Moonglass by Jessi Kirby (NY: Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2011).
Seventeen-year-old Anna loves the ocean, the soothing tidal rhythms, the blue water, the shifting sand. She loves running on the beach and looking for sea glass, something she used to do with her mother. She still combs the shore hoping to discover new, colorful treasure. It helps her remember her mother, despite the sadness of knowing her mother left her by walking into the salty waters and never returning when Anna was only seven.
Anna doesn't really want to move when her beach supervisor dad gets a promotion and transfer to a different town--the town where he met Anna's mother when she was just a teen. Anna worries about the memories this will stir up for both of them, but also that she won't fit in at the new high school attended by the town's many wealthy residents. But their new cottage on the beach is cozy and immediately feels like home. And there's a lifeguard who immediately catches her eye, too. Plus, one of the rich girls, fashionista Ashley, befriends her and persuades Anna to go out for the cross country team, where she and the senior leader challenge each other.
As Anna becomes acclimated to her new home, she also starts learning about the town's history--as well as her mom and dad's history. And she finds there are some secrets, including in the abandoned cottage next door.
This novel starts out languidly with the story unfolding gradually but steadily--a mellow pace that manages to avoid being dull because of Anna's introspection about her dead mother, her still somewhat grieving father, and her own memories and curiosity about her mother's youth and what could have led her to eventually leave her young daughter. The romance adds some interest to the story, and Anna's friend Ashley shoots in some humor. All in all, this is a fine summer read. Recommended for ages 14 & up. Sexual situations, alcohol, drugs, language.
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