All tagged Rebecca Serle

Mini Reviews: Three Contemporary YAs

I’ve had semi-written drafts of reviews of three contemporary YA novels sitting in the queue for ages. Ages as in months.

So, I thought I’d just admit that I’m not going to be able to write one of my patented epically long reviews for every book, and instead pass along my thoughts of three contemporary young adult novels I read and enjoyed this summer. 

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now I’ve thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

I wasn’t as in love with Jessi Kirby’s 2012 release, In Honor, as I hoped I would be, but even though I wasn’t swept away by that story, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing. So, when I spotted her debut, Moonglass, deeply discounted, I snapped it up and absolutely loved it. This novel has that same quality of Melissa Walker, Sarah Ockler or Sarah Dessen—it’s a gentle little story featuring relatable characters and a subdued style. (This is such a refreshing contrast to the high drama that’s so trendy in contemporary YAs this year.) While the themes are heavy (the main character’s mother killed herself), it never feels HEAVY.

Moonglass stands out among the many grief/loss YA novels for a number of reasons, but firstly because the death occurs well before the book’s opening, making the story very much about Anna, the main character, finding herself and figuring out where the loss of her mother at such a young age fits into how she is. There’s a very lightweight romance that progresses in a natural way, and it takes place in a swoon-worthy California beach community that absolutely comes alive, despite the novel’s short length. (Yes, a setting can be swoon-worthy.) 

My only issue with this book is that the symbolism felt a bit over-the-top, but it’s also executed quite well, so that’s more of a personal preference than something that will bother most people. 

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