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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,460 ratings  ·  591 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
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Feb 22, 2011 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.

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 13, 2011 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 unders
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
Mar 29, 2011 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
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
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 beac
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
There’s one word that captures this book for me and that is ‘boring’. Because it was really boring. The story arc is pretty much non existent, and so is the character development. A lot remains flat and unexplored.

For instance, the storyline about her mother remains vague. (view spoiler)
Joee (booksandacupofjoee)
While this book had a sweet Summer/ Beachy vibes, it wasn't near as amazing as I hoped. It felt very young YA (too much so for me) and the romance was meh. It happened quick and didn't have any depth too it. To be honest, the overall storyline was kind of boring and didn't have me invested.

After loving Things We Know By Heart, I had high hopes but this didn't quite hit the mark which is a bummer. It was a sweet innocent beachy read though which was nice for the lake.
Laurence R.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is such a good YA novel! It has just the right amount of emotions and it’s well written. I’m starting to become a very big fan of Jessi Kirby!
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. I had heard great things about this book and the cover was just stunning, so I was eager to read it. It ended up being an okay book, although it wasn't as interesting as I had hoped.

Anna is being forced by her father to move into a seaside cottage near where his new job is. Anna is having to start her senoir year at a brand new school. She also finds out that her new home is where her mom and dad meet. As, such she is thrust into the mys
Christina (Reading Extensively)
May 26, 2011 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
Mar 17, 2011 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
Mar 25, 2011 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
May 03, 2011 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
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Right before the start of senior year, Anna and her father move to the town where he grew up and met her mother, who committed suicide when Anna was seven. Anna wants but fears learning more about her mother as she reluctantly settles in to her new town.

MOONGLASS was not a fun read. Not much happened during the first 90% of the book, though I enjoyed the last 10% very much. Jessi Kirby’s word-building was the strongest component of the story. Anna’s surly voice felt authentic.

Anna wasn’t kind
Jun 10, 2011 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
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
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, beach-lake
I can always count on Jessi Kirby for a great, emotional, heartfelt, quick read. I loved Moonglass. The storyline was unique, and I loved all the themes woven throughout, from finding your way through grief to finding little moments with the ones you care about.

Tyler was such a good character as well, and I really appreciated his caring nature and how he so easily meshed with Anna and her dad. I also really liked the secondary characters, but wanted more from them. With a lot of Kirby stories, t
J. Taylor
3.5 This came so close to being a four and I think the problem lies in it not being fleshed out enough, it's a short book and I feel had it been longer and delved more into things it would have been even better.
As it was I really liked the main protagonist who's a tad more confident then a lot of other ya girls, her friend Ashley whose really not the surface level bimbo she appears on first impression, the love interest was alright and the descriptions of the sea and beaches were so lush. Defin
Moonglass is a book that I probably would have never picked up had the Jessi Kirby hype been at such an extreme level for these past few weeks. What I really wanted to read of Kirby's was her newest publication, Golden, but unfortunately my library did not have a copy yet, so I decided to bide my time waiting for a copy of Golden by reading Kirby's debut.

It's been nearly ten years since Anna Ryan's mother died. Ten years since she trailed behind her mother on the beach, watching as her mother wa
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,
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
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
For more info and reviews please visit my Book Review Blog here - A Life Bound By Books

Jessi Kirby’s Moonglass is more than just sun, sand and sea. It’s about truth, healing and honesty. It’s about strength and love. Kirby fit many emotions into her book and did a wonderful job with her characters and what they were finally working to come to terms with.

When Anna is forced to move when her dad takes a new job, she has the typical teen reactions. She’s angry and hurt and wants to stay right w
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, arcs
Moonglass was a beautifully written debut novel by Jessi Kirby that will surely appeal to fans of contemporary novels like those of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.

I loved how the setting was so real. I could hear the crash of the waves in the background and hear the creaks of the floorboards in the old cottages. The places described in Moonglass just came alive and literally jumped off the pages. Since I read this in the middle of winter, it left me craving a visit to the beach.

The characters were a
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a freebie book from Amazon they sent me to read and review for them.

First, let me say this author did a great job on her first book. I just wish it were a bit longer so we could get a bit deeper into Anna's other relationships. This book deals with a lot of very difficult topics from guilt, loss of a parent, mental illness, strained relationship with her dad, a move to a new high school and finding new friends, etc. All of these difficult situations were tied together in a heartfelt ma
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It didn't take much for this book to have me completely hooked. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and the summary is heart-wrenching. There is even a blurb on the cover from Sarah Dessen. But what really drew me in to this book, I think was this quote: "I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both. " No matter what I do I just can not get these words out of my mind. They are haunting and mysterious yet so beautiful.

The book st
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We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Thoughts on Moonglass? 2 13 Jul 08, 2012 06:55PM  
We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Moonglass 4 9 Jul 08, 2012 06:42PM  
What do you believe? 2 18 Apr 26, 2012 10:22PM  
We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: Moonglass Character Favorites 1 4 Apr 14, 2012 08:21AM  
We ♥ Jessi Kirby!: How Much Do You Know About Moonglass? 1 3 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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41 likes · 25 comments
“I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.” 98 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.”
More quotes…