Monday, May 9, 2011
Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.
But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends. -- Simon & Schuster
When I read that MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby was being compared to Sarah Dessen's books, I knew I wanted to read it. As a mother to an almost twelve year old daughter, I realize that Booking Daughter is almost ready to take the leap to YA fiction. There is no way I can keep up with my reading schedule and hers, but I admit that I'm already on the lookout for books to pass along to her. I was hoping that MOONGLASS would be one of them!
And for the most part, she could read this novel right now -- it's very sweet and touching and I loved the character of Anna. (In case you are wondering, there are some scenes with teen drinking....) I was actually quite surprised by how much I enjoyed MOONGLASS because it's not exactly geared at a middle aged mother, but I think the feelings the characters experienced are almost timeless.
MOONGLASS tells the story of Anna, a teen girl who watched her mother drown in the ocean when she was seven. The book begins with Anna and her father moving to a new town for his job. Naturally, Anna doesn't want to relocate, but she is pacified a bit when she sees that their new house is right on the ocean! It's apparent from the get-go that communication isn't the best between Anna and her dad, and Anna still has many questions about her mother.
I was immediately hooked on MOONGLASS from the first few chapters. I thought Anna was a great character; and of course, my heart went out to her. (I moved around quite a bit during my childhood, and I am always a sucker for stories about kids who are forced to start over with school and friends.) Despite everything that had happened to Anna, she wasn't exactly a victim though. Anna was smart and tough, and even liked to play mind games with a certain boy. I think teens are going to love Anna and totally relate to her.
As the story progressed, I found myself liking Anna more and more. I enjoyed seeing her make new friends and I loved how her relationship with her father developed. In addition, I appreciated the teen romance parts and how the secrets in the story unfolded. But what I loved the most about MOONGLASS were the themes and messages that appeared in the story. And that brings me to my next point...
MOONGLASS is an excellent book to discuss, especially for mother-daughter book clubs. So many of the themes in this story are relative to teens and adults alike. Some of the themes that definitely warrant further thought and/or discussion include love, parent/child relationships, forgiveness and redemption. But the absolutely most powerful message in this novel had to do with guilt. I thought Ms. Kirby did an amazing job of showing how guilt can destroy individuals, and I was deeply affected by this message.
I was very impressed with Ms. Kirby's debut novel and I think many will agree. MOONGLASS is an entertaining, yet powerful, story about guilt and forgiveness.
Thanks to Big Honcho Media for providing me with a review copy of MOONGLASS.
Giveaway alert: Thanks to Big Honcho Media, I have two copies of MOONGLASS to share with two lucky readers. To enter, just fill out the form below before May 21st at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winners the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!