Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
224 Pages (Hardcover)
Simon & Schuster Children's
May 3, 2011
Source: ARC Tour
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.
I enjoyed so many things about this book. From the characters, to the overcoming of loss, to the powerful emotions of the beach and ocean - I was one hundred percent hooked.
Moonglass is the story of Anna, a teenage girl who has had her fair share of misfortune. Her mother's death, especially the night of her death, has haunted Anna continuously. After moving from her grandmother's house, and away from her friends, to live with her father, Anna starts to learn alot about the part of her parents that has been hidden from her. But maybe more importantly, with the power of the ocean and a few friends, Anna starts to learn about life.
This book was beautiful. It was also very emotional - sad, mysterious, grievous, happy and funny are just some of the emotions that washed over me like the crashing of a wave. Many people can empathize with Anna's story, even if you have never lost a close relative. Everyone has lost something; whether it be a best friend, a childhood home, a baby blanket or a pet. Each of these things, though some simpler than others, take time to get over. Time spent either wishing you could have whatever you lost back or hoping that the lost item will no longer plague your mind. That is when it is hardest, the moment after. Anna is in the moment after, trying to stay afloat while she figures out the world for herself.
I know people who live their lives in summers, because they spend all their best times at the beach. I never really got people's obsession with it. I mean, you get sand in all of your crevices, people are everywhere, you get hot and sweaty and go to cool off in the water but you just come out salt encrusted and feeling gross in a different way. Please tell me what is desirable about that. Before this book, no one could. Somehow Moonglass transported my heart to the beach, somewhere it has never been before. This may sound silly, but the entire duration in which I was reading this novel I had an unquenchable desire to walk the beach at dawn, watching the sun come up over the water and looking for sea glass before the early-morning tide washes it back out to sea. I told my beachy friend this, and she laughed. But I was (and still am) completely serious.
I only have one question... How the heck can you run and carry out a conversation at the same time? The main character is always running and talking, not seeming to be out of breath at all! Am I just really out of shape (definitely a possibility), or does this seem odd to anyone else?
Anyway... If you love the beach, or you wish you could love the beach, you will definitely love this book. If you have suffered loss, big or small, you will be able to relate to this book. If you have moved, loved, crushed, or fought to move on - you will appreciate this book. If you are none of these things, I suggest you start living.