Author: Cath Crowley
Genre: Contemporary YA, Aussie YA
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: February 14, 2012
Challenge: Contemporary Challenge
Summary: 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.
Guys, I’m not sure where to begin telling you how AMAZING I thought GRAFFITI MOON was. The thoughts swirling around in my head are all gushy, CAPSLOCKED adoring praise and I don’t know how to make them into something that makes sense. Because here’s the real deal: I DEVOURED GRAFFITI MOON, with its gorgeous language, vivid atmosphere, and tingly, perfect, quirky, deep characters who I found impossible to resist. If Lucy thinks that Shadow is someone she could really fall for, I’m telling you that I KNOW he’s someone I DID really fall for, not only because I got to see the world and Lucy through his eyes and in his voice, but because I saw him and the world through Lucy’s eyes, too. I loved being in both of their heads. I FELL HARD for both of them. And for Jazz and Leo, too. As soon as I finished reading this book once, I wanted to do nothing more than go right back to the beginning and read it again, to both devour all of the FEELINGS and savor the writing.
I knew almost right away that the words in this book would blow me away because on perhaps the second page (I read an egalley) I read THIS:
Mum says when wanting collides with getting, that’s the moment of truth. I want to collide. I want to run right into Shadow and let the force spill our thoughts so we can pick each other up and pass each other back like piles of shiny stones.
And the pretty, poetic language just kept on coming, sometimes literally with poems. The occasional inclusion of one of Leo’s/Poet’s poems was the perfect complement to the rest of the book, and they gave us a really meaningful, sweet glimpse into the growing affection between Lucy and Ed’s bffs, Jazz and Leo. I LOVED them, both the poems and the characters. But since I started this paragraph talking about the PRETTY WORDS, I should maybe mention those one more time because they deserve so much love and attention. THEY’RE GORGEOUS, and they weave such a hypnotic, dark, beautiful web around these characters. RESPECT, Cath Crowley. Respect.
But since these mad awesome characters can’t keep themselves from popping into my review when I’m trying to talk about OTHER awesome things about GRAFFITI MOON, I should really just let them have their moment. Because guys? They deserve ALL THE MOMENTS. These are characters who are emotional and kind of broody, especially Ed/Shadow; they’re deep and kind of endearingly weird, like Lucy; they’re snarky and funny and charismatic, like Jazz. I literally can’t think of anything about any of the main characters that I didn’t LOVE. To a person, they’re imperfect and learning about themselves, dealing with baggage. Empathizing with them and rooting for them and falling for them HARD was easy, and for me, happened almost instantly. *Sigh*
The real highlights in a book MADE of bright spots, though, were Lucy and Ed, and their growing, deepening affection. IT WAS HOT Y’ALL. And I don’t mean to be a spoiler, but here’s a tiny one: there’s not much kissing. What’s hot about them isn’t really physical in that making out/sexytime kind of way. But trust me: there’s so much chemistry and spark between them that I’m surprised they didn’t ignite. Or that I didn’t ignite (would have been a problem since I was reading on my Kindle). Their connection goes way beyond the physical, even though that attraction is certainly there. These are kids who are about to have a relationship that is not childish at all, because they share so many secrets with each other and they have these really intense, important connections about other things. It was really special to read.
Guys, GRAFFITI MOON was positively wonderful. For a story that takes place over the course of only one night, it’s so full of growth and action and romance. The language is BEAUTIFUL, the characters are perfect, and the way that art is woven into the story is amazing. I don’t know what’s in the water down there in Australia, but it’s STORY MAGIC. GRAFFITI MOON is a book that you shouldn’t miss.