Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review of Moonglass (with a Personalized Signed Book Giveaway)

I haven't been blogging.

So sorry. I know some of you have been waiting to find out who won Elana Johnson's ARC. I'm ridiculous sorry about taking so long. I do have excuses, mainly involving sickness, traveling, deadlines, and the insane amount of time it takes me to tally up entries. But excuses mexmooshes. I'm sorry. I truly am.

So, without further adooooo:

The winner of Elana Johnson's Personalized Signed ARC of POSSESSION is:

Meagan S.

Congratulations, Meagan!! Please email me with an address so Elana can send you your personalized signed ARC. Thank you so much to all who entered! I appreciate all of you.

**If you haven't done so yet, be sure you enter to win the signed hard cover of DIVERGENT, too. Ends today. And see below for the details to win a PERSONALIZED SIGNED copy of MOONGLASS. Which I loved, by the way. Super loved. Like, YOU-MUST-READ-THIS-BOOK loved. Read below to see why.

**Also, I swear I'll start blogging more than just reviews soon.

MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby

Summary: 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.


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. Reading MOONGLASS was a bit like sitting at the beach, digging my toes in the sand, the scent of salt in the air, the sound of waves crashing and children laughing and seagulls screeching in the distance. I swear I could smell the coconut sunscreen. When I closed my eyes, I could see the white teeth against tan skin, the finely cut abs coming up out of the red swim trunks...the sparkling sea glass half buried in the sand. Kirby knows how to paint a picture and then suck you into it. I don't know that I've ever been more absorbed in a story's setting.

But while the setting might lure you in, it's the characters that will have you reading to the end at a breakneck speed. What starts out as a more typical new-girl-in-a-new-town story quickly turns into something much more complex, more beautiful, and far more heartbreaking. It is exactly what a story of a girl who has lost her mother should be. No melodrama or trivialization. And most importantly, no stereotypes (and yet perfectly relatable characters). Just a girl who is lost, finding her way as best as she can to answers--and to herself. Anna also happens to be the kind of character I would love to have as a friend, so spending a book with her was cake. She's laid back, more of an observer than a reactor, just on the edge of snarky, but kind--and she's confident in her differences and who she is. Her only real insecurities revolve around her mom, and those drive the plot in a very natural, genuine way. Then of course, there's the secondary characters which feel as appealing and three dimensional as Anna. The romance is built up beautifully, and in an unexpected way. The love interest contradicted nearly all of my expectations--and I'm a sucker for any book that can take me by surprise like this.

As if that weren't enough, the prose is gorgeous with turns of phrase that will have your breath catching. And the images Kirby creates--it's like opening a picture book. So sharp, so memorable. And so perfectly in tune with Anna, delivered to us through her eyes, adding to our understanding of who she is.  All of it--the setting, the characters, the writing--it's like a trifecta of bookish awesomeness. It's not an action-packed, suspense-filled sort of book, but it's packed with tension and curiosity and love and humor and heart-wrenching soul-searching. MOONGLASS is more than just a coming of age novel. It's a quest for forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance of a reality that cannot be altered.

MOONGLASS is now available.


Today is the last day to enter to win the Signed Hard Cover of DIVERGENT. So be sure to ENTER HERE before midnight tonight.

Enter to win a Personalized SIGNED copy of MOONGLASS by filling out the short form below (opens in pop-up window). Giveaway ends midnight EST Thursday, May 26, 2011.This giveaway is international.

Personalized Signed MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby ENTRY FORM


Be sure you check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting today:

Elana Johnson marvels at Moonglass
Christine Fonseca raves about It’s Raining Cupcakes
Shelli Johannes-Wells chats with Pure and The Summer of Firsts & Lasts author Terra McEvaoy
LiLa Roecker and Carrie Harris have a passion for Possession
Beth Revis admires the audiobook of Anansi Boys
Megan Miranda swoons over Strings Attached
Shana Silver delves into Divergent
Sarah Frances Hardy gabs about Gossip from the Girls Room
Matt Blackstone is tantalized by Bad Taste in Boys
Stasia Ward Kehoe glories in a guestanista review of The Rendering


  1. I'm really anticipating this novel, thanks :) We all need more beaches in our lives.

  2. Hi, Carolina :)
    Thanks for the giveaway- I've been anticipating this book. Oh, and "excuses mexmooshes" made me giggle. You have such a cute personality.

  3. Eeek, thank you! :O I'm so excited!

    I've really been wanting to read Moonglass for quite a while--I'm glad you liked it so much, means my anticipation maybe isn't misplaced! :P

  4. whoo!! congrats to winner..
    thanks for this amazing giveaway *yey, moonglass* and thanks for making it internationally..

  5. Great review! :) I wasn't that excited before I read your review...but now..I am!

  6. Sounds good and it has a lovely cover! Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Thank you for this review :)

  8. Speaking of describing settings, I now can smell that coconut sunscreen, and I wish it wasn't going towards winter here or I'd be heading to the beach.

    As always, loved the review, but looking forward when you have time to post other things again!

  9. I've been wanting to read this book simply because of the cover! But yeah, the summary's pretty awesome, too ;)

    Great review!

  10. Wow!!! I just read Elana's review, and this is one i can't wait to read. It sounds lovely in so many ways, and right up my alley. My favorite kinds of books paint the setting so vividly I want to jump in and wallow around.

    Adding to the stack ...


  11. If you super love this book, then it's a super must-read! Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Wow Carol! Thank you so much for such a lovely, beautiful review! You and Elana just made my morning!

