Instead of hanging out with her friends and having a great summer, Anna’s finds herself in a new town as her dad decides to transfer jobs and move he and Anna to live near the beach where he spent much of his adolescence and met Anna’s mother. The thought of uprooting her life and leaving behind her friends is horrifying but pales in comparison to the memories and emotions to be unearthed in a place where her mother, who died when Anna was young, spent her teenage years. Beach life, new friends, cute lifeguards keep Anna busy but can it distract her from the family secrets lingering in her new town?
Let’s just talk about how I’m ridiculously annoyed that when I read this it was COLD and rainy/snowy here in Pennsylvania. I wanted to read this on a beach somewhere because for whatever reason I really enjoy reading books about the beach AT the beach. Weird, I know! Either way, it was a nice vicarious romp through beach life in Cali. I could almost feel my Casper-y winter skin turning crispy under the sun. I felt as though Kirby did a really great job capturing that summertime/beachy feel without being touristy…if that makes sense…just from the lives of people who actually live in a beach town.
I was nervous to read Moonglass because any book that deals with a daughter losing her mother always hits me pretty hard as I lost my mom when I was in college and the characters grief tends to resonate deep down within me when done well. And Kirby did this well as I found myself really connecting with Anna and the closure that she needed to find in order to move forward. I thought Kirby wrote Anna’s grief and all of the really tough guilt she carried with her with enough layers to seem realistic and she captured some of those inner moments of grief from Anna’s perspective really well.. I thought the interactions between her dad and her and how they dealt with the memories and the grief felt so realistic to me! It was really refreshing to see a parent so invested in their teen in YA lit. I feel like I’m always wondering where the parents are. Her dad had rules…just like my parents did! Imagine that…
And ok, let’s talk about the romance. CUUUUUTE! I loved Anna and Tyler together and the progression of their relationship. It felt realistic and made my little heart pitterpatter and want to start doodling hearts all over my notebook and shoes with my gelly pens. I loved how he was there for her but didn’t try to be her everything, gave her space and actually respected and was afraid of her dad’s rules. It made me laugh because I could so much of that awkward “Oh no, your dad might see us together” stuff from back when I was a teen. There were some definitely swoony (yet realistic) moments in this book.
All in all, I found Moonglass to be an ideal beach/summer read for me. I don’t like complete fluff for a beach read but I’ve also made the mistake of trying to read things that were far too serious on a vacation such as Night by Elie Wiesel. The seriousness of her grief and all the things Anna learns about her mother is balanced well by her relationship with Tyler, some of the really interesting people she meets and the overall setting of a laid back beach life. It isn’t too emotionally draining to read but you do find your heart breaking quite a bit for her at least by the end. I found myself connected to Anna and her story but it did take me a little in the beginning to invest. I think I would have even been more resistant, in the beginning, to care had I not felt a sort of kinship to Anna with the whole bereavement of a mother factor.
And you all are IN LUCK..the publisher is giving me TWO finished copies to give away on this blog right hurrr. You don’t have to be a follower to enter but you must have a shipping address in the US. Please leave a comment below telling me one of your FAVORITE things about summertime and a way to contact you (email, Twitter, etc) and you’ll be entered! Giveaway ends 5/11.
* I received this book for review as part of the Teen Book Scene for an honest review and was contacted by the publisher for the giveaway.