Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Title: Moonglass
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 3rd 2011
Pages: 232
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought 
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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.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Moonglass is such a me book. Really, this book could double as The Guide to Writing the Perfect Book for Hannah. The ingredients needed for the perfect book for me, as demonstrated in Moonglass, are:
- a lovable main character
- a touching grief storyline, preferably with a little mystery as to what exactly happened
- realistic family relationships
- a cute romance that's a nice addition to the story but doesn't take the main focus
- a beach setting to get me in the mood for summer
- beautiful writing
Moonglass has it all, and I loved every mintute of it.

What really made me love Moonglass is the beautiful prose. Jessi Kirby has a way with words - she made so easy to get lost in the story. Her attention to detail is stunning. This book has ensured that I will read anything this author will publish - which works out great, because In Honor sounds amazing. 

The characters are amazing. I loved Ashley and Jillian, who both are so much more than they seem at first sight. Anna's dad is a great character - Jessi Kirby really nailed the relationship between Anna and her father. I also loved James - I wish he'd played a more important role in the story. And of course the Penance guy, who is quite possibly my favorite character because his story is just so heartbreaking and perfect. I love how even the smallest characters are distinct and complex in this book.

I'm glad I read Moonlgass at the start of summer - it made me want to put on a bikini and run to the nearest beach. (Which is impossible where I live, but still.) The atmospheric writing made me feel like I was right there at the beach with Anna. Crystal Cove almost seems like another character because it's so important to the story. I loved the aspect of the sea glass and moonglass - all these awesome books talking about sea glass (Twenty Boy Summer, But I Love Him, and this one) have basically made it my life goal to find some sea glass myself, some day.

The romance is great, too. I've gotten a little annoyed with all those romances where the guy immediately falls for the MC because she's so beautiful and perfect and blah blah blah. Luckily, that is not the case in Moonglass - for once, the girl tries to get the guy, and she actually gets shot down a few times. That made me so happy - it's how real life works! But of course I also loved that Anna and Tyler did get together later on - they're adorable together. 

Anna's grief is an important part of Moonglass, and it's definitely sad, but I appreciated that the sadness isn't overpowering. As much as I love heartbreaking stories, it was nice not to spend the entire book bawling. I teared up twice, but that's it, and I appreciate that Jessi Kirby balanced the grief in with the rest of the story. It's sad, but not too much of a tearjerker.

I just loved everything about this book! It's subtle and poignant, and Jessi Kirby has perfected the balance between depth and lightheartedness. I am thoroughly impressed, and I cannot wait to read more from this author.

What would be the ingredients needed for YOUR perfect book? Have you ever come across a book that demonstrated exactly what you want from a book as well as Moonglass did for me?


  1. Isn't Jessi Kirby an amazing writer? I've read one of her novels, but not Moonglass.

    I so have to read Moonglass now! I like that the romance is realistic - not perfect, party difficult but also worth it.

    And I love it when the setting is a character - especially when it's a small-town coastal settings. They're my favorites!

    Does Moonglass end on an optimistic note?

    1. A perfect book for me was Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park!

      You have to read it:)

    2. Oh! Also Anna and the French Kiss (so deep once you begin to think about it) and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Lola was especially touching, very real. For both Lola and Cricket. More so than Anna.

    3. Yes, the ending is very optimistic! It feels lighthearted without being unrealistically happy, which I love. Hope you love Moonglass if/when you get to read :)

      Yeah, yeah, Flat-Out Love :p I'll read it someday, I promise!

      I loved that about Anna and the French Kiss, too, how it's romance but has so much depth to it as well! I can't wait to read Lola.

    4. Lola was such a great character! She did so much growing and accepting of herself in the book! I loved Anna, I did, but she didn't really have huge issues to overcome in her life. Her family life was okay, she was good in school, nothing terrible. Lola has a family issue that really affects her, and she has to overcome it. And so did Cricket. And Cricket wasn't selfish at all. I loved Cricket- honestly he was a much nicer guy than Etienne (and I LOVE Etienne - it just took him forever to do the right thing)

      And Matty in Flat-Out Love! The perfect book guy:)

    5. I've heard a lot of people say they didn't like Lola as much as Anna because they didn't like the love interest, so you saying all of this gives me a lot of hope that it *will* be good! Not that it matters, since I'll read Lola no matter what I hear...

    6. I LOVE Cricket! He's a much nicer guy, really quirky and nerdy but totally hot (I like that, smart guys, not the jock type). He's not smooth like Etienne, but I love that about him.

      Lola is a much more complex story. And it's not just about the romance like it is in Anna. It's also about them growing enough to be able to really love each other. And it's set in San Francisco:)

      Is the guy in Moonglass swoonworthy?

    7. That does sound good! I hope I'll agree with you and not those other people :p

      I did like Tyler, yeah. He's not one of my favorite YA love interests or anything, but I guess that's just because he's not a *huge* part of the book - the romance is just a smaller storyline, really, secondary to the family one. But what we did get to see of Tyler, I liked :)

    8. I really love Cricket - and he's an inventor! He makes Lola lots of beautiful things:)

      I hope Tyler isn't a jock or one of those stereotypical beach jocks. I don't know why but all my favorite book guys are quirky and nerdy, like Cricket, or very different like Will from The Ghost and the Goth (I love that series! It's a very meaningful paranormal and the characters are so real there's a lot of development. I know you don't like paranormal, but this one is really accessible. It's mostly about the characters and the paranormal is a vehicle for them to develop.)

    9. I think Tyler is kind of jocky, but not in a bad way :) I usually prefer the quirky/nerdy type too, but I liked Tyler.

      I've never heard of The Ghost and the Goth... I *might* add it to my wishlist, but I can't guarantee I'll read it - like you said, I don't like a lot of paranormal. This one does sound good, though, so maybe...

    10. The Ghost and the Goth is really well written and fast-paced, with alternating POVs. And that part's done really well, you can tell who's speaking easily.

  2. This sounds amazing. I read In Honor and loved it so I'm sure I'll love this one too. Plus, I love stories set on the beach.:)

  3. Next amazing contemporary? ;_; I should stop adding them to my wishlist! This one seems too perfect.

  4. A must read then. Such a glowing report.

  5. I'm not always one for beach stories, but when there's one that comes along that ties something a little more with it, I'll give it a try. The cover is super gorgeous, too. I think I have the author's other book (In Honor?) on my shelf to read, too.

    Perfect book for me involves winter, strained relationships, a lot of tension, and some kind of end result that is out of the ordinary. Or, something that's light and fluffy with a lot of work in-between.

  6. YES! I'm so glad to see your review and rating on this book!! I want to read In Honor so bad! But my library doesn't have that book yet and I noticed they have this book there by Jessi Kirby so I will totally check this book out now! Exciting!!


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