Books · REVIEWS

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

“For a while, for as long as you’re looking at it, that painting is the world and you get to be in it.”

an artist, a dreamer… a long mean night

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.

Personal Thoughts:

The story is set over one long night, as the characters cruises in the dark of adventure and discovery. A night of searching for Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist who paints great canvasses around the city with his friend, Poet. Lucy is so determined to meet Shadow as she believe he is the one. So she embarks in a one night journey with her friends Jazz and Daisy together with Dylan, Leo and Ed as the boys proclaims they know where to find Shadow. As readers we are fully aware of the irony of this mission because Ed is Shadow and Lucy and Ed knows each other. They went to the same school, became classmates and they even dated once. So how can Lucy find someone who is already in front of her?

“It’s like the sun during an eclipse.
I know it’ll blind me but I have to look.”

Cath Crowley pour the story through art. She gives life to Shadow through those paintings in the wall. The painting captures Shadow’s life and experiences and Cath Crowley makes it easy to understand Shadow through art. Each art on the brick walls and the decaying structures were full of life and emotions that shouts all over the city.

Cath Crowley’s writing style is poetic, flowing and descriptive. Each graffiti were vividly beautiful and full of life. The way she describes Shadow’s works will put you in front of the wall she’s painting in your imagination. The vibrancy of the colours and even the mind and feelings of the artist were perfectly captured by how detail she describes each masterpiece. You will feel the grief, love, desire, despair and passion of the painter. She effortlessly bring the images to life which will make you more eager to see all those painted walls for real. And will make you crave for your own graffiti artist who can paint like Shadow.

“Most times I look at Shadow and Poet’s work, I see something different from what the words are telling me. I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall.”

I like how the characters connect through art. Ed and Lucy are like masterpiece in the making. There are a lot of potentials in them as an artist that they haven’t really discover yet. The dreams that Lucy cultivate in her makes her more daring and vibrant. Ed is a real artist hiding in shadow of brick walls and graffiti he skillfully painted. He is full of angst and self-pity but instead of hating him you will want to cheer for him and show how talented he is. That he has a great future ahead waiting to be claim.

The other characters are quirky which brighten up the scenes of this whole night adventure. The adult characters also complement with the teens. Ed’s boss is like a shining light in Ed’s confused world and Lucy’s mentor is a guide you just need while growing up pursuing your dreams.

The story also creatively lay out different issues like poverty, crime, illiteracy in a more subtle but realistic approach. In a span of one night it managed to show the dark side of reality that surrounds the characters.

Graffiti Moon paints characters and emotions through art on the wall. Reading this book is like being in an art gallery that is full of art works and seeing through each of them in every different way possible. This book defines the line between art and vandalism, between rebellion and the desire to have a better future, between searching and seeing. It is experiencing life through the work of art.

This review is based on an e-ARC I received courtesy of the publisher, Random House Children’s Books  via NetGalley.

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15 thoughts on “Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

  1. “It’s like the sun during an eclipse.
    I know it’ll blind me but I have to look.”
    I love this line.
    Book sounds very interesting, I’m very curious about it.

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    1. I love that line too. This is definitely interesting. The graffiti art works really brought into life by the author. I hope you got the chance to read it soon and like it as well.

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  2. wow this book sounds amazing! I haven’t heard of this book before. And Ed is Shadow??!! :/
    I love the eclipse line too, great review 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Ana.
      Yes, Ed is Shadow. Shadow’s real identity is not really hidden to readers since from the start you will know who is Shadow and Poet. But not to Lucy and her friends 🙂
      This one was actually first published in Australia last 2010 and will be available in US by February next year.

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  3. Love the review! I’ve been reading so many great reviews for this book lately that I’ve bumped it all the way up to the top of my wish list. I really hope I get to read it soon.

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    1. Thanks so much.
      The glowing reviews online is what really makes me try this one and I’m glad I did. The book deliver well. I hope you got your copy and have a chance to read it soon!

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    1. Cath Crowley is an aussie author. I’ve first heard her name from Chachic during the FBB meet up at Shang. I also like stories that happen in short period of time. I hope you get to read this and enjoy it as well.

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    1. Thanks so much!
      If you love art you will surely enjoy reading this book. There are some famous arts mention in the book. Maybe you are familiar with some of the artworks. If not you can easily imagine them since the descriptions were very vivid. There are also some poems written by Poet.

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  4. Oh hey, it’s the US edition of Graffiti Moon! I’m so glad it’s being published in the US already because this book definitely deserves to get more attention. It’s a lovely piece of Aussie YA that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

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