From School Library Journal
Grade 7–10—Melissa's father is dying, and the last words they share come as she shows him a piece of weathered glass that she and her friend Ryan found while riding in the wash behind their house. Melissa's world is further jarred as a new girl makes moves on Ryan, and she finds herself jealous. Also, her mother begins dating a cowboy she met at the beauty salon where she works. Now Melissa is clinging to every connection to her dad that she can, including a journal with a mysterious woman's name in it. Melissa worshipped her father; is it possible that he could have had an affair? In the end, when she is able to let the glass go, she is able to move on with her life. The Life of Glass
is very much a page-turner and reads effortlessly. Its only flaw lies in trying to be more meaningful than it needs to be: not every interaction needs to be pivotal and every exchange symbolic, but that is easily forgiven. An absorbing read.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
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In the year since her beloved father died of lung cancer, Melissa feels isolated and ignored: her mother has started dating again, her attractive older sister pointedly disowns her at school, and her male best friend becomes involved with a gorgeous new student, causing Melissa to question her feelings for him. She feels an affinity with her aunt Julia, who was also an ugly duckling to a swan-like sibling, and she takes comfort in maintaining the book of love stories and odd facts that her father started. Themes of memory, beauty, and secrets come together in this thoughtful, uplifting book that skillfully avoids Cinderella-tale predictability. Melissa grows and matures, but she also remains true to the person that she was at the book’s start, and she is an honest narrator who describes both her own flaws, as well as the positive traits of those she dislikes. What could have been a formulaic tale of adolescent angst is instead a gentle portrait of a girl growing through her grief. Grades 7-12. --Kara Dean