Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Pages: 384 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
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 Curaçao—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.
So, pirates? Dreaming girls and strapping young men? Um, yes please?
Okay. I really, really liked this book for what it was and for what it wasn't. By reading a few other reviews it seems like a lot of people were under the impression that this book was a pirate story, but it really wasn't. I absolutely get their disappointment because some swashbuckling would have been kind of cool.
There wasn't anything like that, though. But that was okay. I liked both Anne and Teach a lot. Anne had been dealt a tough hand, but she was strong and resilient. I love that our first impression of her is her standing up for herself against men who are trying to take advantage of her. Being a woman was hard enough, but Anne was the daughter of a slave and a merchant so she had it extra hard.
Anne's and Teach's first meeting makes me smile because it shows her toughness and his coyness right from the start. Fortunately, neither one of those things disappear on us. I really love how their relationship progresses slowly, almost innocently. Teach is persistent, but Anne is not so easily convinced by him.
While their friendship grows, things change and fall apart around them. Each of their lives is changed, sometimes for the better...but mostly not. Teach and Anne both are stuck under Drummond's thumb for the majority of the book and they each rebel in their own ways.
What I love so much about Teach is that he is so incredibly discerning when it comes to Anne, but sometimes blind to others. He knows what she's thinking and knows why she might do things, only with his friends he really doesn't seem to care enough about them to realize what's going on right in front of his eyes. Teach really does care about those closest to him, however. He wants what's best for them, especially Anne.
As the book started to wind down I was getting ready for the happily ever after and then was, of course, sideswiped with a twist! I guess we'll have to wait until 2017 to find out the rest!