Title/Author: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager
Publisher: Penguin Australia
How I Got The Book: Linds from Bibliophile Brouhaha let a bunch of bloggers borrow it for an imformal blog tour because it’s that awesome!
After a horrific event happens that will alter Carly’s life tremendously, she drops out of university and spends her days surfing and working at a local cafe as a cook. She’s found her rhythm in this life away from her family and her old friends and has put up a wall to meeting new people. When Carly meets Ryan, a fellow surfer, she struggles to deal with the past and to decide if she’ll let those walls crumble.
Raw Blue. Wow. I didn’t know what to expect with this one. Right away I knew it wasn’t going to be a light beach read despite it’s amazing setting in an Australian surf town. It’s gritty, raw and will make you think a lot about why people build up the walls that they do. I think it also does give you some glimmer of hope in the end that things will change and get better. You can work through even the most horrible of circumstances. Hidden under the pain and emotion of this book, I think you’ll find that hope I think.
First, I loved Carly. I love that she was a real person to me. Most of the book is really in her head but I think that’s what made this story so powerful. There was some action that moved the story around and really added to it…it was all very intentional and essentail to the story. I think for some people it could move slowly if you are more into fast moving stories but I found myself moving through it very quickly and really cared to know what happened to Carly. I also love that she is dating someone who quite a few years older than her. I feel like a lot of YA lit (at least what I’ve encountered) doesn’t ever show really healthy relationships with an older guy when it really is not that uncommon to have an 18 year old date a 26 year old. Speaking of that, I freaking loved Ryan. I can see him being the apple of many a YA readers eye.
I think the setting was so unique. I love when I read a book from a perspective that I’ve never personally seen before. I know nothing about what the life of a surfer is like but I really found myself believing her passion and being interested in the surfing culture. Sometimes during the surf talk and the descriptions of things made my eyes glaze over but for the most part I truly enjoyed them and felt like it added to the story. The world that Carly created around her surfing was her safe haven..and I could feel that and understand how she threw herself into that after what had happened to her.
A few things to note: there was a lot more sex and swearing in this book than I’ve encountered in most YA. It didn’t bother me but I know that it might bother some people so I figured I’d point that out. I’d definitely recommend this for older YAs.
My Final Thought: I would definitely recommend this for readers who are looking for a little bit of more mature YA read. The two main characters are 18 and 26 so it’s the perfect read for those looking for somewhere in between the young adult and adult perspective. Raw Blue was one of those books you’ll find yourself emotionally invested in without even realizing it. There was just the right amount of “drama” and love and growth…it really was just such a fantastic YA read. It’s a shame more people haven’t read it as it hasn’t been published in the US!
And now I’m curious…what other YA books have you read with older protags?
*Will add my Review on a Post-It later…it’s not loading here at work!!*