Moonglass is truly a stunning book, with its atmospheric setting and poignant storytelling. It pulls the reader into its pages and drops them right on the sand with Anna, fumbling for purchase in a new town, on a new beach, with no friends and the weight of the memories of a mother she never really got to know.
Kirby balances Anna’s growing sadness with a sweet love story and quite a few amusing characters. Tyler is everything a beach-loving girl could want. He’s gorgeous, a lifeguard, and confident without being overly cocky. His personality is electric and the reader will feel that, along with Anna. Then there’s Ashley, Anna’s first new friend, who is pretty much a bimbo, but very innocent and impossible not to like. Jillian, Anna’s cross-country teammate, is such a contrast to Ashley, but her backstory plays well into Anna’s.
The focus of the story is Anna and her family though, her dead mother, her father, and the world the two of them left behind; the world that Anna never knew, but that her father has pulled her to. Kirby’s vivid descriptions of the ocean, the sea glass, Anna’s ‘moonglass,’ and the story of the mermaids is heartbreaking and poetic. This small community that Anna first views as foreign becomes such a huge part of who she is. Every detail is important; every character adds to the intrigue about Anna’s mother and towards the end I was near tears.
Moonglass is a beautiful debut that is the perfect summer read. It delicately confronts family issues, while allowing for a romance to bloom. If you’re heading out to the beach or plan on spending a night overlooking the water, grab this one to bring with you.