Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Title: Moonglass
Author: Jessi Kirby
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: 2011

Moonglass is an example of an excellent stand-alone contemporary young adult novel. On the surface, it seems like another budding romance story about a teenager trying to find herself. What makes Moonglass special is the subtle and unexpected turns the story takes.

Anna's mother passed away when she was 7, and she and her dad have a comfortable but not very intimate relationship. I immediately envisoned her father as a lifeguard version of Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. The two move further south on the California coast when her father accepts a position managing a beach and a bunch of lifeguards. Their cottage sits directly on the beach, which sounds fabulous. Anna befriends the lifeguards, who her father pre-warned to stay away from his daughter. There's a little rebellious side to Anna, and it's nice to see this balanced with her rather responsible life. Anna learns this beach was where her father and mother first met, and more of the story of what happened to her mother unfolds as she questions the life her mother led there.

The story progresses over the last few days of summer into Anna's first sememster at her new high school. She makes an unlikely friend who could have been a one-note L.A. socialite, but turns out to demonstrate great friendship and dedication to Anna as she sorts through another stage of grief at losing her mother.

I loved how this story felt immediately engaging. I could easily envision the beach, the cottages and all the characters. It felt like a familiar story, but not at all cliche. Anna's reflection on losing her mother is moving without feeling overly heavy for the rest of the story. This is the author's debut novel - what an amazing job!

1 comment:

  1. Moonglass is truly a stunning book, with its atmospheric setting and poignant storytelling. It pulls the reader into its pages and drops them right on the sand with Anna, fumbling for purchase in a new town, on a new beach, with no friends and the weight of the memories of a mother she never really got to know.


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