  13. You write such enticing reviews! I end up wanting to read any book you love and review!

  14. I've been wanting to read Moonglass for quite a while now. So many good books to be read *sigh*
    Good to know that you liked it so much, it keeps my hopes up! =)

  15. +JMJ+

    Your review had me at "New Zealand"! I've lived there and know it's beautiful. Sadly, it could never be home for me and I decided to come back to the country of my birth . . . but the funny thing is that I still get homesick for Wellington. =/

    But what really sold me on this book and got me to enter your giveaway (even after I said I wouldn't--Remember that "vow"?!) was your promise that the romance took you totally by surprise. I'm a big romance reader, so it's rare that love stories can surprise me. I'd like to give Moonglass a chance now. Thanks, Carol! =)

  16. I too love love LOVED this book. I'm a beach girl, so it had me from the shimmery cover, and I love quiet stories that pull thought and emotion off the page and into my heart...and this book delivers. I literally sobbed at the end.

    I, too, highly recommend this tender novel. It's a delightful debut.

    And, thank you for the sweet get well card, Carol. I heart you, dear friend.


  17. Sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Congrats to Meagan! And yeah, you pretty much are sorry for not posting enough :P

  19. Just discovered your blog from another bookanista. I've been really thinking about the importance of setting lately and would love to read this book.

  20. MOONGLASS is another one I have just WAITING to be read. Now it calls to me even louder than before. I swear, Carol, your reviews are the most amazing things. Every time I read one, it bumps the book straight to the top of my TBR.

    Also, I read DIVERGENT last night. Until 3am. O.M.G. BEST book I've read in a looooong time. Must discuss the awesomeness at WisCon.

  21. WOW! I want to read MOONGLASS NOW! I like your review for this book! I'd definitely read this one!

  22. Great review. I've picked this book up and considered, now it's definitely going on my tbr list.

  23. Great review, Carol. I had seen this in the store and was on the fence, but your review absolutely made me want to read this and yesterday. Thank you for adding one more "to read" to my list!!

  24. Awesome review, this sounds like such a good book!

  25. As usual, your reviews entice me to find out more. Will see if I can download the first chapter for this one.

  26. congrats to the winner!
    and I really want to read this book now!
    plus! don't worry! it's really awesome that you take the tame to review other books!:D
    so we'll be here waiting even when you can't blog!!:D

  27. I'd love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Congrats to Meagan... and thx for the giveaway.

  29. Another great review! :D And thank you for this awesome giveaway!

  30. What a lovely review!! This is next on my list ;o) I CAN'T wait to read it!! <3<3

  31. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Moonglass! :D It's definitely on my to-read lost! :D

    And awesome review! Moonglass sounds like an awesome summer read. :D

  32. Oh good-- this one is SO on my list (heard such good things)!!!

  33. This book sounds so good and your review is making me even more excited to read it. :)

  34. Wow - here's another one I can't wait to read. Where do you find all these amazing books?

  35. I've heard great things about this book! Sounds like an awesome summer read :)

    Thank you for the review and the giveaway!

  36. I always love it when a book takes me by surprise!

  37. Congrats to Meagan! And wow, Moonglass sounds good... I'm so sorry you've been sick. :( I'm sending you healthy, book-deal vibes!

  38. This sounds amazing, from the setting to the plot. I can't wait to visit (in my imagination)!

  39. I can't wait to read this! Thanks for the contest :)


  40. Congrats to Meagan! And as always, great review. :)

  41. Thank you for making the contest international! Great review, I've heard quite a bit about this book and want to read it :)

  42. Great review. I'm really looking forward to reading this :-)

  43. Oooh - so excited for this one! And I love that it's contemp -- yay!!! :) I mean, not that I'm biased or anything. ;)

  44. I always love beaches, I don't know how to swim but I love the beach so much. I love the fresh air, the sound of waves, the sunset and sunrise. Everything about it makes me calm and relax. I also want to go to New Zealand. If I can choose one place where I can stay forever I'll pick that place. I'm looking forward reading this book.

  45. I've heard such great things about this. Even though it's not the genre I usually read, I want to read it.

    Hope life slows down for you and that you and/or your family is feeling better.

  46. Great review - thank you! This sounds like an amazing book. I sooo need to catch up on my reading, so I can get more awesome new books in! Adding to my TBR - thanks!

  47. Okay. So this reply has nothing to do with the book or New Zealand - both of which sound awesome - but more importantly I had to tell you this:

    On Saturday night (after much wine) I sat in the living room of my sister-in-law and her husband while Satellite music played on the television. We were talking and laughing and drinking when I heard a song I love and glanced up from my Cabernet and saw the screen:

    Jared Leto.

    Ohmygod that man is delicious with or without the benefit of intoxication.

    I might have groaned but I don't think my husband knew it wasn't about him.

    Anyway, I thought of you.
    See how far your influence spreads?

    Yep. Good stuff.

  48. Super late on commenting, but I had to say that I went to NZ, and you need to go! AMAZING. Also, I need to read Moonglass, ASAP.

  49. Great review. Thanks! Good luck in the contest for everyone!!!

  50. I have to say this sounds impressive. Great review!!

  51. Congrats, Meagan!

    Great review. I'll dig into my copy in the near future.

  52. Hi Carolina
    Great review! I want to read it!

  53. The book is ohso pretty on the book shelves.Thank you for sharing such a great review! And yay, so happy that I can leave blogspot comments again! ^_^ Kinda sad that I missed out on the other contest because of blogspot's random fiasco, but oh well, this is another great book!

  54. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)


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