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3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,781 Ratings  ·  546 Reviews
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 plac
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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“I read once that water is a symbol for emotions.
And for a while now, I’ve thought maybe my mother drowned in both.”

If it weren’t for the heartbreak I would love to be one of Jessi’s characters. I love her stories. She has this talent – she can make you laugh and cry almost in the same time. She is wonderful and I don’t know how I’ll be able to wait for her next book.

“Moonglass” is a story about how to break and un-break a heart – Anna’s mother broke it into so many little piece and now it’s ti
Jessi Kirby’s 2011 debut, Moonglass, is a gentle, introspective novel about facing the past and moving forward. Reminiscent of Sarah Dessen’s thoughtful, subdued style, Kirby has an excellent grasp of teen emotions and beautifully captures the internal journey of her sixteen-year-old protagonist, Anna.

The focus of Moonglass is fixed squarely on Anna’s emotional arc – understanding and acceptance of her family’s past in order to embrace her future. She begins the story unsettled and guarded, hav
Jul 20, 2011 Cara rated it really liked it
After reading this book now I want to go find some sea glass. I've never done that since I live in a landlocked state. Woe is me. *rolls eyes at myself* Okay now I'll commence to stop my complaining about the lack of beach experience I have, and get on with the book which was nicely written. Suicide is a really hard issue to talk about, and ironically enough even though that's what Anna's mother did I don't recall the word ever being used (do correct me if I'm wrong). A good writer can do that.

Feb 04, 2012 Demo rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Non-Action fans
Recommended to Demo by: Karma
Okay, this book needs to make up it's mind. Or I have to make up my mind, actually. I can't decide whether I hate or like it. It's driving me nuts.

So, first thing's first: The Protagonist.

Anna was actually a little fun to read about. She wasn't Grace-Brisbane-Awesome or Nora-Grey-Annoying, but a happy medium. And by happy medium, I don't mean she was somewhere in between. I mean there were quite a few points where I wanted to slap her and tell her to get a hold of herself, but she made up for th
Moonglass is a story about a girl named Anna, who lost her mother when she was just seven year old. Ten years later, Anna and her dad move out to Crystal Cove where her father has been transfered and also where her parents meet and fell in love.
Starting over at a new place comes pretty easy to Anna, already meeting a nice girl and the cute lifeguard on the beach, but soon old stories and memories surface about Anna's family history and eventually Anna has to face the mysteries about her mother
Dec 15, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it

Breezy but touching read about family & forgiveness

As a debut novel, Jessi Kirby's Moonglass delivers a breezy but touching read about dealing with the past and moving forward. After years living along the beach where her mother died, Anna is uprooted when her father takes a new job. Despite being angry about the move, Anna soon learns that her new beach home is closer to her mother's memory than she expected. She also finds that new friends and a new perspective might bring her closer to un
Sep 19, 2013 Racquel rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read-in-2011
Totally sweet

This review is also posted on my blog: The Book Barbies

At first I thought this book was about mermaid, I don't know how I got that idea in my head because this is realistic contemporary at it's best!

Jessi Kirby portrayed the characters realistically from Anna the MC, to rich girl Ashely who comes off as stereotypical but thank goodness, Kirby saved her and actually gave her layers! Also, this is a complete beach read and who doesn't love those? Man, the way Kirby describes the beach
This debut by Jessi Kirby blew me away. The book opens with Anna moving to a small seaside resort with her father--a move she isn't very happy about. She's going to miss all of her friends and her grandmother, but also she fears the memory of her mother will fade if she leaves.

It's obvious that Anna is still suffering from the loss of her mother, despite the fact that she's been gone for years. There is some mystery surrounding her mother's death that kept me guessing and intrigued throughout th
May 20, 2011 Carolina rated it it was amazing
There's one place on Earth I want to go to more than any place else. New Zealand. But I didn't grow up wanting to go there. I merely read about it a few years ago--in a work of fiction. The setting was so vivid, so inspiring and beautiful, even with all its fictional flaws, that I made a vow to go there someday. Maybe live there.

Okay. So.

Guess what new place I'm determined to go to? The latest addition to my bucket list? Crystal Cove. MOONGLASS has done this. No, Jessi Kirby has done this. Readi
Mar 18, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it
Summary: Anna watched her mother commit suicide when she was a little girl. Now, many years later, Anna is still pushing aside grief and self-blame for her mother’s death. She and her father move to a new town to start over: the town where her parents first met. Anna finds herself learning more about her mother than she’d ever known…

My thoughts: Moonglass starts out solidly; Jessi Kirby slowly builds on Anna’s grief as she moves to a new town. The simple interactions with local boy Tyler make th

This was a real, moving story of a girl struggling with the death of her mother, but compared to similar stories, this one falls a little behind.

