04 October 2012

Graffiti Moon

Author: Cath Crowley 
Series: Stand Alone
Genres: Realistic, Contemporary, Young Adult, Aussie
Publisher: Pan Macmillian Australian
Released: 1 August 2010
Summary: courtesy of goodreads.com 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.
My Review: Have you ever had a crush on someone that you didn’t know.  You build them up in your head from your faraway perch on the outskirt of their life.  Imagining that they’re this perfect, wonderful person and then you finally meet and start talking to them and you realize . . . perfection is futile?  I’ve done this.  I’ve done this on more than one occasion, and this is what Lucy does. And this is why I really loved Graffiti Moon.
It’s hard to describe why this book struck such a significant chord with me.  I loved the strength of both Lucy and Ed’s perspectives.  The banter, Ed’s way of coping with the idea that Lucy has of him was hilarious.  Trying to break down her imaginary boy without breaking her down.  There was something so whimsical and lovely about the night that they spend together discovering Shadow.  There were a lot of bits in this novel where I was laughing out loud, Lucy is so straightforward and has one of the most distinct voices I’ve read in YA.  The other thing that I truly enjoyed was how real their evening together was (minus the bad guys, I’ll get to that in a minute).  They spend the evening riding around on a bicycle looking at incredible graffiti art (that I wouldn’t mind seeing in real life – the descriptions are lovely) and talking about life.  They don’t spend the night trying to get with each other, and they have pretty low expectations of each other, which I know sounds weird, but was actually really refreshing.  There wasn't some type of "mask" that they had in front of each other, or this animal-like attraction where they had to say everything that was on their mind either.  They were normal.  It was really nice.
The only thing that did get to me was the “bad guys”.  I wanted them to be a little bit more consistent, be in the novel a little bit more.  It seemed like no one was really afraid and then suddenly this really scary (to me – I’m a fraidy cat) thing was happening and I was kind of like, “wait, say what? – I mean I know you said ‘he’s a bad guy’ but I didn’t think you actually meant it.” I guess I wanted more of a substantial fear of them from the beginning, but all of the boys seem to write them off a little bit, so when it did appear I didn’t really believe it.  I would like to believe it is because Ed is so enamored with Lucy, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case.
This book reminds me a little bit of that film American Graffiti, where the kids are graduating and moving on and somehow when the sun rises nine hours later they’re totally different people?  This was kind of like that (except substitute cars and music for a bicycle and graffiti art). And I think that the Paper Aeroplanes described Lucy’s initial feelings about Shadow (especially how “perfect” he seems) wonderfully in their song “My First Love.” Just saying.  Also: how to Australian authors seem to be able to grab these incredible realistic pieces of life and just share it so beautifully?  That's what I want to know.  Love it. Love it so so much.

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