Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Moonglass

By Jessi Kirby
Publication date: May 3, 2011

My review:

Anna and her dad have just moved to Crystal Cove, the same beach town where her dad grew up and met and fell in love with her mom. For Anna it is hard to leave behind her old home even though it is where her mom drowned. Crystal Cove is filled with reminders of her loss from people who knew her mom to the spot where her parents met and the distance between Anna and her dad. Slowly though Anna begins to find a place for herself by making new friends, joining the school track team, and falling for lifeguard Tyler. No matter how hard Anna runs however, she won't be able to get away from her pain and the truths that need to be brought to the light of day.

Moonglass is a lovely story that works because it focuses on Anna's relationship with her dad and the loss of her mom. If more time had been devoted to the romance or Anna's experiences as the new girl in town then it wouldn't have had the same impact. We do meet a number of characters that play a part in Anna's healing such as Tyler, Anna's love interest. Though the romance is not the focus of the story, I really liked reading about Anna and Tyler. Their relationship is not intense or "love at first sight" (though Anna is interested from the beginning). The characters take the time to get to know each other and the romance never overwhelms the story but instead enhances it.

Anna's new friends Jillian and Ashley also help Anna in their own way. Ashley is one of those great characters who on the surface appears to be a flake but surprises the reader (and Anna) by being a caring and supportive friend. She could have easily ditched Anna to hang out with wealthier and more popular people but she sticks with Anna even when Anna isn't as warm towards her.  Jillian like Anna, has suffered a personal tragedy-her sister was killed by a drunk driver. Unlike Anna, Jillian is able to talk about it but both girls struggle with blaming themselves for their respective loss.

At the beginning of the book, Anna is sullen and angry towards her dad both about the move and because they no longer talk about what happened with her mom. As she starts to let go and build a new life for herself, we see flashes of the warmth and camaraderie that Anna and her dad used to share. It is obvious that though he isn't perfect, he is a good father and equally obvious that though Anna is upset, she still very much loves her dad. I liked how Anna and her dad begin to reconnect and I liked seeing her grow. I also really liked the writing style and the use of themes and imagery (mermaids, sea glass, running). The parallel stories of Jillian and the beach tragedy from years ago also added to the story. Overall I was really pleased with this debut novel and I look forward to seeing what Jessi Kirby will write next. I would suggest Moonglass to fans of Sarah Dessen, Sarah Ockler, and Heidi Kling.

Readalikes: Sea by Heidi Kling, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Elizabeth Scott

Note: I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review 


  1. This one has such a pretty cover. Nice review and it tells enough, but not too much. :-)

  2. Terrific review. I love how you talked about the way the author focused more on Anna and her father than on her romance. Also I prefer a relationship that builds instead of the instantaneous love at first site that seems to frequent so many YA novels. I really need to read this one.

  3. I love this review of Moonglass! Especially what you said about the romance. I agree that because it was understated and didn't take up the story, Moonglass had more of an impact.
    And yes yes yes about the imagery and themes. I never even thought about the running aspect or the whole mermaids thing, but should have.

    Thanks for giving me something new to consider about Moonglass!

  4. awesome review! i've seen this one around a lot, it sounds different than i thought it would be


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