Author: Jessi Kirby
Details: Hardcover, 224 pgs.
Published: May 3rd, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Childrens publishing
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
From Jessi Kirby, a debut novel about confronting the past in order to move ahead.
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 place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface. While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna’s mother’s death- stays buried forever.
This is a young adult contemporary book and I was expecting to like it, but I wasn’t expecting this. This book is beautifully wrote but in very simple words. I didn’t find it flowery, but yet it was still just gorgeous. Of course some of that may have been because the descriptions were so well done I could see, smell and hear the beach myself. I could fill the mist on my face, and the sound of the surf. This author had the ability to transport us into the story 100%. I had a very difficult time putting this book down.
It’s not only her descriptions that suck you in, but the characters. I read a lot of books where I say I like the characters, but it’s not real often that I really really love the characters. But these characters were perfect. Anna was very real and easy to imagine. I liked her personality, I got her thought process, and I loved how she carried herself. Every thought that went through her head, every action she followed through with, I got it. Tyler was my kind of guy. I never would have been brave enough to go after him as a teenager though. He carries himself with confidence, but yet he’s a gentleman. He respects Anna and the way that things play out seemed completely perfect. I really loved their relationship and only wish we had more of him 😉
I loved that the author put in the love story but made it mostly uncomplicated. This book is about Anna putting her past behind her as she learns more about her mother and comes to terms with her death and why it happened. It’s also about her relationship with her father which was another thing I thought played out perfect. I thought it was all very realistic and I really felt it. The love, the anger, the frustration. All the emotions in this book were very strong, and well laid out. And although the book is full of these emotions it wasn’t at all depressing.
The setting of the book was perfect and that alone made it a perfect summer read. But I think all the content within would put this at the top of a summer reading list. It’s perfect in so many ways!
This book was far beyond anything I expected. I have to say I truly loved it and the second I finished I was telling people they MUST read it! I’ll definitely watch for anything else from this author.