Mind Like a Diamond

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
318 Pages
Reviewed on 02/06/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Mind Like a Diamond by Amanda Pavlov weaves a story of adventure that takes Lisette through the thirteen realms of hell in an attempt to win money. Lisette has never believed her mother's stories of growing up on a ship and her fantasies about magic and buried treasures. But when they're facing eviction, Lisette is willing to do whatever it takes to stay in their apartment. When a few neighbors tell her about a Halloween haunted house offering $10,000 to the one that makes it all the way through, she devises a plan. Convincing her best friend to go with her is the easy part. But escaping all thirteen realms of Hell will be harder than it sounds. She ignores her friend's dire warning and charges into a world of torment, chaos, and madness that could confirm her mother's stories were true.

The relationship between Lisette and her mother Ruelle is at the heart of the story and is a complicated dynamic with tension, conflict, love, and secrets. Amanda Pavlov has created in Lisette a truly flawed character that is independent, strong, brave, and real with a keen ability to push others away. The other significant relationship in Lisette's life is her best friend Xavier who expresses frustration over her secret-keeping while also serving as her largest means of support. The background of the story is New Orleans at two significantly chaotic times - Mardi Gras and Halloween - which fits the progression of bad luck that Lisette faces. The plot has the same level of complexity as the characters with mystery, adventure, and personal exploration, creating a poignant journey that takes Lisette literally into hell to face a series of torments, temptations, fear, and madness. The haunted house is fine-tuned with each realm featuring a different obstacle that she must overcome in a form of a nightmare Wonderland that pushes Lisette to use every ounce of her wits, bravery, kindness, strength, and perseverance. The mystery elements revolve around her mother's secrets and begin with the murder of Miss Opal, only growing more mysterious the further she falls into this world. Mind Like a Diamond is a journey through thirteen realms of hell with a well-crafted plot, honest characters, and the complex relationship between mother and daughter.