When Anna Ryan was 7, her mother drowned in the ocean, leaving Anna with inescapable guilt and a growing rift with her withdrawn lifeguard father.
After he accepts a job transfer to southern California the summer before Anna’s junior year, they end up stationed at the same beach where her father and mother met and fell in love and living beside the abandoned cottage her mother resided in for several summers. The teen’s new surroundings, beautifully described in the first-person narration, invite unexpected friendships and a secret relationship with young lifeguard Tyler, who’s been warned not to fool around with the boss’ daughter. And enveloped by her now-mythical mother’s stomping grounds, locals who remember her mother, a growing need for answers about her mother’s past and an eerie pull from the ocean itself, Anna’s fond memories of collecting sea glass by the light of the moon with a carefree mother turn to anger as she begins to remember details about her troubled mother’s “accident.” Like sea glass, this smooth, radiant debut, reminiscent of Sarah Dessen, sets authentic and sympathetic characters working through a life-changing transformation against the backdrop of a steamy summer romance.
Great for beach time—or anytime. (Fiction. 12 & up)