Blog Tour Review: The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor
Jillian Cantor's website here // $11.46  from {amazon}

Publisher: HarperTeen (February 9, 2010)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Summary: from {goodreads}
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

Rating: View my rating system.

My Thoughts: The Life of Glass is a beautiful read about family, loss, and love. It's not one of those kind of books that immediately grabs you and makes you feel like you need to read it right there, right now but one that slowly grows on you and makes you go "wow" when you look back. The Life of Glass is a sweet reminder that even when everything can seem like it's falling apart, what matters most will always be there - or at least for a million years, how long it takes a piece of glass to decay.

Jillian Cantor begins by introducing Melissa, paraphrasing her father's death and her relationship with her best guy friend, Brian, pre-high school. I didn't really have any feelings for Melissa at first, but I soon found myself connecting to what I had earlier overlooked: Melissa's normalcy. I can't say I've been in her exact situations before, but Melissa's young, relatable feelings and aspirations quickly drew me in. She's resilient and has her head firmly on her shoulders; yes, she occasionally shows some teenage immaturity but not in a way that immediately drove me off. I clearly saw Melissa's growth from a naive young girl to a more mature, open-minded teen, and I applauded her every step of the way. I'm not going to lie and say I supported everything she thought and did, but mistakes are a part of growing up and I definitely saw how she learned from each expierience. She's not an angel, and who is really?

As for plot, The Life of Glass's story is intricate and very well-connected. I mentioned earlier the three basic components that Jillian Cantor addresses: family, love, and loss. Jillian introduces many subplots, but one situation always flowed smoothly into the next; I never felt like Jillian Cantor had to throw in some unlikely, inexplicable circumstance to force Melissa home to "coincidently" see her sister's friend and fall in love him. The situations themselves are a bit stereotypical, but that's actually a positive aspect in that they're relatable and simply plain normal. Jillian Cantor skillfully weaves messages about dealing with changing relationships and handling loss, and though The Life of Glass is not a tear-jerker by any means, there were definitely times that my heart semi-broke and times it wanted to jump with joy.

A special area of sweetness is Ryan. He sounds exactly like the type of boy-down-the-street that's always there for you when you're younger then grows into this cute, lanky more-than-a-friend when you're older. Ryan's got the shyness, weakness (asthma), sensitivity, and blue eyes down pat, and I don't know what more to expect. He has his mistakes here and there, but what can I say? - he's just a teenage boy. *cue eye roll* The only semi-complaint is just that I wanted to see more of Ryan. I got a pretty good inkling of who he is, but he would dissapear for large chunks at a time when I just wanted to see more, more, more.

And, last side note, the short 2-page long love stories that "Melissa" wrote throughout the book were adorable. They follow her growing maturity through the book and were a sweet reminder of what dreams are for... what are dreams for? Hope. ♥

Romance: Discovering love. A book of first love, and there is a little under-the-shirt action, but only for about two paragraphs.
Cover: 4.0 -- I love how the glass is shattered but pieced back together, sort of like Melissa's life.
Writing: 4.0
Characters: 5.0
Plot: 4.5

Bottom Line: The Life of Glass is a beautiful coming-of-age story that's, frankly, spot-on. The jealous friends, insecurity, sister bonding -- wait, am I talking about my own life here? All-in-all, The Life of Glass is definitely a book I'll be re-reading when I need a little push to keep going, and I look forward to reading Jillian Cantor's books in the future!

Source: Thank you to Barbara from Blue Slip Media! Recieved on behalf of the blog tour.


Whew, moving on from the review. First off, congrats to Jillian since The Life of Glass comes out TODAY! Yes, you heard me right, that means you can go out and buy it - go, go, go! :D

Second on the agenda...


Enter to win free copies of Jillian Cantor's books and cool prizes! One grand prize winner will receive two glass spirit stones (one for you, one for a friend) from Arizona, where THE LIFE OF GLASS is set, along with an autographed copy of each of Jillian's novels: THE LIFE OF GLASS and THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS. Two lucky runners-up will receive a signed copy of THE LIFE OF GLASS. To be eligible, send an email to with the subject line "The Life of Glass Giveaway". All e-mail entries must be received by midnight (PST) on February 14, 2010. The winners will be selected at random on February 15, 2010. Be sure to include your name and e-mail address with your entry (If you're under age 13, give your parent's contact info). One entry per person. Jillian Cantor's complete blog tour schedule can be found at Good luck!

The next stop is at The Undercover Book Lover, and you can find all the stops here. They're truly worth checking out, and I'll cross my fingers for your chance to read The Life of Glass too!