The cover of this book is what caught my eye when I saw it displayed at the library. The picture of shattered glass is bound to attract attention from anybody, but inside you’ll find the story behind the title.

14-year-old high school freshmen Melissa McAllister has her typical teenage

probleImagems: an older sister whose popularity and looks make her feel inferior, insecurity about her first year of high school and a mother who’s too preoccupied with her job. Since her father’s death, she’s dealt with her grief by paging through his journal and keeping a journal of her own. But when her mother begins a relationship with a new guy and her only friend Ryan starts dating Courtney, the beautiful new girl, Melissa must navigate her own feelings as she finds herself in a brittle and challenging time; in a life of glass.

Although the plot sounds a bit cliché, Jillian Cantor, the author, adds in some of her own details that make the story unique. First, the setting. Of all places, Cantor chose the Arizona desert, a contrast to the usual urban or suburban settings present in most novels. Her imagery provoked my imagination of what living in the desert must be like. It’s something I had never thought about before and think most people do not, since interpret the desert as a barren place with no civilization.

Second, the subplot about Melissa’s ailing grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. While this detail has been done before, Cantor depicts an honest portrayal of the pain and frustration the illness can cause. She made it an actual part of the story and not some random point that has nothing to do with the plot.

Lastly, the writing style. Of course, I’ve mentioned before how each author has their own writing style and how it makes the story, but I feel as if it’s an important aspect to touch on. Cantor has her own style, but if seems different than most other authors. In most novels, there’s always a chapter, or even multiple chapters, of explanation. Basically, it tells who the protagonist is, what’s going on and any other information the reader needs to know. Instead of bunching all the information together, Cantor spreads it out evenly throughout each chapter, almost on a need-to-know basis. For example, when Melissa is describing her grandmother’s appearance and life details, she does it right when she goes to visit her and not chapters before. This makes the story drag less and gives it more of a flowing style.

I definitely recommend this book. Although a typical story of a high school journey, the unusual elements make it worthwhile.

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