Monday, February 15, 2016

Black Hearts by Nicole Castroman

e-ARC, 384 pages
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Edelweiss (A huge thank you to Edelweiss and the Publisher for allowing me access to this galley. All opinions are my own and their permission to receive this did not sway my opinion in any way.)
For fans of: Diversity, Romance, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Debut Authors 2016, YA

     Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
     Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
     Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?
     From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.


     When I heard this book  was a retelling about Blackbeard I grabbed it up. I think this is the best time to admit that I thought it was about BLUEBEARD and that's why I was most excited about it. (Because I mean the story of Bluebeard is CREEPY.) But by the time I figured out that was the wrong pirate, I was already too immersed into the story to care. And of course, it was SO GOOD. 
"I should never demand honesty if I'm not prepared to hear it."
     If you know me and my reading style, historical fiction isn't always at the top of my list. Already in 2016 I've read two which is the same amount I read in all of 2015. But the truth is, this one was really good. I think I liked it so much because it didn't really read like a historical fiction novel, but more like a contemp. And to make it even better, the issues in the book were some that I could definitely relate to in today's world. It was certainly something that I see happening today. Especially since one of the character's names was Patience. (Ten points if you know why this is important to me lol
"The closest she would come to freedom at the moment was when she slept, for there was no rules while dreaming."
     As for the characters, I did really like them. Teach was the swooniest pirate I've ever read about. Anyone with any other swoony pirates, please send them my way. Or, Castroman, JUST GIVE ME MORE TEACH. That works too lol As for Anne, I really liked how strong and independent she was. To make it better she was a diverse character as well and it was interesting to see some of the things she went through as a character of a biracial character. As far as the other characters, I loved how Castroman made them all feel so fleshed out. There was so much to learn about them but it didn't bog the story down and I liked that.
"I have no desire to make you do anything.. I was hoping you would choose for yourself."
     The only thing I didn't like about this was the plot. It didn't seem to really be moving, but at the same time I wasn't bored. I'm not sure how to explain it. It seemed like nothing was evolving except the characters and that was all. But then because of that, everything that happened at the end was so freaking explosive. It seemed to come out of nowhere and it was nothing that I was expecting. I'm really hoping that there's a sequel because I'm not sure I can handle seeing where this one left off! 
"A wise man is not the one who knows the difference between good and evil, but the one who chooses the least evil."
     Overall, this book was very surprising to me. It isn't something I usually like, so I applaud the author for letting me be more open minded to historical fiction. I can't wait to see what else she writes. Hopefully the next thing will be a sequel!
Overall, I give this


  1. Ooooh nice! So cannot wait to read this one! Sounds like a different read for me but I'm curious about pirates anyway! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great review!

  2. I love historical fiction... especially retellings..glad you enjoyed this one.Blackbeard is an interesting story to retell.