Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

Title: The Life of Glass
Author: Jillian Cantor
Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 9, 2010

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 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 finishing a journal he 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.

Melissa's family is just the opposite of glass. While glass can last for a million years, Melissa's family is already on it's way to completely crumbling and disintegrating. Her life is a complete and utter wreck with the added addition of her friendship troubles and her family issues. Life couldn't get any worse. She's all alone. But as she goes on, she discovers that people can really change.

Poignant, heart-wrenching, and breathtakingly beautiful, The Life of Glass is a touching, contemporary story that explores themes of loss, love, and self-discovery through allegorical metaphors and references that becomes the absolute heart of the novel. The undercurrent of the novel is powerful and subtle at the same time which gives it a more symbolic importance that is rare to perfect and flawlessly achieve. The Life of Glass is an incredibly real and authentic novel in Melissa's point of view. Cantor writes with vivid clarity and maturity through Melissa's first person narrative and draws out the different parts of a teenager's life and completely captures the emotions and the experiences through Melissa's hardships, wisdom, and maturity.

Moments in The Life of Glass are balanced with sad, emotional ones as well as humorous ones. But Cantor delivers each moment with impeccable consistency. The balance in the novel mirrors the balance in real life, making for an even more convincing and realistic read. As The Life of Glass mostly centers around Melissa, the minor characters, although typical as they might be, are never boring or cliché. They're never monotonous or tedious. All of the characters in The Life of Glass are strong and solid. Cantor is consistent with everything!

The Life of Glass is a book that has the power to weave the simplest of things and make them beautiful and emotional. Cantor brings readers back to their teenage years and couples that with the imbued metaphors and powerful writing. The Life of Glass will take more than a million years to decompose. It's truly unforgettable. A+ =)

The Bottom Line: Jillian Cantor + Metaphors = Perfect and Unforgettable

---Report Card---
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 10/10
Theme: 10/10
Imagery: 10/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 100/100 (A+) !!!This is one of the SEVEN books that hold the title: !!!

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Anonymous,  February 13, 2010 at 9:48 PM  

Jillian is an amazing author. I cannot wait to read this book!!

Beautiful review as well. :)

Gaby G February 13, 2010 at 10:10 PM  

WOW! 100/100!! This must be an excellent book

J.T. Oldfield February 23, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

This sounds good, and what's more, realistic. Though I don't think I could read it because I lost my Dad a couple years ago. I get the main character's motivation for going through her Dad's things and journal. In the days after my Dad died, I went through this junk drawer he had. My Mom and sisters didn't really want me to, but I just felt like I wanted to look at them, to touch them, to see just what all he kept in there.

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