Each summer I start picking up what I consider “Summer Beach Reads.” These may or may not be labeled as such but generally they are inspirational or light reads in the YA genre. Things like Sarah Dessen, Hayley Abott, etc. I actually came across Moonglass because Sarah Dessen had written a brief blurb for the back of the book and that got me interested. So I was really excited when it was available in the Amazon vine program this month! Here’s the 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.
I thought this book was a great debut novel from Jessi Kirby. Anna is a great lead character and there is a lot of time dedicated to character development in the novel. Anna and her dad are both very real characters that readers can connect to in a deep way. However, I felt like Tyler’s character was very inconsistent with the synopsis. He is originally described as arrogant (the most arrogant one on the beach), however, I only see that in one scene of the book. The rest of the time he is a really great friend and a perfect gentleman. Even his reputation around school is that he is a really nice guy. Thus, I was a little confused with his original description. I forget where I read it at but it was a bit of a turn off for the book because I was looking for a guy similar to a Sarah Dessen story.
The tragedy with Anna’s mother is the central part to the story. As a reader you really get drawn into the whirlwind of emotions that is going through Anna. While I didn’t cry I was both sad and happy throughout the story as she is trying to deal with the loss of her mother.
The main negative for me was that I found the ending to be unrealistic. While I think that what happened at the end is a big “game changer” for Anna, I found the way everything was wrapped up nice and neatly to be unrealistic. The whole book everything is laid bare emotionally in Anna’s life. The end seemed a little sterile to me like all the sudden everything worked out. I feel like she will still need additional time to heal and it wouldn’t end so neatly.
Overall, I give the book a 4/5. I loved the characters and the realistic nature of the book. I think it is a beautiful story and it was very well written with sentimental moments but also fun glimpses at the times when Anna is happy.