Wednesday, 7 March 2012

moonglass by Jessi Kirby

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?

My review
As always I got drawn to this book by its cover and, after series of disappointing books, I finally found what I was looking for.  It took me two days to read and I loved it from beginning to end. Before I knew it I had already put it down with a little smile on my face.
It’s a wonderfully written first novel with just the right amount of drama, love and teenage life ‘problems’.
Anna (Louanna) Ryan is a 17-year-old girl who, at the age of seven, saw her mother kill herself in the ocean.
She now lives with her father and is a funny and natural young girl. Even though she seems strong on the outside and it appears to look like she knows exactly what to say and to do, she’s very unsure of herself. Over the years she has believed she was the reason her mother killed herself.

Tyler Evans is one of those cute, popular guys in town and later the boyfriend of Anna. He’s a local lifeguard and goes to the same school as Anna.  He’s gorgeous and confident without being so overly cocky. You think there might be something bad about him, which is both good and disappointing, because it turns out that he really is just one of the good guys.

Then there is Anna’s dad Joe (Joseph) Ryan. He’s the reason why they’re back in the town where Anna’s parents first met, and, where a lot of untold history hangs in the air.
He’s also the lifeguard supervisor. He and his best friend Andy are very funny. They both behave like teenagers sometimes and that makes them really likeable.
Moonglass is a book about a broken past that needs to be fixed and a future that needs to be lived. When Anna and her dad move back to the town where he spent all his teenage summers, a lot of unasked questions about the past and Anna’s mother reappear. The relationship between Anna and her father is very shallow at the beginning. They refuse to talk about important topics, or anything else that involves a heart-to-heart.

When I was reading the book I could literally picture the beach, the cottages, the warmth, the sun and the ocean. It makes you want to lie next to Anna on the beach and observe the cute lifeguards.
I could imagine the tossing water on the stormy night, the dangerous rocks or the runs with her cross-country team.

Anna and Tyler meet on the beach, where she tries to climb the rocks near the ocean and he tries to talk her out of it. After that she tries to get his attention but he refuses to see her, because her dad has told the other lifeguards to stay away from her. I personally think her dad overreacts but it gives the whole relationship that little something.
Though the book is more concentrating on other things than the connection between Tyler and Anna there are a few really sweet things I liked about it. On Anna’s first day at school her teacher calls her Louanna but she doesn’t like her real name and prefers to go by Anna. Later that day Tyler begins to call her Louanna, Ryan or little Ryan. Little things like that kept me reading the book because it was simple and funny. Initially they start to see each other secretly because of her dad and whilst their meetings they start to fall for one another.  At the end Joe realizes that Tyler is a good guy and invites him over officially.
I’d have loved to read more about Tyler, maybe some background information. There are some good rudiments but the author could have done more with it.

During their secret dates Tyler leads Anna through some abandoned cottages, one of which was her mother’s. On one night Anna finally decides to have a look around at her mother’s place.
After that Anna’s feelings about her mother overwhelm her and she doesn’t know how to handle them. This event finally leads to the munch needed talk with her father. During the talk they both approach each other emotionally but the author makes it clear that it will take a while.

This book has lots of major and minor parts you’ll remember, love and just want to experience yourself. It’s not a new story but it is fresh and lightly written so that it’s hard to put away.
Even the ‘little’ characters like Anna’s new friends: Ashley and Jillian are so different to each and individuals who make the story flow smoothly.

Throughout the book new relationships are developing and some are ending. I liked the setup, the characters and the story.
All in all I think it’s a great book and very easy to read. It’s not just for your summer holidays but for any other day of the week!
It’s sad, funny, dramatic and joyful all in one-well packed!
You’ll fall in love with those characters and their easiness in life and even with their dramatic story.

Go and buy it!

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