Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

Grade: A

Before he died, Melissa’s father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren’t always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn’t only skin deep, the people around her don’t seem to feel that way. There’s her gorgeous sister Ashley who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school, there's her best friend Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney, and there’s Melissa’s mother who’s dating someone new, someone who Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

To make sure she doesn’t lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and completing a journal her father began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present, as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn't mean you can't be beautiful on the inside.

This is a lyrical tale of love, loss and self-discovery from the author of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS.

Character Development: 9/10
Originality: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Ending: 10/10
Voice: 10/10
Plot: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Total Score: 60/70

Obtained: Publicist

Age Appropriate? PG
Cussing: A small bit
Drugs, Alcohol, etc.: Mentions of both
Sexual Content: None
Disturbing Images/ Violence: Two accidents, one involving a horse, one a car. Not bad at all.

This book is perfectly ordinary. There is nothing spectacular or dramatic, nothing action packed or steamy, nothing that had me laughing or crying. Perfectly ordinary... enthrallingly so. It was extraordinary.

Though at first all the elements of the book seemed somewhat sterile and depressing, like a hospital, the unique writing soon let me fall into its rhythm, a beat I couldn't get out of my head. The story blossomed, and I watched in wonder.

The Life of Glass is not a story about a grief stricken girl trying to recover from the death of her father. It is the story of a girl. An ordinary girl leading a pretty ordinary life. It is the story of her learning to love and learning which relationships are worthwhile, and which are not. It is a beautiful, touching, and simply wonderful read.

The characters were so very real, not stereotyped, but real. They weren't just characters that contributed to the plot in some way, but they were real people. They had goals and priorities and views that all differed from each other. It created an interesting web of life to observe from a reader's perspective.

A masterfully written, compelling read, definitely recommended.

Jillian Cantor Site
Cantor's Blog


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