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.
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
The story follows a group of young friends over a 24 hour period in the fantastic art and culture infused city that is Melbourne.
Lucy has just finished Year 12 (final year of high school in Australia) and is about to take her HSE exams. Lucy’s parents are creative artistic types – her mother is writing a novel and her father, who is living in the shed, is a comedian/magician. Lucy also a creative soul spends her night in search of the mysterious anonymous graffiti artist known as Shadow. The last person she wants to be with is Ed. But Ed knows Shadow so she needs his help. The pair have an awkward history; back in Year 10 Ed and Lucy went one date, which ended with Lucy punching him in the nose.
Ed lives with his solo mum. The only paternal figure in Ed’s life was Bert, who employed Ed at his paint shop after Ed dropped out of school. Bert recently passed away following a heart attack and Ed lost his job. Like a lot of young men Ed is currently at the crossroads in his life, not knowing where to go next.
Ed and his best friend Leo are planning to rob the school in order to pay back a debt to the very scary Malcolm Dove. If they fail to do so poor Ed will have his nipple pierced with a compass. Malcolm demonstrates his compass piercing skills on Ed’s ear so he knows Malcolm is serious.
The novel is written in first person narrative alternating chapters between Lucy and Ed. There is also verse poetry interspersed throughout the novel, written by Leo, which provides a third distinct voice for the story.
Crowley often begins the chapter with repeating the last point of action from the previous chapter from the other character’s point of view. She has a great use of imagery and the dialogue, particularly Lucy’s narration is very witty.
The novel obviously deals with issues of youth crime such as vandalism and burglary. Crowley does not glorify or preach about these issues, instead she presents them as they are in a realistic manner. There are mentions of underage drinking and brief sexual references and strong coarse language.
Graffiti Moon would be suitable for junior secondary school (high school) students.
Such a cool book
Oh, my freaking God! People! People! This book! Oh, this book. I have no words. How can I persuade you to read this book? How? How, when I have no words. It’s going to be on my 2013 top 10 reads for sure. And let’s not forget about all-time favorite list. After finish Graffiti Moon I threw my hands in the air like I climbed M. Everest. I love it! I love it so, so much! I want to live with Lucy, Shadow and Poet in their sunny town. I want to stalk Shadow and Poet with Lucy!
Thank you, Fassie. It means a lot.
Crowley’s writing style is smart and humorous at the same time. I swear, I laughed out loud so many times in the first 40 pages I started crying. I’ve said it a thousand times, there is just something special about Aussie authors. They must know more about life, people and healthy relationships, something the rest of the world doesn’t even see. How else would I explain their pure awesomeness?
I’m rambling just to fool you into thinking I actually wrote a review for Graffiti Moon. Two paragraphs already written. I am on a roll.
Believe me when I say GM was a hard book to put down without finishing it first. The only reason I didn’t finish it right away is that I had to sleep because I get up really early. But after I finished with my chores I couldn’t stay way from it.
OK, I know I’m being childish with this poor excuse of a review. I should probably start talking about the characters, plot and what it thought me but I won’t because I would just spoil it for everyone else. I have only one regret- I didn’t read it the first moment I got it.
Beware! Print and ebook aren’t the same versions of the book! Since I have both I spotted a couple of chapters in the middle are missing or totally different so I would suggest that everyone reads it in paperback or hardback. That way you also support author to write even more brilliant books.
Within a few lines of Graffiti Moon, I knew I was going to love this book. I love, no—absolutely adore lyric prose. If a novel is written in a style that’s almost like a prose poem, I’m a goner. Cath Crowley has it. That beautiful turn of phrase that seems so unnassuming but says so much underneath its obvious meaning.
From the first chapter: “I’m so close to meeting him and I want it so bad. Mum says when wanting collides with getting, that’s the moment of truth. I want to collide.”
So once I’d been fully hooked into Graffiti Moon, I was surprised to find out that I didn’t mind the slightly unoriginal storyline.
