Friday, December 09, 2011

Moonglass, by Jessi Kirby

Ten years ago, Anna's mother died in the ocean. Now, she and her father have returned to live in the town where her parents first met. It's hard to be new in a small town and worse when the locals know more about your parents than you do! But it is also an opportunity to learn about her mother and, as she does so, Anna realizes that learning more means confronting her fears and repressed anger at the loss.

A beautifully-written book which combines the author's love for everything from beach combing, scuba diving, and surfing to cross-country running and how to talk to people who are grieving a loss. The plethora of subjects and the intensity with which Kirby writes about them are infectious.

The story is one attractively constructed package. The characters are strong, realistic, and memorable. The subplots are related and tied back in to the story (everything is addressed, but not necessarily resolved). In sum, the story was complete.

Kirby scored a strong endorsement from Sarah Dessen on the cover of this book. This is actually very appropriate as the style of the writing (wistful and introspective, intense yet quiet) is strongly reminiscent of Dessen's own earlier writing (particularly That Summer and Someone Like You). This is not a story where an awful lot happens and the tale is hardly fresh (grieving for a dead mother is about cliche YA as you can get!), but a good book is really much more about context and character. I loved the book and look forward to reading Kirby's next novel!

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