Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Love: Moonglass

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.

I don't know what took me so long to read this stunning debut by Jessi Kirby. I mean, I had a zillion good reasons to pick it up ASAP. First of all, you know I love contemporary. And Sarah Dessen, goddess of YA contemp, blurbed it, so you know it's awesome. Then there's the fact that it takes place here in Orange County, where I live. I actually live pretty darn close to the place where the book takes place, so I knew I would be familiar with the setting, which always makes a book fun to read. Then there is the fact that Jessi Kirby actually KNOWS A BUNCH OF MY FORMER STUDENTS. Well, geez, why hadn't I read this book before? I have no idea. I have no excuses.

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


  1. I am glad you finally read this book! I knew you would like it. That's so cool that Jessi Kirby knows some of your students! I loved this book. I came across it when Sarah Dessen mentioned it on her blog.

  2. That's so cool! It looks like a great book! I just started highschool this year and when I saw that you were a highschool teacher I just had to follow! Awesome blog here and cool post!

  3. This sounds SO GOOD! Love books that take place locally!!!

  4. Moonglass is fantastic! I am lucky enough to have a signed ARC *shameless gloating*. It inspired me, and now I can't visit a beach without collecting jars and jars of lovely sea glass.

  5. Great, what an opening sentence! Neat blog:)

  6. Hi Jessica! I'm a fellow platform building campaigner, crazy dog lady, and YA book lover. I've seen this book cover, but I haven't read it yet. It sounds like a great read. *adding to TBR list*

  7. That sounds like a great YA book. Thanks for the review!

  8. I'm always looking for good YA contemp reads. Excellent!

    I'm a fellow campaigner, btw. I'm starting to feel like a dork saying that. But you and I are both fellow SoCal-ers and I used to teach 8th grade lang arts, so this could be fun. Hello!

  9. I'm a huge contemp YA fan so I need to get my hands on a copy of this book!