Thursday, March 11, 2010

THE LIFE OF GLASS by Jillian Cantor [Book Inspection] [YA]

Plot Sketch: Melissa and her bff, Ryan, ride their bikes together through the Arizona desert frequently. They've been friends for a while, and have gotten through some really tough things together - like her father's cancer and subsequent death. It's been hard for Melissa because she related to her father best, and now she's stuck at home with her beautician mom and beauty-pageant-loving and popular older sister Ashley, neither of whom to which she can relate well. New girl Courtney moves in, has eyes for Ryan, and he's got eyes for her back. Is Melissa jealous? Notsomuch. She's just trying to live life and preserve her friendships. Plus, Max Healy's like totally hot and unattainable, so she's got her eye on him, even though it's never gonna happen between them. Plus, she's trying really hard to not lose the memory of her dad. She's got his journal, which she secretly stashed when her mother was going through the purging of her dad's stuff, and she reads a page almost every day, immersing herself into the history and research her father had left. She finds a name on a slip of paper and becomes semi-obsessed with finding out who the woman is and what she meant to her father. This story takes you through that mystery, Melissa's healing, and her struggles as an everyday high school girl.

Verdict: I Heart It. THE LIFE OF GLASS was a novel I savored. I didn't fly through it like I usually do novels, I just couldn't bring myself to miss something, not even one small thing, in Melissa's story. The world is real. The situations and conundrums are realistic, Melissa's reactions and feelings so genuine. The writing is fluent and lovely. It doesn't linger where it shouldn't and there aren't any parts that drag on. Appropriate time is spent on the development of characters, and on the parts of the story that we, as readers, want to know more about. You're not left wondering what happened next or why characters did what they did. It's an amazing novel, and I wholeheartedly recommend it!

The Gauntlet:

Location: Arizona desert, USA
Main Character: Melissa McAllister. She's great. She's got her priorities straight. She stands up for her beliefs and for herself. She is an excellent example to any teen who might be going through a loss of a loved one in their life, and an inspiration to the rest of us.
Favorite Character: Melissa was definitely my favorite, but I also have a love for Ryan. He, in his own way, had a sort of coming-of-age tale written between the lines of Melissa's. I also really liked the parallels between Melissa and Aunt Julie and loved that Aunt Julie could be so helpful to Melissa, even if she was 3k miles away.
Time to Finish: It took me about four days to read because I knew I didn't want it to end.
Got Stuck On: I didn't get stuck at all.
Would Change: Nothing.
Favorite Line: "Here's something I learned from my father's journal: When glass breaks, the cracks move at a speed greater than three thousand miles per hour. All you had to do was drop it on a hard floor, and it set off this reaction that came so quickly that you couldn't take it back, even if you wanted to." --p.298
Good for Monster? Definitely not his genre.
People Who Will Like This: people who know what it's like to work hard for something, younger sisters, people who enjoy strong positive female main characters, people who married their best friends
People Who Won't Like This: people who don't understand what it's like to lose a loved one, people who think that it's okay to be a slut, people with silver spoons in their mouths, Joey from Dawson's Creek
Chapters: 26
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: February 9, 2010
ISBN-10: 0061686514

Acquire It:



Miriam said...

I like this review and this book seems really cool. I like the idea, and I have also lost a loved one, albeit a while ago, so I think I could relate. I want to get my hands on this book now!

Cleverly Inked said...

LMAO @ Joey from Dawsons creek OO I need to get this one

April (BooksandWine) said...

LOL I love Joey from Dawson's Creek. That said, I can't wait to read this. I just won it in a twitter contest from the author :-) Can't wait til it comes in the mail.

I Heart Monster said...

Congrats, April! I hope you'll stop back by and leave us a link to your review. We'd love to see what you think.

Shy said...

Oooh! I really need to read this one. Anything that touches emotion has always been on the top of my list :D