Author: Jessi Kirby
Year Published: 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Price: New USD 16.14 (hardback); USD 9.49 (paperback); Used: USD 7.48 (hardback)
Anna and her mother used to walk in the beach looking for colorful sea glass. But when Anna was seven, while following her mother walking in the beach, Anna saw her mother committed suicide by drowning herself into the ocean. At the same night, Anna found a red sea glass called moon glass, which she still wears it as a necklace.
Ten years later, Anna's father, who is a lifeguard, decides to go back to the beach were he first met Anna's mother. Being in a place with such memories and where other people know more about her parents than herself, makes Anna feels uncomfortable. But the new situation with many new friends and activities makes Anna slowly open herself and try to find out more about her mother that her father never told.
I also love the characters of this book. Anna, as the main character, is a character that I will always love in contemporary young adult. She is not a drama queen or too feminine kind of girl. She's a bit tomboy but surely knows how to use her asset to attract a boy she wants. She's brave and can do sports like boys but also vulnerable. She's perfect but also imperfect at the same time. She reminds me a bit of Parker from Miranda Kenneally's Stealing Parker. Anna's best friend, Ashley on the other hand, is a total contrary from Anna. She's a feminine, talkative, Barbie-like girl but she's also very kind to Anna. In her own way, Ashley is a perfect fit for Anna. The best quote of this book, for me, came from Ashley on page 180. This is when Anna told Ashley that her mom was already dead:
I rubbed my forehead. "She died when I was seven. She drowned. It's just me and my dad." Her face had already fallen into the deeply sad and symphathetic expression I dreaded. "I didn't tell you before because I just wanted a fresh start here, because before I moved, everybody knew about it and..." I looked down at my lap, then back up at her, feeling tears well up. "I'm sorry." I bit the inside of my cheek and looked down again.
She was silent, which I had expected. What is anyone supposed to say to something like that? Then her eyes lit up a bit. "You're like a Disney princess!"
It was my turn to flinch. "What?" I asked, wondering if she had heard me right."
"You know," she continued, matter-of-factly. "Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine... none of them had mothers."
I still wasn't following, but she continued, obviously excited. "When I was little, I used to think that meant that life had to make it up to them, for taking their mothers away, and so that's why they ended up having the whole fairy-tale happily-ever-after magic happen to them. They deserved it more than other girls." She looked at me intently. "Life will make it up to you, Anna."
Also, Tyler.. I love Tyler. He was hot. Of course, since he was a lifeguard. But what I love about him was how he treated Anna and that he also had his own sad past. The other characters were also lovable and have their own backgrounds to tell.
And... since the story took place on a beach, surely there are so many beach activities. Party and bonfire, lifeguard rookie initiation, snorkeling and diving, and also walking along the beach to find the sea glass. The setting is told in a very detailed way, makes me want to go to the beach as soon as possible.
This is such a great debut of Jessi Kirby. I love her writing style and how she put every character's detail. One thing that I hope could be changed is the ending. I think it's personal opinion but I found the ending a bit.. unsettled. However, I want to read more of her books.
Recommended for YA Contemporary lovers.