As you may have gleaned from the types of books I read, I'm not as big into contemporary novels as I am paranormal/UF, but I loved the past few I've read (Where She Went and Anna and the French Kiss), and since I used to collect beach glass as a teen (who am I kidding, I still do), MOONGLASS seemed like a must-read for me.
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.
There were some things I absolutely loved about this book. The way Anna's mother's death was slowly explained, so we could understand the true tragedy of it right along with Anna. The relationship between Anna and her father felt very real and I loved that they were able to grow together when Anna was finally brave enough to face the truth. I loved how brave and strong Anna was on the surface (cliff diving, cross country running), but that she was still vulnerable on the inside and we got to see that too.
I also liked the fact that Anna really pursued the guy she was interested in, but not in the way it seems to happen in paranormal (you know, that draw where the characters can't stay away from each other). This seemed more realistic. She saw a cute life guard, decided she wanted to date him, and then kept putting herself in situations where they'd be around each other. While Tyler did put her off for awhile (Anna's dad is his boss, after all), and he seemed a little cocky, it all felt very real to me. I liked that.
The only thing that bugged me was the portrayal of Anna's first new friend, Ashley. Now, let me just say that based on the Goodreads reviews, A LOT of people liked Ashley so I may be totally alone in this peeve. But she was this really wealthy girl who was so clueless that she says hurtful things without realizing it's hurtful (like telling Anna she should diet in addition to exercise because imagine how good she'd look then), but turned out to have this generous heart and showered her friends with gifts.
I'm pretty sure I get what the author was trying to do here, which is show that not all spoiled rich girls are mean, stuck-up snobs. And that's admirable. We see too much of that stereotype in YA. My problem was that these two personality traits just seemed too much in conflict to me. And this is totally based on my own personal experience. I know a girl who says the clueless hurtful things, and I know wealthy women who love to give their friends gifts. And those two personalities do not intersect at all. But really, that was the only thing I didn't love -- and with something so minor, it definitely shouldn't keep you from reading the book. At let me assure you, the ending is awesome and you will love it.