Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
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.
I had this on my to-read list for a long time, but whenever I saw it at the library I never felt like reading it. Finally, I just deleted it from my to-read list. When I saw some things about Jessi Kirby’s second book, In Honor, I decided to not only check out that book, but to give this book a second chance (really, a first chance, since I never got around to actually reading it in the first place), and I am glad I did, because I really did end up enjoying it.
There were some issues with these book, both because it was a fairly short book and I felt that some characters didn’t get the chance to be fleshed out as much and because even some characters who did get more focus weren’t the best illustrated. There were some stereotypical characters, especially Anna’s new friend (can’t remember her name), but I think Kirby did try to flesh her out enough that it really didn’t bother me as much as it could have. The romance didn’t quite feel genuine to me either – I could believe that they might end up together, but I feel like some of the relationship drama, like “oh, I like him but he doesn’t seem to care about me,” etc., was thrown in by telling us rather than showing us as the reader that it was happening.
Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. It’s been a couple of months, yet I still remember quite a bit of it, including my enjoyment while reading it. I know it seems like I don’t have much to say about this book, but in this case it’s not a bad thing – I enjoyed it and definitely want to check out more of Kirby’s writing in the future.