I think I had too high of hopes for this novel. Don't get me wrong--it's pretty good, and I don't regret reading it for a single second. But earlier this summer I read Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby and it was just...incredible. It's one of my favorite reads of this year, and it made its way to my favorite books of
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net forever."- Jacques Cousteau

Setting:Newport Beach, California; 2011

Coverly Love?:Yes! Purple is one of my favorite colors, and the image of the full moon over the sea is beautiful.

Plot:Moving back to an old home can be difficult, especially if that home holds painful memories. This is exactly what Anna is going through when she has to move with her father back to Newport Beach when he gets a promotion. Sure, she'll be living in a nice hous
Lori (Pure Imagination)
May 16, 2011 Lori (Pure Imagination) rated it really liked it
A simply perfect Summer read. Moonglass is filled with rushing waves, sand and lifeguards. How could you possibly go wrong with a book like that? From the very first page of Anna's story I was hooked. She lives this seemingly fantastic beach life, but just under the surface there is guilt and confusion about her Mother's death.

The book starts off with Anna moving to a new place, and I was so afraid that she was going to be morose and depressed about it for a long time, but thankfully no. She suc
Christina (Reading Extensively)
Jun 26, 2011 Christina (Reading Extensively) rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, read2011
Moonglass is a lovely story that works because it focuses on Anna's relationship with her dad and the loss of her mom. If more time had been devoted to the romance or Anna's experiences as the new girl in town then it wouldn't have had the same impact. We do meet a number of characters that play a part in Anna's healing such as Tyler, Anna's love interest. Though the romance is not the focus of the story, I really liked reading about Anna and Tyler. Their relationship is not intense or "love at ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Fred rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Fred by: Jessica DeWulf
Shelves: favorites
The summer before Anna's junior year, her father moves them back to the beach where he and her mother met. Aside from being uprooted, this stirs up memories, issues, emotions and questions that they had both suppressed since her mother's death when Anna was seven.

Wow, what a powerful read. I was not expecting this at all, I thought it ywas kind of a beachy summer albeit bittersweet book (I mean, look at the cover, right?) but it really affected me on many levels. First, it is a very well crafte
Sarah (YA Love)
I read some mixed reviews for this one, but I wanted to read it anyway, especially after my mom read it and told me how much she liked it. The blurb from Sarah Dessen helped too. I ended up really enjoying Moonglass. It’s a wonderful summer read, full of beaches, lifeguards, etc. Don’t let the beach atmosphere fool you. Yes there’s a budding romance, but Anna is really struggling with the memory of her mother’s death. This challenges her relationship with her father and her ability to grow as a ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Yani rated it liked it
Shelves: own, my-bookshelf
I liked this book, plain and simple. However, I wanted to LOVE it! It has all those elements that lead for a great book: the beach, a cute boy, single dad, loss of a family member... but for some reason I just didn't connect like I wanted to. Don't take it the wrong way, it was still a tragic and beautiful story - definitely al la Sarah Dessen style - but I can't profess my love and favoritism over it. I think if you are looking for something that touches your heart and has a little romance, you ...more
C.K. Brooke
Mar 22, 2015 C.K. Brooke rated it really liked it
Moonglass (2011) is a beautiful coming-of-age novel for teens by Jessi Kirby. Sixteen-year-old Anna Ryan leaves behind the beach where she grew up… where her mother deliberately drowned herself… to a new California beach, full of old family history. Now living in her mother’s childhood vacation spot, on the very shore where her parents had first met, Anna has never felt closer – yet, still so removed – from her departed mother’s memory.

This is a sweet, gorgeous and touching novel. I swiped throu
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 5/1/11:

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby is a moving debut that kept me riveted and wouldn't let me go. It didn't take me long to read this book, but in spite of its brevity it has given me so much to ponder. Kirby follows in the footsteps of Sarah Dessen as she paints the tale of a troubled teen who is seeking to find beauty and meaning in a life full of secrets and questions. If this novel is the calibre of writing we can expect fro
Jun 15, 2011 Victoria rated it really liked it
Moonglass is everything you'd want in a good summer read! We've got the beach, the boy, the history, the dark, mysterious past. Not only is the cover gorgeous and the words delicious but the plot was well thought out and generally a fantastic read.

Anna grew up on the beach, she knows a thing or to on how everything runs. She spent nights searching for sea glass, or what she and her mother called moonglass because they searched with the light of the moon. Anna is a fantastic main character. She's
Jun 10, 2011 K rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Summer books are such great reading destinations.

Anna’s great summer is coming to an end. Her father has decided to move them both to a new beach town. He’s been living in the new house and has already established his long work hours, so she’s left to explore on her own. There are girly girls with small dogs in big bags and inappropriate footwear; a boys’ club of lifeguards (who come pre-warned by her father to stay away); barely-there memories and a family story that everyone but her seems to k
Jun 22, 2011 Cheyenne rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, arcs, own
Also see the review on my blog.

