Since I aspire to BE a debut author someday in the not-so-distant future, I’ve decide to start a semi-regular feature highlighting current debuts I’ve read and found to be exceptional.
First up: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby…
From Amazon: When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother’s mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love. Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach. But when learning more about her mother’s past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.
I bought Moonglass having not heard much about it. I was attracted to the gorgeous cover at Borders, then read the fabulous cover blurb by Sarah Dessen (“I couldn’t put this book down. Kirby’s voice is fresh and wise, all at once. An incredible first novel.”) and had to have it.
I devoured Moonglass in a day and completely agree with Sarah’s assessment: It’s an incredible book. The characters are fun, normal teenagers who do things that fun, normal teenagers do. They talk like regular kids, and they make sometimes irresponsible decisions. I love that. There’s no pretention, no pretty-fying, no airs about these characters. They are layered and imperfect, yet I still found myself wanting to hang out with them. And can I just say: I adored Tyler.
Moonglass is one of those rare books that brings everything full circle by the final page. The characters, the setting (a gorgeous beach in Southern California), the plot, the romance, the backstory (some dating back decades)–it’s all vital to Anna’s discovery of herself and her past. I felt complete upon reading the last page, like everything was tied up just the way it was supposed to be.
I recommend Moonglass to anyone who enjoys a top-notch contemporary story about grief and recovery, the crippling power of guilt, and the importance of friendship and family dynamics–with a little bit of sunshine, kissing, scuba diving, beach jogging and sea glass mixed in. 🙂
Do YOU want to read Moonglass? I’m giving away a brand new hardcover (I love the story too much to part with own copy!) right here on my blog.
Here are the rules:
1. Leave a comment telling me about a recent debut you’ve read and loved OR name a debut coming out soon that you’re dying to read.
2. For a second entry, tweet about this contest, including a link to this post. Leave an additional comment letting me know about your tweet.
3. For a third entry, become a friend of this blog by signing up for an email subscription (in the column to the left). Leave an additional comment letting me know. I will verify this through the blog. If you’re already a friend of the blog, tell me (also in an additional comment please!) and you’ll score an additional entry too.
4. This contest is open internationally, now through Friday, June 17 at 12:00pm (noon), PST. I will tally the entries and draw one winner randomly, then post the winner’s name Friday afternoon.