Blackhearts (Review)

Monday, February 8, 2016
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction
Page Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover (purchased)

About Blackhearts (via Goodreads):

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.
I honestly don't know where to begin. I mean, I was definitely anticipating Blackhearts, but I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with Teach and Anne's story. Blackhearts completely blew me out of the water, and hit me in the feels in so many ways. It filled my heart with so many emotions, from hope to happiness to shock to anger to heartbreak and everything in between. It was definitely a whirlwind of a story, and I loved every second of it.

Most of the secondary characters were horrible people. There was little to love about them, since they were quite pretentious and haughty, but they definitely provided amusement and left me making unintelligible noises from the pure shock of their actions. They definitely provided a great contrast to characters, and made me root for Anne and Teach so much more.

Anne was such a strong female character, despite all the horrible atrocities she seemed to face. Her snark and wit were so refreshing, and even though she made some mistakes, she was a respectable and intriguing character. I admired her determination and unwillingness to allow others to treat her badly based on her gender and ethnic background, and her drive to be free and happy. I also loved seeing Teach embrace change and fight back against his father and society's expectations of him. Towards the beginning, he was a bit annoying and cold, but he quickly became a passionate character who fought for himself and what he believed in.

When you put Anne and Teach together, sparks flew. At first their personalities clashed due to all they had in common (and their banter was hilarious), but they slowly became accustomed to each others' presence and their interactions were precious. It took a long time for their relationship to develop, but once it did, I was squealing in delight. They had their differences, naturally, but their chemistry was incredible nonetheless. Somehow they were still just so perfect together and I SHIP THEM SO HARD.

Now let's talk about the plot. There were a few times where the plot lulled, but I loved all the characters, the writing, and the overall story so much that I couldn't stop reading, even during those parts. I JUST NEEDED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. I WAS SO HOOKED ON THIS BOOK. (I mean, I did devour it in less than 24 hours, and if that doesn't prove anything, I don't know what will.)

All in all, I absolutely adored Blackhearts, and hope everyone will give Nicole Castroman's stunning debut a try. I have never been much of a historical fiction fan, but Teach and Anne's story enchanted me from beginning to end, and Blackhearts has definitely become one of my favorite books.


  1. I find it interesting that the secondary characters were all awful! At least it sounds like Anne was a strong, flawed, but awesome character! Also I love witty banter and pairs who have a ton of chemistry, and I have a feeling I am going to ship them too haha I am definitely checking this book out soon. :) Great post!


    1. Thanks, Gabi! And I suppose there were a few decent secondary characters, but the bad ones definitely overshadowed the good ones. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but you're right that it's interesting, since normally there are usually a few more good souls. You'll definitely have to let me know what you think when you read it!! :)

  2. Ah, I'm in between with this book. I was a little dissappointed by the fact there was no actual pirate-ness in this book! I totally expected SOME. And I actually felt the exact opposite about Anne. I always felt like she thought she was better than everyone and kind of treated people badly for no reason. >.< However, I enjoyed the story for the most part, even though I saw where it was going (except the end!)

    Great review :)

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    1. Thank you!!! I can definitely see where you're coming from about Anne now that I think about it, but I never really saw her that way when I was reading it. I guess we all have different opinions though!