Book Title/Author: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Publisher/Year: 2012 Knopf Books For Young Readers ( Originally published 2010 Pan Macmillan)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Other Books From Author: A Little Wanting Song, The Gracie Faltrain series
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!
.On the last night of her high school career, Lucy finds herself looking for Shadow — the amazing graffiti artist she’s never seen but has fallen in love with through all his art throughout the city. She also finds herself spending this night with Ed — a guy she went on a date with two years ago that ended with her breaking his nose. — all because her friend Jazz wants to celebrate the end of the school year by having a wildly fun night and finding a cute guy. The guy she sets her sights on happens to be Ed’s best friend, Leo, and Lucy hesitantly decides to hang out with them just for Jazz. When Lucy mentions she is searching for Shadow, the boys let on that they know him and will try to help find him which catapults Lucy into a crazy night of running about the city with Ed in search of Shadow and his art, contemplating its meaning and learning more about Ed — a person who she thought she had pegged after their one failed date but perhaps didn’t really at all.
You guys I LOVE AUSSIE FICTION. I don’t know what is in the water over there but they seem to write some of the BEST BOOKS I’VE EVER READ — like brilliance just seems to fly off the pages of every Aussie book I have read. Graffiti Moon is one of those that hit me over the head and yet subtly invaded my heart all at the same time with its dazzling prose, heartwarming (and at times heartbreaking) story of love in its many forms and a strong visual sense of the adventure they are having all across the city in a single night. The FEELINGS that radiate from this book and their stories and the ART just are still making me feel jumpy as I type this.
There are just amazingly thought-provoking passages, supremely sweet moments and a love story that doesn’t feel like I’ve read it before but, at the same time, feels familiar as I experienced the beautifully wonderful and confusing madness that is falling in love. The love story wasn’t annoying or insta-lovey but resonated with me as they learned about each other through both trivial and deep conversations about everything and anything and their romp through the city that all tumbled together to produce that flicker of recognition of something that feels like it could be more. I can think of so many instances in my life where I had nights like this. It wasn’t even really a book about a love story between a boy and a girl but so much more. To say it’s a love story seems to simplify its essence to me.
Graffiti Moon is told in alternating perspectives from Ed, Lucy and Leo. This is one of those books where alternating perspectives work SO WELL and provide the perfect insight. It was this perfectly coordinated dance whereby we see the night unfold through these different perspectives and it flows in the most natural way. Sometimes we see a specific scene that overlaps just a little bit through the eyes of both Ed and Lucy and I loved seeing these little overlapped parts and their own, often differing understanding of it. It never seemed repetitive when those tiny overlapped parts happened because Lucy and Ed had so much to give us as readers to make us fall even more in love with their story.
I also really loved their night of adventure — it felt wild and free and reminds you of how amazing it is to be young with all that potential and those dreams just ready to burst out of you. It was an extremely fun and exciting adventure brought to life by these flawed, complicated, quirky characters who express themselves and make sense of the world through art and just shine so bright even when they don’t realize it themselves. I didn’t want to end my night of fun and reflecting with these characters EVER but I know that they’ll take residence in that special place within me reserved for my favorite characters (whom I totally imagine all hang out together and have the best time ever).
Graffiti Moon is a gorgeously written novel that is definitely an all-time favorite. Its effective and natural feeling use of alternating perspectives really works to draw you into this night of adventure and makes you fall in love with these magnificent characters — you can’t help but feel like you are running alongside them or staring up at beautiful art on an abandoned building. There’s a beautiful budding love story and it never felt cliched or familiar but true to the complicated and beautiful nature of falling for someone…and it NEVER seemed like it forced itself into the forefront and drowned out the other amazing aspects of this book. If you like a romance but get turned off by how some seem a little one dimensional and the only thing the story is about, this is PERFECT for you. A new favorite for sure!
You May Also Like: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (unfortunately not out until June)
For Fans Of: Beautiful words, thought-provoking books with many themes, slow burn romance that isn’t the only focus of the book, books that take place in one night, people who appreciate art, really well done alternating perspectives, a fresh contemporary YA novel with more mature characters
Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Heard of it? If you’ve read it, did you feel like I did or feel differently? There is just SO MUCH TO SAY about this book — more than I could even capture here. I loved the different kinds of relationships and family and instances of love. Besides Ed and Lucy, which relationships did you find to be your favorite? I really loved Lucy and her parents and how she learned to see them differently. And Ed and Bert! AH!!! And I loved the friendship between Ed and Leo. GOD I LOVE THEM ALL.