Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Book/Author: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster/ May 2011
Pages: 232 pages
Where I got it: bought at Borders
Buy It: Amazon

Summary (from Goodreads): From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead.

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

My thoughts: I feel like I've unintentionally been reading a lot of the same types of books lately. I recently read Twenty Boy Summer, which also deals with loss and life at the beach. In Moonglass, Anna and her father move to the beach town where her parents met. Anna is forced to confront her past in this new town where there are reminders of her mom all around her. This was more than just a summer beach read like the cover leads you to believe. There is a darkness in Anna's life that she has tried to bury and when it's finally let out after so many years of buildup, it's pretty shocking how broken she is.

Moonglass is a wonderfully written debut novel that will keep you turning the pages. I know what it's like to be the new girl in a new school and I think she fit in quite well. Her romance with Tyler was very realistic with a slow build that added to the drama and almost forbidden aspect because of her father's disapproval of him (and any other lifeguard). Her friendships were interesting as well. Her character was so open to people who were complete opposites of her and she was able to develop strong bonds with both Ashley and Jillian.

I really enjoyed how Kirby wrapped the story up, in fact I feel like it was one of the few novels I've read lately that I got complete closure on. It deals with some pretty heavy stuff but the writing flows so well that it doesn't feel like work to get through. I never felt depressed while reading about the loss of Anna's mother and the burden that she has carried since that night. Instead, I was optimistic about how it would all be resolved. There's a reason the dust jacket is covered with praise from Sarah Dessen- her fans would love this book.

My rating: 4 stars

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