Lucy is in love with Shadow, a graffiti artist she’s never met. After finishing Year 12, she and two friends go out to celebrate all night. They run into Lucy’s friend’s boyfriend and two of his mates. One, named Ed, had a disastrous date with Lucy when they were 15 and he’s been pining for her ever since. Naturally, Lucy doesn’t know that and hates his guts, too caught up in her ideal romance with Shadow.
That sets the stage for an all-night crazy fest, and though the plot is completely predictible, Crowley presents a unique twist on things. Lucy is a glass blower and Ed is a drop-out who can barely read. Two characters that have “unique” written up and down their foreheads.
Writing a book that takes place all during one night is a set-up that isn’t done often enough, in my opinion. I can think of a few good ones, but there really need to be more. Because of the short timespan it covers, Graffiti Moon is full of teenage adrenaline and endearing mixed messages. Did I believe, at the end of this, that Lucy and her love interest were madly in love with each other? No. But that’s okay, because Cath Crowley didn’t try to pretend they were.
My only disappointment was how, as the novel progressed, I felt that the book became less beautiful. Crowley’s prose lost its poetic quality and, honestly, the way the characters turned out didn’t wholly satisfy me.
Altogether though, I thought Graffiti Moon was fabulous.
Graffiti has always entranced me. There's something about the sweeping murals, painted in secrecy, that hold a certain power over me. After reading Graffiti Moon, I think my love is even stronger. Before I delve into anything else about this book I need to share how much I loved that Cath Crowley made graffiti into art. Shadow doesn't paint on anything that belongs to anyone, he doesn't tag for a gang, instead he paints the beauty, pain and sorrow that are inside of his soul onto the walls of broken down areas. Unloved areas that crave color. In this book, graffiti is turned into an expression of feeling. Crowley allows her characters to use art in general as an outlet for their emotions. It's a beautiful thing.
This is a story about feeling lost and alone, and searching out the one thing that will bring you back. For Lucy, her parents are the source of her confusion. I love how Crowley portrays them in this book, because it is so realistic. They love one another, they love her, they just can't always be around one another. On the other hand, Shadow's nemesis is a matter of self doubt. How can he move forward if the one holding him back is...him? These two characters are the main focus of the story, and they are beautifully portrayed. To say I fell in love with them is a given.
I wish I could more aptly express how sweeping this story is. Crowley has a way with words that just allows you to get lost in the story. Lucy is looking for a mysterious artist, one who will take her breath away. What she doesn't see is that the boy right in front of her is just as wonderful. In this story Lucy and Ed navigate the land of second chances. They discover that sometimes first impressions aren't always what they seem to be. Shrouded in the protective cloak of night, these two learn a lot about themselves and one another. Their dialogue is true to life and unabashedly honest. I can't express enough how amazing these two really are.
Beautiful. That's my review in one word. What Cath Crowley has written in Graffiti Moon is a look deep into the inner thoughts of lost teens. A nighttime adventure that takes them through their deepest secrets. This book captivated me, and I guarantee that it will do the same for you.
Artistry, loveliness and an enveloping dive into shifting consciousness
"I think of wall after wall after wall. Green mazes wandering and two people wandering through them. Doorways that lead somewhere good. Skies the exact kind of blue I've been looking for." -- Ed (Graffiti Moon)
In Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley, the bedraggled streets of Melbourne radiate with such beauty and artistry, through the ambrosial eyes and effervescent nature of the protagonists, Ed and Lucy, that the reader is left with no choice but to submit into complete and utter adoration. In a sweetly endearing and relentlessly engaging tale which oozes with romanticism (and a touch of grounding naturalism), Ms. Crowley expertly weaves a thread of shifting paradigms that perfectly unsettles the reader at all of the right times while still maintaining an ever-welcoming sense of loveliness and profound rapture.
Ultimately, just as Ed and Lucy are the type of characters that make us want to hang out with them as much as we would with our best of friends, Graffiti Moon is likely to find its way to the top shelf of books in your library reserved only for your favorites.
Oh, the characters... I loved them so. And the prose. I seriously couldn't put this book down--and I WANTED to because I wanted to savor it. But I'll just have to reread it many times to make up for the quickness of the first time :)