Every now and then a book comes around that does more than entertains you for the length of time you’re reading it. It worms its way into your heart and your mind and when you’ve finished with it, you’re still not done. It stays with you and you smile while remembering a certain scene or a particular line. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley will be with me for a long time. Let me, and my blog-mate Kate, tell you why.
Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes. -description provided by publisher
Leiah: Oh my gosh, Kate, there is something in going on in Australia. Somehow “genius” has been broken down into its elemental form and put in the water supply. Some of my most favorite YA novels ever are coming out of there. Just brilliant, brilliant books.
Kate: Graffiti Moon had the same kind of power and unique voice for me that Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road did. Only it was a completely different book telling a completely different story. It just had that magic, though. That something.
Leiah: I had been told to read Graffiti Moon forever. It was released in Australia two years ago and when I read the description I was intrigued, but something kept me from reading it. Laziness, probably. It then became available on Netgalley for its US release, so I requested it and then sat on it. Really dumb move. I could have been raving about this book for months instead of the few weeks before it’s out here in the states. It’s just such a fantastic read.
Kate: See, I didn’t hear about it until later. And I had to wait on Netgalley to approve me, so I read it all at once that night. It was one of those for me.
Leiah: Once I started reading, I didn’t stop. The tone of the story made me think back, way back, to the time I was a teenager and the energy that was sparked around having a night out with friends. A night where anything could happen. I really loved that on the brink of their adulthoods, year twelve having just ended, that these kids were getting together for a seemingly innocuous night out and LIFE happened.
Kate: That was the best thing. It was an adventure, but the kind of an adventure it feels like almost anyone can have. This is one of the most relatable, real YA books that I’ve read in a long time. You felt for every character and every character was important and you got to know them. It was one of the few multiple point of view books I’ve ever liked, and the likability of the cast had a lot to do with that. And those points of views led to a really interesting format.
Leiah: Agreed. It was like the story was weaved together with these two really strong viewpoints, but the bits from Poet’s were like a silver thread running through the tapestry. They weren’t a major part of the story line, but yet they added so much and really allowed you into his world. And then there is Shadow. I don’t want to gloss over Lucy, because she is one of the most likable teenagers I’ve ever read, but Shadow was just, yeah. He’s one of those boys you wished you knew at 18.
Kate: I loved the Poet sections because they were a great application of the technique. I’ll admit that I’m still not sure how I feel about the direct overlap. But I seeing Lucy and Ed’s different reactions to the same thing, but also the things that tied them together. Because that was a lot of the book for me, that tie between Lucy and Ed.
Leiah: I don’t know how she did it, but somehow Cath Crowley is the master at making overlapping scenes work from different points-of-view. That is usually the death knell of a book for me. It’s always so tedious to read the same thing over again, but, you’re right, it worked really well here, because both Ed and Lucy are coming from such different perspectives. Seeing how Ed’s resolve over not letting Lucy know his secret crumble as they get to really know each other was so heartwarming, because it wasn’t just about him crushing on Lucy, it was about him coming to terms with who he was. I also really enjoyed how they interacted with their friends. It was nice that there wasn’t any question that these were true friendships.
Kate: I loved how it showed those friendships growing too. And that everyone is not what they seem. The juxtaposition between Lucy’s tale of her first terrible date and then the Ed that she sees underneath? It was masterful. Lucy’s growth especially. And not really growth. It was more a…centering. She grew into who she already was underneath.
Leiah: Yes, I felt like it was that way for both of them. They are both artists, yet they express themselves so differently through their art. It was just a really lovely book. I rarely wish for books I love to be turned into movies because they never convey the true meaning of the story, but this is a story that I would love to “see.” I want to watch Ed create his walls and Lucy work on her portfolio project. It all sounded so beautiful, and while Cath’s gorgeous descriptions conveyed what they looked like, I want to be a glutton and be able to really experience it visually.
Kate: It was a stunningly visual book. The descriptions, not only of the surrounds and the art and the physical, but of the emotions the characters themselves were feeling? Beautiful. It was so lyrical without feeling overdone. That might have been one of my favorite parts of the book.
Leiah: AND on top of all of this, you have a really engaging plot. It really did feel like a much, much cooler version of an 80′s teen movie.
Kate: It really did! It had an 80s vibe in the sense that there was adventure, but it had a lot more heart.
Leiah: The heart of the book is what will make me read it again and again. I felt so good when I finished it.
Kate: It was so uplifting. It was nice to read such a thoughtful book. And it was nice to read something that didn’t have vampires or witches or anything. It was a breath of fresh air to have something so soulful and so technically brilliant.
Leiah: Yeah, all of what you just said plus a really swoony boy.
Kate: I can’t wait to recommend this to everyone I’ve ever met and then just everyone in general.
Leiah: It will be a book I gift many times and the first one will be given to one of our readers.
Kate: Oooo giveaway?
Leiah: Yep. Graffiti Moon hits shelves on Valentine’s Day (awesome marketing strategy, btw) and one of our lucky readers will have a brand spanking new copy sent to them to fall in love with. Since we will be buying this copy, the contest is open to EVERYONE! Just click below and you’re entered.