Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Graffiti Moon

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Graffiti Moon

In a word ... wow.
This book blew me away.


Graffiti Moon
by Cath Crowley
Knopf Young Readers
February 14, 2012
Source: NetGalley. Received in exchange for an honest review.

"For a while, as long as you're looking at it, that painting is a world and you get to be in it."


For me, this quote from Graffiti Moon sums up the special magic that characterizes great works of art -- they create a world that you get to live inside for a short period of time.

Graffiti Moon evoked a world that I didn't want to leave. Aussie writer Cath Crowley has a hypnotic writing style: spare, poetic and lyrical. The story is told from the points of view of three teenagers, Lucy, Ed and Leo. Lucy and Ed's chapters are in prose, alternating with Leo's poems. These narrative choices really suit the book, which is steeped in art and poetry.

It's the night of high school graduation and Lucy is determined to find Shadow, a local graffiti artist. She's never met him, but she knows the scenes he paints on the sides of buildings under the cover of darkness. His work speaks to her.  So far, Lucy hasn't had great luck with guys. In fact, she went on a date with Ed and ended up breaking his nose. Why? He didn't live up to her romantic paragons: Mr. Darcy and Atticus Finch. Instead, he grabbed her "arse."

After that disastrous date, Ed dropped out of school. Then he got fired from his job the paint store. Now his friend Leo is pressuring him for help on a top-secret project involving a getaway car.

Lucy's excited to learn that someone knows where Shadow hangs out. Unfortunately, that person happens to be Ed, the infamous arse-grabber. So Lucy and her friends Daisy and Jazz, plus Ed and his friends Leo and Dylan, all head off in search of Shadow.

Shadow is closer than Lucy realizes. So is Malcolm Dove, the loan shark who's looking for Leo.


Graffiti Moon takes place in a single night, but within its pages is a whole world. A world where beauty can be found in bleak, unexpected places. A world where dreams can sustain you, then turn around and break your heart.

Cath Crowley's writing is amazing. This was one of those books I had to stop reading every page to two just to savor a sentence. I can't recommend it highly enough!

After I finished reading, I looked up some of the Australian artists mentioned in the book. After you read it, come back and take a look:

Till the Heart Caves In/Michael Zavros.
This is what Lucy thinks love feels like. "You should feel it like a horse tumbling through you." 

Corrogated Giaconda/Jeffrey Smart
Cahill Expressway/Jeffrey Smart
Lucy and Ed were supposed to be doing a class project on this artist.When Ed dropped out of school, she had to finish it by herself.

Sam Leach
Ed's been obsessing about the perfect shade of blue this artist used to paint a bird.

Bill Hensen photographs
"When I looked at them I felt like someone saw what it was like to be bare skin shining in the darkness."

Rosalie Gascoigne
"Her works are road signs or drink crates cut up and spliced on wood so words and letters are jumbled and jutting into each other."

Want to find other great Australian YA writers? Check out Heather@ Flyleaf Reviews  Aussie YA Love Pinterest Board . I learned something new today at her blog. I'd never heard of Pinterest.

24 comments:

  1. I have this book on my Nook...I had no idea what it was about...I think I might give it a go.Great review

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    1. You have to read it!!!! Then stop back and tell me what you thought :)

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  2. This one is my mt TBR list. Sounds amazing. Love that it's about graff

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    1. It was great!

      So happy to see new commenters today! Comments contest coming soon, and you're both automatically entered :)

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  3. I have GOT to read this book. Austrailan author (they all rule) + Art themes = my kind of book! Plus I loved A Little Wanting Song. You are so right, Cath Crowley's writing IS amazing:)Excellent review:)

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    1. I'm buying Little Wanting Song this week. Can't compare that to this, but I think Cath Crowley is amazing!!!!

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    2. Amazingly my little library in my itty bitty town carried A Little Wanting Song, I'm hoping they will do the same with Graffiti Moon!

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  4. This is on my TBR list. It sounds like a fantastic book! Your review makes me want to read it more.

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  5. I have heard of this before but never really read what is what about. Now this review definitely has me interested. I like it has 3 different views, it's really fun reading a story from more than one person. Makes it seem like your reading more than one book. Shadow is definitely a name that would get me curious to find him so I should read this book to see what he is all about. Oh and that is an interesting way Lucy views love but it does make sense. You definitely feel love all over your body.

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    1. Love the characters in this book. They seemed very real to me and there were poignant moments as well as some laugh-out-loud ones.

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  6. Now I am going to have to look up this book. Reading your blog is very bad for my TBR Intervention. :)

    Shanan
    http://thebookaddictnet.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-addict-review-and-giveaway-under.html

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  7. This sounds like a very unique book! I'd never heard of it before. I'm finishing your review wondering who Shadow is...does Lucy know him? Is it ED?!

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    1. Shadow, an arse-grabber? Anaavu, you have a very vivid imagination :)

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  8. So glad you enjoyed this!!! I LOVED IT!!! I plan on reading the rest of Cath Crowley's books now!

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  9. This is on my TBR list also. It sounds great! I love that the author incorporates prose into her writing and I will definitely look for the rest of her books. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. If your library doesn't have it, tell them to order it, stat!

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    2. Will do! Can't find it in our catalogue!!!!

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  10. This book sounds amazing because it seems to be full of surprises. Who is Shadow!?!? :)

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    1. If I told you, I'd have to hunt you down.
      But actually, the reader knows Shadow's identity early on, and part of the fun of this book is watching Lucy and Shadow come together!

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  11. This is the first I have heard of this book. I do like the cover.

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  12. Thanks for linking back to me and my Pinterest board Jen:))

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