“The Life of Glass” Jillian Cantor

HarperTeen, 2010. Hardcover. 340 pp.

Did you know glass won’t dissolve for a million years? Such are the types of facts collected by Melissa during the times she and her dad spent pondering the mysteries of the world. When he dies of cancer, Melissa is left with the bit of glass she’d found one day with her best friend Ryan, and Dad’s last words about the fate of glass. Starting high school without her dad is hard enough without her beautiful and popular sister Ashley reminding her everyday of how ugly and lonely she feels.

Two years later, even though Ashley seems to have moved on without a problem, and her mother begins to date a horse rancher, Melissa still feels like something is missing from her life. Daily she looks through her dad’s old journal trying to find some interesting fact or memory, especially when Ryan starts going out with the new girl at school, Courtney, and leaves her behind.

Melissa misses her friendship with Ryan and her dad and wishes she could talk with her mother about her feelings, especially when she finds a note from her father about a woman who’s not her mother. Melissa, now obsessed with finding out what this woman meant to her dad, is soon caught up in events that are more unsettling than she’d thought. It seems like her own life, and others, is being reduced to glass, slowly cracking and breaking away bit by bit.

This was a pretty good read, and I’m sure students in grades 7-10 would enjoy it.


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