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.
Well, I finally brought it with me on vacation and read it on the plane home from Costa Rica. And I devoured it and loved every second of it, as I knew I would.
This book starts out pretty light. Anna is new to Crystal Cove and struggles with her dad's distance and being the new girl. She makes some new friends, meets a cute boy, and starts to settle in. But soon she begins to uncover all these things about her mother, her parents' past, and her mother's death that she never knew. The more she delves into the reality of what happened to her mom, the more serious the book becomes and the more Anna struggles with the things she has always believed.
There's really everything you could want in a solid contemp read in this book. Anna is an awesome narrator, and I loved spending time in her head. The supporting cast was really great. I particularly loved Ashely, the first new friend Anna makes in Crystal Cove, and Tyler, the cute lifeguard love interest. And then there are the secrets, the surprising things Anna digs up as she delves into her family's past. Add all of these in with Jessi Kirby's beautiful writing, and, well, I can see why this book has been getting so much praise. I loved it. Had it not been from the library, I would have given it to the teen girl sitting next to me on the plane and told her, "You NEED to read this."*
If you love contemporary YA, picking up this book is a no-brainer. If you don't read a ton of contemp, this is one I recommend you try. And don't wait as long as I did, or you'll regret it.
*I went to Borders last night and rescued their last copy, so I have one to lend out now