Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Galley Grab
When Anna was little, she and her mother walked the beach together every day, looking for sea glass. But one night her mother walked into the ocean and never came out, leaving Anna with only memories - and a collection of ocean-tumbled glass.
Ten years later, Anna's father has accepted a job transfer, and Anna's life is again swept up in a tide she can't control. Despite her reluctance to move, Anna is slowly won over by the beachfront cottage, the gorgeous lifeguards, and early morning runs along the shore. But her new home is a place that holds long-buried history. It's where her parents first met and fell in love, where strangers seem to know more about her family's past than she does, and where she finds that the red piece of sea glass she wears around her neck has a history all its own. As Anna combs the beach for bits of glass scattered in the sand, she discovers that there may be more to her mother's life and death than she and her father have been able to acknowledge.
The sea glass in Anna's collection proves that time can smooth rough edges - but what about when the jagged hurt of loss remains as sharp as ever?
Anna took a little while to grow on me. She's different than a lot of standard female protagonists in YA. She's pretty and confident and active, but she isn't arrogant about it, just real. She's a surfer girl. She flirts. Shamelessly. And Tyler doesn't pretend like he doesn't notice. He calls her out on it. Teases her. Embarrasses and infuriates her. I might have thought he was being a dick, if I hadn't felt like Anna deserved to be a little bit humbled. But Anna also has an emotional story that shrouds her at all times, and that is what really connects the reader to her character. She struggles with the loss of her mother and the memories that resurface once she and her dad move back to where her parents first met. The more she finds out about her mom the harder it is for her to deal with what happened when she was younger, and no matter how hard she tries to run from those memories they keep coming. Anna's dad is really awesome. I love seeing involved parents in YA. He's a great father and a great character. Anna's friend Ashley is a funny and interesting character as well, and I wish that there would have been maybe a little bit more of her in the story.
If you like beach settings and activities then there is plenty of that in Moonglass. It has everything from laying out to spear fishing for dinner. A lot of the plot revolves around Anna's beach ventures and running. Anna's pastimes really help bring the setting to life, which should make pretty much everyone want to spend some time at the beach. The rest of the story is filled with her interactions with those around her, her preoccupation with thoughts of her mother, and her attempts to quell those thoughts. There's a lot of internal dialogue - more than there is actual conversation. The ending is a little weird for me. It comes somewhat abruptly and there are several small things that I would like to have seen resolved before the close of the book.
Overall, Moonglass is an engaging story. Part somber and part sandy, sunshiney fun, it makes a perfect summer read.