The Life of Glass
By Jillian Cantor
(HarperTeen, Hardcover, 9780061686511, 352pp.)
Publication Date: February 2010
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Before he died, Melissa's father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren't always the most beautifulthat 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 beganone 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.
Jillian Cantor is the author of two young adult novels, The September Sisters and The Life of Glass. She has an MFA from the University of Arizona and was a recipient of the national Jacob K. Javits Fellowship.
Melissa’s first-person narrative and pithy remarks are realistic and relatable as she comes to terms with the inevitability—and also the possibilities—of the future.
“Characters are well-realized...Melissa’s first-person narrative rings true. Pleasantly satisfying”
Themes of memory, beauty, and secrets come together in this thoughtful, uplifting book that skillfully avoids Cinderella-tale predictability. What could have been a formulaic tale of adolescent angst is instead a gentle portrait of a girl growing through her grief.
In Jillian Cantor’s expressive, eloquently rendered coming-of-age novel, the broken-glass motif echoes throughout Melissa’s heartfelt story of love and resilience. Cantor’s pitch-perfect narration and spot-on depiction of emotional turmoil will remind readers of the exquisite fragility of adolescence.
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org