{Review} Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Author’s Note: I read the Australian edition of this shortly after it was released. It is my understanding that the U.S. edition has some significant differences from the one I read.

This is one of those books that make me sound like a crazed superfan.

When I finished Graffiti Moon, I got out of bed, went to my laptop and emailed some friends a breathless message along the lines of,  

Alert! Alert! Omigod. You have to—have to—read Graffiti Moon immediately!

I love, love, love this novel that much.

I mean, I loved A Little Wanting Song by the same, but Graffiti Moon, I adored. The story is simple, and short, about a single night after a group of teens have graduated from their last year of school, and it beautifully captures those nights that only happen when you’re 16/17/18/19, when you stay out late and there’s So Much Excitement. This is the type of book that’s why I love reading YA.

I can’t say a lot about the plot, specifically, because it’ll spoil it for you, so here’s a rundown of Graffiti Moon’s general awesomeness:

  • Fabulous dialog. Funny, clever, fast and real. This is not your angsty, overwrought Dawson’s Creek-style teen dialog. 
  • The chapters from Ed’s POV killed me! Killed me! He’s perspective is just so tough—there’s a lot happening in his life and seeing his reactions hit me in the gut. 
  • The girls are funny and smart—yay!
  • Ed kind of reminded me of Tom Mackee from The Piper’s Son, but also some of my favorite artistic male YA characters, like Adam from If I Stay/Where She Went and Seth from Freefall. This is a good thing. 
  • The arts are a big part of the backdrop to this story: glass blowing, painting, poetry. Right On. 
  • I love the gritty, urban backdrop of Graffiti Moon. It takes place in Melbourne, Australia, a place I’ve never been, but I felt like I was there while reading the book. 

Memorable Moments Etc.

I love Cath Crowley’s skill with multiple points of view. She does a beautiful job of creating distinctive voices, and is the author against whom I judge all other authors when it comes of multi-POV. It’s phenomenal in Graffiti Moon.
From Ed,
The yellow’s right. The green, too. The sky’s all wrong. I need the sort of blue that rips your inside out. You don’t see blue like that round here.
‘I think surfers are maybe her type,’ Dylan says.
‘You’re stuffed, then.’
‘I could be a surfer if I tried.’
‘Surfers don’t wear checked shirts and iron their jeans and shave twice a day.’
‘I like to be neat.’
‘And that’s fine. But you’ll never be a dude.’
‘Dude’s a stupid word,’ he says. ‘Yes, it is,’ I tell him.
I’m not making a lot of sense but I keep going because her eyes are pinning me down. She knows now that I’m him, that I’ve lost my job. That I’m planning to rob the school later. She knows it all but she doesn’t know why.
‘In your head, Shadow was this great person and I’m nothing.’ Her eyes keep pinning me down.
‘I can barely even read.’
I look at that spot on her neck and make a few travel plans.
From Lucy, 
I missed him after he’d gone. I mean, it’s not like the tingle feeling stopped because he grabbed my arse. I spent the weekend after our date wishing I could stab him with my fluffy-duck pen and staring at the phone hoping he’d call. Dating is a very tricky business.
I told her he wasn’t who I thought he’d be. Mum stroked my hair and said, ‘Sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they make you vomit.’ This did not comfort me.
‘Where’s the fire, Lucy Dervish?’ Dad asks.
In me. Under my skin. I figure I’ve got enough to give a little to Ed. I take off under a dark sky fading out and turning pink. I owe him some words.
Verdict: Must Read

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