Monday, May 16, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

~Jessi Kirby

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publish Date: May 3, 2011
ISBN-10: 1442416947
ISBN-13: 978-1442416949

From Goodreads:
From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead. 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.

Learn more about the book here.
As the story opens, it's the end of summer and Anna and her father are moving from her childhood home in Pismo Beach, California, to Crystal Cove. In addition to the difficulties of leaving behind her home and friends, she's also leaving behind her mother; or rather, the place her mother died. When Anna was four, she watched her mother walk out into the ocean and not come back.

Anna's father is a professional lifeguard, and they are moving to Crystal Cove because he accepted a position there. As Anna starts to get settled in and meet new friends, she slowly learns there's more than just a new job in Crystal Cove - it's the place where her parents met and fell in love.

My thoughts: First I have to say that I love the cover - they nailed it, and, it's gorgeous. The title refers to the pastime Anna and her mother used to share: They'd walk along the beach looking for sea glass. When Anna found a piece at night, they dubbed it moon glass.

I fell right into Moonglass, and by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. Anna is a sweet kid and I liked her. She seems pretty well-adjusted, but her memories of her mother are constant, even in this new place, away from where she killed herself. She never talks about her mother with her father. It's not that she's not allowed to, they just don't discuss her.

She meets Ashley, a stereotypically rich, gorgeous, weight-obsessed California girl, and since they'll both be starting school together as new students, they decide to be friends. When Ashley asks about her mother, Anna doesn't tell her she's dead.

She also meets Tyler, a cute lifeguard working on the beach in front of her house. Her father has warned the lifeguards away from Anna, but she gets invited to their end-of-summer beach party, and gets to know Tyler a little better. She also learns a little history of the Cove and how her parents met. A tiny peek into her mother's life...and she wants more, no, she doesn't want more...but she does. She learns her mother lived in one of the cottages; it's one of the now-abandoned cottages, and she can sneak in, if she wants.

Anna's relationship with Tyler progresses at a sweetly, yearningly slow pace, and she wants to think about him and not her mother. Her running helps her forget her questions about her mother, but the questions seem to be coming more frequently now, especially as she meets more people who knew her mother.

I thought this was a fabulous story; there is so much more to it than what I've talked about in my review: her relationship with her father, her mother's past, Anna's own feelings about her mother's death. It's not a light, fluffy read, but still a great book for summer reading - the author really brings the beach setting off the pages. I thought her friend Ashley's character was a bit superfluous and annoying, but not enough to diminish my enjoyment of the book.

Moonglass is Jessi Kirbi's debut novel, and I can't wait to read more by this author.

My Rating:

The giveaway: Simon and Schuster is offering a copy of Moonglass to two lucky winners! (Trust me, this is one you want to win!!) To enter, leave a comment telling me why you like reading YA, and a way to contact you. US addresses only please. Following is not required but is appreciated. Ends May 22.

This book was received by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win this. What a great cover.
    I follow on GFC.

    Lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds/looks interesting!


  3. I am not a fan of the cover :( I think I am having one of those days, nothing is right

  4. I like reading YA because it is less complicated(to me)than adult fiction.

    I like the cover.

    GFC follower
    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  5. This sounds kind of spectacular. I'm in the mood for a sweet YA, so this might have to be added to the TBR pile!

    Great review :)

  6. I love to read YA fiction because I am a librarian in a Middle/High school and love to be able to recommend things to my kids. Also, I don't think I fully ever outgrew YA fiction. I still devour it! Much more so that adult fiction.
    And also, I love being the person that teens come to to ask book advice :)

    mstowle73 at gmail dot com

  7. Yay this is a awesome giveaway! I'm dying to read Moonglass.
    I like to read YA because its characters really come to life and they let you know that you weren't alone in those moments when you are like omg am I weird for doing this or that. I also feel that YA books have a bit more imagination sometimes.

    elainareads At aol DOT com

  8. This looks like a great summer read! I like reading YA because it's refreshing and light, most of the time, and I can share it with my teens.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  9. Thanks for the great giveaway and review. I was dying to read this book already, but now your review has me antsy to read it. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I wish I was on that beach :)

    New follower

    Neri0724 at

  10. I like reading Young Adult novels because they make me feel youthful. Plus, having been through that stage, I can relate to the characters, and empathize with them. Plus, it's lovely to be able to reminisce along with the characters, and feel protective of them, and identify with their problems, etc.

    Thank you for this amazingly generous giveaway! :D

    GFC Follower: ~Enamored Soul~
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

  11. YA books are so diverse and colorful that you don't always get with an adult book.

    hootowl1978 at gmail dot com

  12. This looks interesting. I like reading ya because of the teacher in me, I think. Plus, it is a refresher from adult books.