About the Book:
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.
All of us adult readers loved “Graffiti Moon,” just as I suspected. It’s one of those rare “day in the life” novels that believably creates a believable scenario in which the characters can have this intense, life-changing several hours together. Lucy and Ed, whom we get to know so fully in their swapping points of view, are each talented artists who aren’t like anyone the other has ever met. There’s a charge in the air between them, and it’s not just attraction — there’s so much more to Lucy and Ed than meets the eye — or their expectations of each other. See what we each have to say below (warning, mild spoiler alerts, but really, it’s not a big reveal!)
***AND, Scroll down to find out how to win a copy of “Graffiti Moon”! Many thanks to Random House for providing each of us with an review copy and offering to send a lucky winner a hardcover of the book. “Graffiti Moon” comes out Feb. 14th.
Reader Average: A-
Taylor graded the book an A
Crowley, an Australian author, has written a poetic and lively adventure of one night in the lives of a group of Australian teens who have jut finished high school. Each one is an artist who faces their own particular challenges and demons. The characters are so real, so vivid, and so relatable, I was instantly drawn in.
I’ll admit I was skeptical about this book. When I sat down to read it this past weekend, I had just finished “Quiet” by Susan Cain and “The Winter of Our Disconnect” by Susan Maushart (I can’t wait to share my thoughts on this one!!) – both are thought provoking, not-entirely-lighthearted reads. Crowley’s teen love story seemed to be a too-abrasive gear switch. After the first few pages, however, I was singing a different tune; it did not take me long to get hooked. I read the whole book in one sitting.
Each chapter is told from a different perspective; each character has a voice that is full developed and realized. I found myself rooting for the characters, urging them to find what they were truly seeking, take a better look at what was right in front of them, and hoping they made the right decisions. I often worry when I read a YA novel that I won’t be able to relate – I’m in my early thirties, so it’s been awhile since I was a young adult. This novel, happily, connected with me on two levels: fond memories of friendship and adventure as well as from a parent’s perspective (in terms of what we wish for our children).
T graded the book an A
I really enjoyed the book is definitely one of my favorites out of the books that we have read so far in the book club. One thing that I really like about the book is that you get to read it thru the eyes of two characters instead of just one. The two main characters are Lucy and ED. Lucy has just finished Senior year and for a night to celebrate she is going to spend it looking for Shadow, a graffiti artist, who’s work she is very familiar with.
ED is Shadow and only a few people know it. ED is also the person who’s nose Lucy broke on their first and last date. So you could say that they don’t really like each other too much. I like that you find out that ED is Shadow right off the bat, because then you get to know how Shadow felt and thought when he painted some of the graffiti that they look at. Some times in the book I wanted to jump into the story and yell at Lucy saying “Open your eyes! ED is Shadow!” or yell at ED and say “You idiot, tell her that you are Shadow! It’s the right thing to do.”
I am kinda glad that Shadow didn’t end up being the person Lucy imagined in her mind. I’m glad it was ED, he may be a High School drop out and not the sharpest pencil in the box but he is a good guy.
Diana graded the book a B+
Cath Crowley has created a story that evokes American Graffiti. Like the movie, the characters in “Graffiti Moon” are also celebrating the end of their high school experience and trying to determine their place in the world. Also like the movie, old friends come together and make new friends, find romance, and have adventures in the course of one night.
The depictions of friends, family and romance in this novel are one of the more enjoyable aspects of this book. Many coming of age novels focus on the friendships between girls, so it was refreshing to see the close relationship between Ed and Leo displayed in a novel. Crowley also depicts the close bonds between a single mother and her son, a grandmother and her grandsons, and a teenage girl and her parents.
Also integral to the plot is the world of art. We see the power that expressing himself with painting has on Ed, Leo expresses his emotions through his poems and Lucy uses the power of glass blowing to convey her emotions about her life.
The interweaving of the different points of view throughout the novel and the integral part that each of the characters have in each others lives (some without even realizing it) makes this a novel worth reading.
