Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley | Book Review

Graffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyBook Title/Author:  Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
: 2012 Knopf Books For Young Readers ( Originally published 2010 Pan Macmillan)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No!
Other Books From Author: A Little Wanting Song, The Gracie Faltrain series

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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


Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

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.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Ah thanks for reminding me why I wanted to read this one so badly! I read some amazing reviews about this one last year but then I somehow forgot to read it.

    I heard amazing things and this one truly sounds fantastic!! Need.Now!

  2. This is one of those titles that I constantly see in the bookshops, and never thought to pick up. But thanks to your awesome review I definitely will now! Thank you! =)

  3. Oooo I want to read it RIGHT NOW! 🙁 hehehehehe

  4. Wowie! To be totally honest, with this book over a year old now, it had sort of receded to the back of my mind. Now that I’ve read several Aussie writers – and accepted the fact that they just cannot write poorly – and you’ve brought this to my attention again, their it goes back up my TBR.

    Awesome review. Art. And nighttime ADVENTURES. And wickedly cool characters. I can’t wait!

  5. I CAN’T EVEN say how much I enjoy the fact that you loved this book so darn much. This is definitely one of my favorite contemporaries of last year.

    “To say it’s a love story seems to simplify its essence to me.”

    WHY ARE YOU SO RIGHT? Makes me want to go back and reread that last chapter just experience an inkling of what I felt last year. Aussie authors, man. What would we do without ’em?

  6. This sounds amazing, I just put it on hold at the library. Thanks for the review!

  7. I fell in love with Graffiti Moon when I read it nearly a year ago. There was something beautiful, poignant and urgent about the way it was written. I love your review because you managed to wrangle that feeling into words – and it makes me want to read it all over again.

  8. I know how much you loved this book! Your review definitely makes me want to read it now! Sounds so so so good and I definitely love the books you liken it to (Sky is Everywhere).

  9. I listened to this one on audio a little while ago and it’s a great story to listen to as well! They use 3 different Aussie narrators and it’s so nice just to listen to them- it helps that a lot of the writing reads like prose, so it just flows very naturally.

    I agree with you that the multiple POVs worked well for Graffiti Moon – it added a lot of depth to the story and made the anticipation so exciting while it was building!

    Great review, Jamie – thanks for sharing!

    Brenna from Esther’s Ever After

  10. We are review twinsies today!

    I loved this one so much too, I agree that the format was perfect for this story. I loved the one night we got to spend with them and how much we still got from the characters and the plot in that short time. The romance was so sweet, and there were lots of really funny moments to go along with them. Fabulous review!

  11. I am proud to say that I did not steer you wrong. So glad you loved this!

  12. I always hear such good things about Graffiti Moon but still haven’t read it! I feel like such a slacker

  13. I’m thinking that I need this book in my life! I loved this review!!!

  14. I can’t believe it has been sitting on my shelf. Beautiful review.

  15. So glad you loved this one! It’s one of my all-time favorites, too. I’ve recently been putting together a list of nonfiction books for fans of Graffiti Moon for work, and have loved researching about street art and graffiti artists! It’s a fascinating world.

  16. I definitely am curious to see what made the alternating POVs work so well – it’s usually one of my biggest pet peeves in books, as I so rarely find it done well. I haven’t read much YA Aussie fiction (just Melina Marchetta), at least not knowingly. I really need to start reading some! Definitely need to read this and some of Buzo and Eager’s works soon. I loved reading your super enthusiastic review. 🙂

  17. I’m happy you loved this one! Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the book for me, but I’m definitely in the minority since a LOT of people are raving about this one!

    Great review, Jamie!

  18. Ahhh, I totally agree with you on Australian authors. What do they DO down there that makes them all so amazing? It’s insane how perfect they all are, seriously.

    Anyway, yes. I’m SO GLAD you liked this book, Jamie. Cath Crowley is a sort of underground novelist I wish more people knew about and loved, because boy is she awesome.

    (Psst, I thought A Little Wanting Song was even better than Graffiti Moon. Just saying.)

  19. I finished this book in my car last year, and I was like AHH. You are killing me with your poetic and hard hitting writing. You’re so right. It’s a great great book and certainly one of my favorites. I bought a copy for myself right after I finished.

    As for your recs, I like the Wild Awake one… not so sure about The Sky is Everywhere though. I liked that book and was pretty addicted but. The writing just wasn’t as awesome and fun and crisp as GM.

  20. That certainly is one of your more powerful reading recommendations that I’ve seen. There are a few story aspects that don’t particularly call out to me, but as Kristilyn said, everyone seems to be raving about this one. Which means that eventually I’ll probably try it, reservations and all.

  21. I totally need to re-read this one, because I haven’t read it since before it was published from Netgalley… even though I totally pre-ordered it as soon as I finished reading it. YES to everything you said… so many feelings, such gorgeoussss writing. Yes, I definitely must experience this one again soon.

  22. WOW, I am really looking forward to reading this now. It sounds awesome! Gosh your review makes me want to pick it up right now. I want to learn more about all the characters. Great review 🙂

  23. This book sounds fan-freakin-tastic!!! I haven’t read any Aussie lit before, but by the sounds of it, I will be reading some now!! I can’t wait to read this book, and I’ve definitely added it to the top of my TBR list! Also I love the fact how the whole story takes place in just 24 hours.

  24. Australian authors ROCK! Some of my favorite fantasy authors are Aussies. It’s something flyin’ around over there for sure. 😀

    AND DARN IT JAMIE. I GIVE. You win. I’ll add it to my TBR, okay?! (No one else has ever made me do this with this book. So, you win the Internet today with this review. You had me at “slow burning romance,” and all the other glowing things you said about this one.)

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  25. I`ve never heard of this one but I`ll definitely be reading it soon!


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