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. ~ From GoodReads
It's a quest. Lucy, Jazz, and Daisy have just finished high school and are looking for adventure. Lucy is out to finally meet Shadow, a brilliant and elusive graffiti artist. Jazz, Lucy's best friend and psychic, simply wants an adventure to remember, but as long as she out, she's up for meeting Poet, Shadow's partner in art. Tagging along is Daisy, whose boyfriend Dylan knows Shadow and Poet. Daisy and Dylan are maybe/kind of broken up (because he threw eggs at her!) and Dylan is determined to win her back before the night is over. Dylan's friends Ed and Leo, always game, are also along for the ride. Leo and Jazz have some serious chemistry. And as for Lucy and Ed...that's a long and painful story. But as the night goes on, Lucy learns that just maybe, what she is searching for is actually in plain sight.
If I let myself, I could totally go nuts with this review. I would go on and on about every little thing I loved about GRAFFITI MOON; the dialogue, the narrative, the brilliant, overlapping points of view between Lucy, Ed and Poet, the way author Cath Crowley uses art as a tool to explain the characters...
But I'm going to dial it back on the fan-girling and keep it short and simple.
The characters in GRAFFITI MOON, the narrative that is given to them is among the best I've read. The are dead funny. I literally had to put my book down several times while I laughed at the ridiculously honest things they would say to one another. The scenarios in which Lucy would get herself into made the awkward girl in me love her so much. I mean, how many times has one of us freaked out and thrown an elbow or a fist? I know I have. Or how many times have we been so upset or frightened that we need to stop and throw up? Again, I have. And even though the characters get a bit dramatic, they're just real. Absolutely no angst going on here.
And even as funny as the characters are, there are some serious things going on in GRAFFITI MOON, as well. Learning disabilities, shame, broken hearts, broken families, poverty... these are just a few of the issues that are touched on. The art is fueled by the inner turmoil of the characters. The author explains their longing and desperation in such a heart-slamming way that I ached for them. Ed is one of the most heartfelt, endearing characters that I've ever read. When I would read his narrative, I would think of him as a firefly, trapped in a glass jar. He is fueled by brilliance, but trapped, longing for a way out.
This is the first book by author Cath Crowley that I've had the pleasure to read. She is truly remarkable. I loved how the chapters narrated by Poet were in verse, which is becoming a favorite of mine. The use of artistic works as a metaphor for the characters was perfection. You do not need to be an artist or educated in the visual arts to understand the subtleties. But I promise you, you will come out of GRAFFITI MOON with a serious appreciation for it.
I loved every page of GRAFFITI MOON. I loved the adventure, the search. I love books/movies in which a character is in search of a person or party or object and doesn't even realize that what they've been looking for, they've actually been looking at the entire time. I don't often say this, but this story actually made me want to go back and be a seventeen year old girl again for just one night. The sense of promise, that anything can happen on this very night, well... it's a feeling I long for every now and then. But I'll settle for living for that moment through beautiful books. And GRAFFITI MOON did that for me.
"We'll meet and click and sit up all night and everything will tip out of me and into him and the other way around and while we're tipping the night will fade and the world will get pink and in that pinkness he'll kiss me." (pg. 104)
"I stand behind her, watching her watching my work. I feel like I'm shedding skin, feel like if she turns she'll see a skeleton man behind her and then she'll know. (pg. 143)
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Source: Won in a giveaway not affiliated w/the author or publisher.