Lucy and her friends celebrate the end of Year 12 by gallivanting around the city for a big night out. Lucy is determined to find Shadow, a notorious local graffiti artist. When the girls bump into Ed and his friends, Lucy’s not thrilled–the two have a history she’d rather forget–but her friends are intrigued. When Ed says that he can help her find Shadow, she reluctantly agrees, not realizing that she’s closer to finding him than she ever imagined.
Cath Crowley’s book is narrated by three very distinct voices and takes place over the course of one night. As the action rises, so does the tension, never losing its grip on the reader, who will fly through this one. Crowley is a gifted writer, and her talent is on full display in this funny, beautiful novel about growing up and seeing the beauty in the world.
All of the main characters in Crowley’s book are remarkably well-drawn. Lucy and Ed provide the majority of the narration, offering a he-said she-said sort of perspective to the night’s events (and to their shared past). Ed’s friend Leo adds some lovely poetry to the mix, providing a third perspective that allows the reader a little insight into what the others can see when they look at Lucy and Ed. Each character has an extremely clear voice and is able to see beauty in the ordinary. Each one is a talented artist in their own right.
The time spent describing art–the process of creating glass blown sculptures, the process of selecting a location and tagging it with spray paint art are some of the book’s strongest moments. Crowley’s characters are in love with art, and it shows. The amount of character development done through each character’s discovery of art itself is amazing.
Frequently funny with believable dialogue, this book zips by (but you’ll wish it didn’t). Highly, highly recommended. Released in Australia back in 2010 and available in the United States on February 14.
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. Knopf Books for Young Readers: 2012. Electronic galley accepted for review via Netgalley.