love and also a lot of hurt and difficulties. I also loved how Bea Pearl worked so hard to believe in herself, even when no one else did.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Wibberley

    A beautifully crafted story, rich with sensory detail and evocative language. Complex, believable characters who engaged me from the first page. I will be waiting breathlessly for this wonderful author's next story. Brava. A beautifully crafted story, rich with sensory detail and evocative language. Complex, believable characters who engaged me from the first page. I will be waiting breathlessly for this wonderful author's next story. Brava.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Dalby

    Great atmospheric Southern Gothic YA mystery. If you enjoy coming-of-age, mysteries, outdoorsy/environmental, or Southern-set books, give this one a try.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amber Hamza

    I wonder if those two fireflies on the cover are intentionally there to look like eyes. I only noticed them after i started to fear that something supernatural might happen. I even went through the genres of the book and thankfully there was no horror in it so I continued reading trying to solved the clues. However, its never what you think so you start to suspect everyone and let Bea’s paranoia get to you. There was a time I even started to suspect her friend and parents. At times I got annoyed I wonder if those two fireflies on the cover are intentionally there to look like eyes. I only noticed them after i started to fear that something supernatural might happen. I even went through the genres of the book and thankfully there was no horror in it so I continued reading trying to solved the clues. However, its never what you think so you start to suspect everyone and let Bea’s paranoia get to you. There was a time I even started to suspect her friend and parents. At times I got annoyed when Bea instead of investing something that happened either forgot about it or thought it was her imagination. Other than that it was a quick read. I couldn’t put it down and raced to the end to see what happened to her brother Jim. I got a free arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Huntsville Bookworm

    Set in my home state of Alabama, Bea Pearl is a story about a girl who’s brother has been declared dead, but she believes is still alive. Thought the book, Bea Pearl is thought of as crazy and irrational due to this belief. But even with the town’s, and especially her parent’s, disapproval, she continues to search for him. The main character was very relatable to me because I have a younger sister, and I think my reaction to her “death” would be by b similar. This books has a little bit of every Set in my home state of Alabama, Bea Pearl is a story about a girl who’s brother has been declared dead, but she believes is still alive. Thought the book, Bea Pearl is thought of as crazy and irrational due to this belief. But even with the town’s, and especially her parent’s, disapproval, she continues to search for him. The main character was very relatable to me because I have a younger sister, and I think my reaction to her “death” would be by b similar. This books has a little bit of everything, from cute teenage romance, to swamp monkeys. Support a Alabama author and pick this book up on its release date tomorrow!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kassie Runyan

  26. 4 out of 5

    NNZ

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lira

  28. 4 out of 5

    Priya

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  30. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Chadha

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