When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass.
Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love. Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.
But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends. Moonglass is a dazzling debut from an undeniable talent.
"I couldn't put this book down. Kirby's voice is fresh and wise, all at once. An incredible first novel." -- Sarah Dessen, New York Times bestselling author of Lock and Key.
Moonglass has been on my wishlist for a while now based on the cover and summary, so when I finally got my hands on a copy I was nothing short of ecstatic. Thankfully, while Moonglass did contain a few downsides, it still was a great debut filled with interesting, relatable main characters and beautiful scenery.
Anna’s life has not nearly been the same since her mother’s sudden death ten years ago. Her and her mother used to be the best of mother-daughter teams. They collected sea glass on the beach every day, and bonded over their love of the ocean. Now, ten years later, Anna’s dad is ready to pack-up and move on to the town where Anna’s mom and he fell in love. Scared to leave behind her memories, friends, and life behind, Ann reluctantly leaves only to meet with some unexpected surprises. From great friends, to a new love interest, to a chance to become an “official” runner, Anna is enjoying her new life. Slinking around the amazing things, however, is secrets and drama about her mother’s last day and life that Anna could never have imagined. Will Anna be able to survive once everything tumbles out, or will her life once again take an interesting and deathly turn? Only time and more pages will tell in this read of love, loss, and remembrance.
From the first page, I knew I would like Anna. Sweet, candid, and determined, Anna is someone you cannot help but root for and relate to for the majority of the story. What I loved most about her character, though, was the relationships she had with the other characters. The one with her mom was complicated beyond words, and Jessi Kirby presented it in a powerful way that nearly made me cry once or twice due to not only Anna’s memories but also her distress over her mother’s death. On the other hand, Anna’s relationship with her Dad always brought a smile to my face, because it was easy to see just how much they cared about the other. Anna’s ones with her new friends were my absolute favorite simply based on the secondary characters’ personalities and the different ways they changed Anna’s life for the better in small but important ways.
The plot in this moved in swift yet slow motions that always managed to carry this novel at a great pace. While the plot events were always a bit predictable, I still managed to be surprised once or twice, especially towards the end. Best of all, the scenery details in this are beautiful. I truly could always imagine a cozy and beautiful beach town, which makes this a perfect summer read based on setting alone, in my opinion.
However, there were a few things in Moonglass that it made it fall of the “amazing” scale a few points. For one, I felt that Anna’s romance with Tyler was lacking necessary development, and while the lack of development in this aspect lead for more development in other placed that I enjoyed, I feel Moonglass would have been even better with it. The other thing that brought down the “amazing” was the Sarah Dessen references. Because while there is nothing I love better than a Dessen-like story I always loathe when the novel does not live up it, as in effect it makes the story less perfect in my eyes so to say.
Even with that, Jessi Kirby’s Moonglass is an impressive debut that I still recommended highly. I simply cannot wait to see what Jessi has up her sleeve for her sophomore novel.
Moonglass is now out!
Source: Chelsy at Big Honcho Media/Simon and Schuster
Thanks to Simon and Schuster and Big Honcho Media, I always have TWO copies of Moonglass to giveaway. To enter, fill out the form below.
Official Contest Rules:
~ Must be 13 years or older
~ Must have a US mailing address
~ This giveaway will end on May 26, 2011!