by Jessi Kirby
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 picked up Moonglass because Jessi Kirby’s name has been going around the blogosphere quite a bit with her recent release of Golden, which almost everyone I know seems to love. I picked up Moonglass on a whim when browsing the used section of the bookstore and recognizing Kirby’s name. And while I wasn’t absolutely blown away by the book or the story or the writing, I did find a certain kind of appeal in this book.
I’m not going to lie: I found the beginning of this book dreadfully boring. It took me days to get past page 30, and I almost DNF-ed once or twice. The book’s pacing is glacial, and while I sometimes like slow stories, I’d say it’s also this book’s biggest flaw. If you’re in the mood for a fast-paced adventure, well, look elsewhere.
After I got over the slow start, though, I did enjoy Anna’s story. She’s learning how to heal after her mother’s death, which is a process I understand well. I thought Kirby did a really great job of portraying Anna’s thoughts and actions as she works through her grief. I also think some people will find the bit about sea glass and moon glass interesting, though I will say that I was not one of those readers.
There are other characters in the story, but really, this is Anna’s story, from beginning to end. It’s summery, but not light. It’s slow, but moving in some places. It’s not a book I’ll recommend wide and far, but I think for certain readers it will resonate well.
Final Impression: Moonglass is a good, but not awesome, book. It’s definitely for fans of contemporary and probably won’t have a lot of cross-over appeal, but Anna’s story is touching and there’s definitely a “beach” sensation that invades the book. Some people might find the beginning a bit too boring to get through, but I think it will resonate with some readers much more than it did with me. 3/5 cupcakes.