Moonglass is such a great book. I first mentioned it on my Top 10 Summer Reads, and it couldn't have been a better pick. It really was the perfect book for summer. It had the beach and the boys, but it didn't stop there. The story was much deeper and meaningful.

I absolutely loved the characters. Each one was well-rounded and complete. There weren't any 2D personalities. Ashley was probably one of my favorites, because although she was rich and somewhat shallow, she
Shannon (aka The Tale Temptress)
This was one of those stories that was kind of gentle and smooth. It didn't have all kinds of complicated plot twists and overly dont angst. It was a simple, straightforward story that I found very refreshing after reading so many really heavy or dark books with lots of twists and turns. It was like a breath of fresh air.

I would have to say, definitely, that the characters were the real driving point here. Anna is a strong heroine, gutsy enough to go cliff diving, which is something I would be w
Jun 08, 2011 Brob rated it really liked it
Each summer I start picking up what I consider "Summer Beach Reads." These may or may not be labeled as such but generally they are inspirational or light reads in the YA genre. Things like Sarah Dessen, Hayley Abott, etc. I actually came across Moonglass because Sarah Dessen had written a brief blurb for the back of the book and that got me interested.

I thought this book was a great debut novel from Jessi Kirby. Anna is a great lead character and there is a lot of time dedicated to character d
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Having recently accepted the startling fact that I love depressing contemporary novels, I have begun to work on a huge backlist of titles I've missed out on because I looked at the subject and scurried in the other direction. Having heard great things about Jessi Kirby's books, I added her to my tbr pile, and my crazy system of choosing reads told me that it was time. Right now, I want to pat my crazy rituals on the back for choosing such a good book for me to read.

Actually, based on the cover,
Sara Grochowski
May 17, 2011 Sara Grochowski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I've come to find that discovering new contemporary YA authors to love is becoming a consuming hobby, but it's so worth it when I find an author like Jessi Kirby and a book like MOONGLASS.

I'm not the biggest fan of MOONGLASS' cover, but the blurb by Sarah Dessen intrigued me. Dessen has been one of my favorite authors since junior high I always take a look at books that are rumored to be similar to her style... Kirby's debut is reminiscent of Dessen's novels, but is definitely it's own novel. I
Kelly Hager
May 09, 2011 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
Anna is not pleased. Her dad has just moved them to a new town, meaning she has to get adjusted to a new school and make friends. It's hard enough anyway, but especially in high school. Fortunately, she meets the world's friendliest girl and soon joins the school's track team. Still, much as she enjoys running, her real love is the ocean and fortunately, their new house is right on the beach. She even meets a cute lifeguard. But everything is shadowed by her mom's death (it happened when Anna wh ...more
P.A. Warren
Apr 26, 2012 P.A. Warren rated it really liked it
**REVIEW**Possible Spoilers..Taken from my Blog

Let me start by saying I enjoyed this book.I didnt love it but I enjoyed it. In the story you find Anna and her father moving back to where her mother and father met.Her father takes a job as I want to say Park ranger type.You get the feeling that father and Daughter both practically live in the water.Anna Meets Tyler who is a lifeguard on the beach where her father works and where she lives.I kept picturing in m
Apr 27, 2011 Ivy rated it it was amazing
Moonglass has made me teary! If you’re going to read Moonglass, you’ll need some napkins by you to catch those tears streaming from your eyes!

Anna has to move when her father gets a job transfer to a place where their parents met. Little did she know, she discovers things she has not known about her parents. To make the matters worse, she hears first hand by someone she does not know well.

Moonglass is a summer-y and warm novel. You can expect to get teary because Anna gets to know more about her
Dec 27, 2011 Erica rated it really liked it
Moonglass was a really touching debut. It was a much needed contemporary that I really enjoyed. It had a story that I really enjoyed and the characters were just great.

The plot of this book was just very easy going and had a steady pace. I loved that Anna and Tyler's relationship took a bit to build. It wasn't simply ok, we're together now. I was actually a good chunk into the book before they actually got together, and that was awesome.

The characters were my favorite part of this book. I loved
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We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Thoughts on Moonglass? 2 10 Jul 08, 2012 06:55PM  
We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Moonglass 4 6 Jul 08, 2012 06:42PM  
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We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Moonglass Character Favorites 1 4 Apr 14, 2012 08:21AM  
We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: How Much Do You Know About Moonglass? 1 2 Apr 12, 2012 10:23AM  
We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Our Take on the Moonglass Characters 1 3 Apr 12, 2012 09:53AM  
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Jessi Kirby is a former English teacher and librarian. She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband and two kids, where she writes stories and runs the beach every day. Well, almost every day.

You can contact Jessi at
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“I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.” 78 likes
“Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine... none of them had mothers."
I was 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. The deserved it more than other girls." She looked at me intently. "Life will make it up to you, Anna.”
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