Graffiti Moon (ARC) by Cath Crowley
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: February 14th, 2012
Age Level: 14+
Synopsis via Goodreads
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.
When I read Graffiti Moon back in August, I was in my first month of college (yeah it's been a while), and things were crazy hectic. And whenever I try to read a book when things are crazy hectic, it usually affects my ability to enjoy a book, and not in a good way. And so this was the case with most of the books I read throughout my first semester. Just not with Graffiti Moon. I could have had a reaper coming for me from the deep, dark recesses of my room, and it wouldn't have hindered my enjoyment of this remarkable story. I'd have probably just told him to hold on and let me finish my book first.
The heroine, Lucy, was such a romantic as well as stubborn, funny, and a bit sassy. I found it very easy to connect with her, despite the fact that there were a couple of times she annoyed me. She really was a great protagonist. And then there was Ed. I loved how he wasn't at all like the guys you see in most YA books these days. He wasn't the most intellectual guy out there but the heart, passion, and humor he had made me fall head over heels in love. Oh and don't even get me started on the combination of Ed and Lucy together. So frikin loved it! There were also a ton of terrific supporting characters. Lucy's best friend, Jazz. Ed's best friend Leo. Then there was Daisy, Dylan, Bert, Al, Malcolm, Lucy's parents, etc. For such a fairly short book, Crowley managed to take her characters and give them stories and personalities that would allow them to reach there hands out and pull you, heart and soul, into the story. It was magnificent!
Here is one of the most surprising things about the plot, for me. Graffiti Moon takes place over the course of an approximate 24 hour period, and I'm usually skeptical of a book spanning such a short amount of time. However, Crowley managed to make it work perfectly so that nothing felt rushed, but nothing felt unrealistically drawn out either. I loved the artisitc incorporation of both poetry, (tasteful) graffiti, and glass work throughout the story. The romance element was beautiful and I loved watching Lucy's journey to discovering that Ed and Leo were Shadow and Poet. (Not spoiler. It is known who they are from the beginning. Just not by Lucy.) I also loved the setting, with the story taking place at various locations around the city, and predominantly at night. While the plot was relatively light, there were some complex, deeper undertones as well that provided more dimension and balance. The pacing was also quick and kept me turning the pages, and hungering, for more.
I'm not really sure what all to say about Crowley's writing style because it was just pure breathtaking! Her prose was so beautifully poetic and flowed so smoothly throughout the whole story and her use of imagery was just exquisite. I honestly don't think words could do it justice.
The ending was happy and made me go, "Awwww!" but it wasn't in the tooth-cavity-inducing, barfing up puppies and rainbows kind of sweet. Instead it was just realistic and...well...kinda sorta perfect.
All in all, Graffiti Moon was the best YA contemp I had read in a long time. There was humor, romance, deeper family elements, thought-provoking ponders, and so much more! It had me totally gushing and swooning afterwards with its great cast of characters and powerful plot and prose. I honestly can not wait to get to read more by this fabulous author and I can definitely see myself rereading this one in the future. If you enjoy YA contemporary, or even if you don't, this is a must read!
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