Cara graded the book an A
Remember when one night could mean everything? When you could chase your dreams, and find them, in the space between sunset and sunrise? In Graffiti Moon, we relive one of those nights.
Graffiti Moon is narrated by three characters: Lucy, Ed and Leo. Lucy, who’s greatest desire is to meet Shadow, a graffiti artist with such talent and depth, she has fallen in love with him through his art. Ed, who is, of course, secretly Shadow, but because of a disastrous first, and only, date with Lucy, he keeps that from her. And Leo, the other half of Shadow’s graffiti team, the Poet. While the boys kill time leading up to planned late night shenanigans, they help Lucy and her friends on the occasion of their last day of high school in an attempt to track down Shadow that leads them all over Melbourne, Australia.
Beyond the principals, this book was full of real, multi-dimensional characters. Lucy’s parents were quirky and unpredictable, Ed’s late boss was wise and funny; supporting characters Jazz, Leo, Daisy and Dylan were flawed and believable. In fact, everyone in the book, with the exception of the psychopathic villain, were absolutely relatable.
I loved the he said/she said writing style. Being inside the principal characters’ heads allows readers to see both sides of the situation. I felt their longing and their anguish. This is a beautifully written story. Officially my first book of the year and we’re off to a banging start.
Jenn graded the book a B+
In “Graffiti Moon” by Cath Crowley, Lucy spends a long night trying to find a teenage graffiti artist that goes by the name Shadow. Even though she’s never met him, she feels a connection with him through his artwork. However, it becomes clear right away that her image of Shadow is not realistic.
Crowley did an excellent job creating complex, realistic characters. While Lucy shows that she’s perfectly capable of taking care of herself, she also has an underlying naivety. This is particularly evident when she mentions that she’s going to “do it” with Shadow. And then there’s Ed, who joins Lucy on her search. Ed is a former classmate of Lucy’s, who left school in year ten. There’s such a sadness to his struggle, living in poverty, stuck in a seemingly dead-end future, and still mourning the death of his friend and mentor, Bert.
As the night wears on, Lucy and Ed discover that they have much more in common than they imagined. They also begin to see that sometimes expectations do not live up to the reality and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If I had one criticism of this book, it’s that it can be a bit repetitive when Lucy and Ed’s points of view overlap. I didn’t think it was necessary to summarize an entire scene from the other character’s perspective. I really did enjoy the book overall, though. It was a great story, and I enjoyed Googling the artwork they mentioned in the story.
Sandie graded the book an A-
Cath Crowley expertly weaves a tale of connection — personal, artistic, romantic. What does it mean when you feel something for someone you’ve never met but whose art speaks to you? Lucy, a glass blower, feels this bone-deep desire to find Shadow, the graffiti artist whose “walls” are peeks into the soul of a mysterious artist who brings her hope. During her adventures with Ed, Lucy realizes perhaps he’s the kind of guy, kind of artist who speaks to her soul too.
Lucy and Ed’s conversations about art are one of the highlights of the book. As they describe their favorite Rothko paintings or Chihuly pieces, color choices or properties of glass, you realize just how passionate they are as artists and art lovers. As Lucy and Ed in many ways get a do-over on a disastrous first date that ended badly two years earlier, it’s hard not to believe they’re truly meant for each other.
For most of the book, Lucy doesn’t know, of course, that Ed’s actually Shadow. If she’s secretly in love with the idea of Shadow, what does that mean about her growing feelings for Ed? What happens when she finally cottons on to the fact Ed is the elusive Shadow? Believe me, you need to find out!
Melanie graded the book a B+
bill showed up for the date, and we ended up having a great time. the end result was that we ended up dating.
three days later bill told me he loved me.
three weeks later, we knew we would be getting married.
three months later, we were engaged.
thirteen years later (more or less), we have four kids.
in the book, graffiti moon, lucy’s first date with ed ended up with her breaking his nose.
i guess our first “date” could have been worse!
i received a free copy of graffiti moon as part of my involvement in the book club, teen lit rocks! i give this book a b+, but i definitely recommend it for older “young adults.
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