'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 22 August 2011

Review: Graffiti Moon

It’s a remarkable thing when a grown author can emulate the actions, thoughts and feelings of teens – I mean, I know we’ve all been there, but to impart this tumultuous and emotional time so well once we’ve grown… it can’t be easy.

Author Cath Crowley seems to have cruised through it in Grafitti Moon. I don’t know if Crowley found it difficult to impart the storyline and characters of this novel easily but she sure does it well. Not only is the plot and characterization authentically done, but the actual writing style she uses sent me straight back to high school English class, when poetry and short stories were the perfect vehicle for the expression of teen angst.

Indeed, poetry is featured throughout this novel, penned by a central character – Leo (aka The Poet) – and there’s verbally spray-painted artwork by his best mate Ed (aka Shadow). This dynamic and very artistic duo travel by night, leaving their poetic mark all over town, much to the curiosity of love forlorn girls who romanticize their work – most potently young art lover, Lucy.

When Lucy and her friends Jazz and Daisy decided to hunt down Shadow and the Poet, they instead hook up with local guys Ed, Leo and friends. Clueless as to who these boys are, Lucy finds herself alone with Ed who plays along, keeping his identity under wraps. Will he reveal all to Lucy? and will she learn of the illegal antics the boys are planning that same night? And what of Lucy's emotional addiction to the elusive Shadow? Will her imagined adoration be shattered forever?

Set over one long night, the storyline cruises along in the dark, fizzing and popping with plenty of teen angst and sexual tension, though not in a crude or inappropriate fashion. Graffiti Moon succeeds in its ability to write with the personification of teen language and emotion - it almost felt like I was intruding on the teen world when I read this book, and that any minute the characters would turn and see my standing there - in a place I really shouldn't have been.

Set snugly under cover of the night where teens can dabble in the 'stuff' they do so well, this book skirts the thin line between rebellion and every kids' desire to have a good life and promising future. Touching on themes like music, infatuation, dyslexia, money, creativity, love, big dreams and thrill-seeking, young adult readers will really enjoy the ride.

Title: Graffiti Moon
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, A$16.99RRP
Publication date: 1 August 2010
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780330425780
For ages: Young adult
Type: Fiction