Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Moonglass & Giveaway

Summary: When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.

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!

13 comments:

Beth F said...

I love seaglass and love the idea of calling it moonglass. This sounds like a book I'd likely enjoy.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm like you, I'm always looking for books that my daughter will like. She prefers mysteries and stories with romance. I think this one is right up her alley.

bermudaonion said...

Anna sounds like a fantastic character that kids can relate to. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Sounds like a great story, thanks for hosting the giveaway!

heyiwanttoreadthat.com said...

This does sound like a very good Mother/Daughter read. How exciting Booking Daughter is getting ready to make the leap. There are a lot of good books out there for her. Maybe we'll even get a guest post.

mamabunny13 said...

I think my daughter and I both will enjoy reading this story.

Angie said...

My heart already goes out to her and I haven't even read the book! Great review!

Cindy said...

Julie growing up near the ocean I use always walk the beach in a hunt for sea glass.

Thanks for the give away Julie :)

iwriteinbooks said...

This looks like a good read if slightly intense. It's sort of funny to watch our kids pass in to different stages of life. My little guy is only three but he still shocks me all the time by being ready for more adult things, every day. Hope your daughter eases well in to the world of YA!

Laura Fabiani said...

I love mother/daughter books such as this one. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway!

Jessi said...

Just found this today! Julie, thank you so very much for such a beautiful, thoughtful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

toothybooks said...

i love the cover of moonglass! dessen has been a hit or miss author for me, but i'm curious to read this one. it sounds like something i would enjoy after reading your review.

ASHLEY HOLT said...

THANKS SO MUCH!!!