Friday, 6 July 2012
Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Released: 5th July 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Source: Proof copy from publisher for review
"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."
It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.
His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.
Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.
But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes
Graffiti Moon was the sort of book to make you long for an all night adventure, for sweet, slightly dysfunctional but very touching romances, for balmy Australian summer nights. It was beautifully written and the characters were so lovely and so real. I don't know what it is about Australians, but they write some amazing contemporary fiction.
Lucy really wants to meet Shadow, the elusive graffiti artist, because she knows that someone as talented as he is is someone she would want to be with. It took me a while to warm to Lucy, and to get into the story really. It wasn't until about 50 pages in that I really started loving it. I found Lucy a bit naive, a bit idealistic for an 18 year old girl. I found it a little annoying at first that she was so fixated on Shadow, but then I realised that's kinda what we do all the time, build up mental pictures of how we think people will be, imagine our interactions with them, if we ever met them. I loved all the dramatic irony in this book, because you know Ed is shadow right off the bat, and Lucy is telling him some preeettyyy embarrassing things about Shadow, about how she feels about him, whilst the reader knows who she's really talking to. It felt kinda Shakespearian and I loved it, it made me wince and groan and go "ohhh Lucy shhhhh".
Ed was so cute, and I think the author did a fantastic job of creating in him a character that I think a lot of teens and young adults could relate to, male or female. He felt trapped by his circumstances, desperate. He couldn't find a job which left him lost and with huge feelings of inadequacy. It was amazing to watch his feelings towards Lucy change, from resentment and slight anger at the beginning of the night, down to the end of the book. I totally got how it feels to not tell someone something important straight away, then feel like you've missed your shot at it and not really know how to tell them until it comes back and bites you in the arse further down the line. I thought that how Lucy discovered that he was Shadow was fantastic, I'd kinda hoped she'd pick it up earlier; but I guess you wouldn't really. The conversations the pair had were fantastic...I think the dark makes you more brave, when there's no one else around and you can't really see the other person clearly so you have long, intimate discussions that you would never have in the day, and this was pulled off perfectly here.
I really loved the other characters too, they were so well fleshed out with their own personalities, back stories and moments within the book. I liked how they were featured enough, yet didn't steal the show from Lucy and Ed.
The plot was fantastic, considering they were mostly wandering around in the dark I never really felt bored, because the conversations were so interesting, and then events really picked up. I really liked the way everything worked out, I really didn't think they would all get out of the situation they were in, or how everything would be resolved, but it was perfect. I don't think I could've asked for a better ending to the book actually.
Graffiti Moon has it all, wonderful writing, a captivating plot and fantastic, perfectly captured characters. It's not a light-hearted, fluffy contemporary read, it's deeper, touches on tougher subjects and ultimately, will forge an emotional connection between you, the reader and the story.
Pop over to Liz's blog today where she's reviewing From What I Can Remember