Author:Cath Crowley Publisher: Random House/ Knopf Books for Young Readers Release Date:February 14, 2011
Pages: 257 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book:From the publisher via NetGalley
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.
For her last night of senior year, Lucy means to have fun with her friends Jazz and Daisy, but there's one thing she really wants to do: find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist who leaves his stunning artwork throughout the city. Just by looking at his art, she's got a feeling he's the kind of guy she could really fall for. Too bad it seems like she's stuck sharing the night with her friends and a few guys, including Ed, whom she kindasorta broke the nose of a few years ago. But what's this? Ed knows who Shadow is? Together, they set out into the city to find him and Lucy doesn't realize the guy she's looking for is standing right next to her.
Give me a second so I can ogle the cover again. The light in the background and the title font and the positioning of the models all tied together equals one of those covers I drool over. Okay, I'm good. Time to talk about the content and not the pretty outside, though the inside is just as beautiful.
While this YA contemporary romance is nothing too new (actually, it kind of reminds me of those movies that get made every other year or so; think Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and similar movies), the book does manage to stand out from the crowd in how much emotion it can evoke from the reader. The writing was beautiful, painting the scene and both Ed and Lucy's thoughts clearly for me as if someone were spraying graffiti on a wall. Told in alternating points of view, both Ed and Lucy had very enjoyable narrative voices and I loved the banter they had with one another. Fun dialogue like this book had is a key component of a good book for me.
Lucy and Ed both grew throughout the novel and the changes in them are subtle enough to creep up so silently that I hardly realized how much they changed until the book was over and I was grinning like a happy little fool. Their friends Jazz, Leo, Daisy, and Dylan had their touches of depth too and I was interested in what happened to them, though I preferred their relationships stay to the side so we could concentrate on Lucy and Ed. Even the parents/guardians/people over twenty-one had depth and development! How often does that happen anymore? It seems like never.
I only had two problems with the book and they were pretty small. I didn't care much for Poet's poetry; while I thought it was good, Graffiti Moon was Ed and Lucy's story and his poetry distracted from what was going on with them. And every now and then, Ed and Lucy's voices go so samey that I spazzed and forgot who was narrating until I realized one of them was being spoken of in the third person, so it had to be the other person talking.
Originally published in Australia in 2010, I'm glad Graffiti Moon will be coming to the US and reaching a wider audience. How can a book that leaves me grinning every time I think about it not be a hit? Well, it's totally possible considering current trends and all, but maybe this will be an exception. If only I could get ahold of a print copy right now! This is the kind of book I would cuddle like a pet and love for years and years and make others read so they could enjoy it too.
What am I reading next?: Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard