Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley.
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 2012
List Price: $16.99
Review: Most times when I looked over he wasn't drawing. He was leaning back in his chair and staring at me. And every time he stared I felt like I'd touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. I was nothing but a tingle. After a while the tingle turned to electricity, and when he asked me out my whole body amped to a level where technically I should have been dead. I was pretty sure we had nothing in common, but a girl doesn't think straight when she's that close to electrocution. So begins Lucy's unconventional relationship with Ed. Told through the voices of three Australian teens, Lucy, Ed, and Poet, Cath Crowley's novel, Graffiti Moon, tells a story of adventure, poetry, and life never being quite what it seems.
Lucy, an art student who has just finished her senior year, is a seeker of adventure. After breaking Ed's nose on their first date, she starts out on a quest - a quest to find Shadow. Gifted with raw talent, Shadow spends his nights painting amazing and symbolic pictures on the sides of buildings. He is the ultimate graffiti artist, and Lucy can see through his art and knows he is her soul mate.
Ed, on the other hand, has dropped out of school to find some way to help his single mother support them. Finding a job and a male mentor at a local art store fills a void in his life - that is until his boss loses his life. After having his nose broken, Ed steers clear of Lucy and instead dedicates his nights to releasing his innermost thoughts in his artwork. However, once he hears of Lucy's desire to meet Shadow, Ed tells her that he knows where to find him, and as a result, Ed takes her on the adventure of a lifetime in an all-night search for the man of her dreams.
Poet, is a complicated person who best expresses himself through poetry. In one assignment he composes the following poem titled "Where I lived Before." In his poem he writes, "I used to live with my parents, In a house that smelled like cigarettes, And tasted like beer if you touched anything, The kitchen table was a bitter ocean, That came off my fingers, There were three doors between the fighting and me, And at night I closed them all, I'd lie in bed and block out the sounds." As Ed's best friend, Poet is at his side and has an adventure of his own on that awe-inspiring night when Ed takes Lucy to meet Shadow.
Graffiti Moon is an artsy novel that takes readers through the lives of three seemingly different people who find ultimately that in fact, they are very much alike. The design of the novel, the portrayal of the events from three completely different perspectives is intriguing. It adds an interesting insight into each character that would never happen if the story had simply been told through the perspective of one of the characters. Plus, the complex lives of the characters - each having his or her own demons to hide - creates a realism that will draw readers into the plot. One of the most fascinating parts of the novel is reading Poet's work. Each chapter told from Poet's perspective is told, not surprisingly, through poetry. The level of symbolism and rhetorical devices used in his poetry could definitely be missed by the casual reader. But great insight can be found if the reader looks a little deeper. Overall, Graffiti Moon, is an enjoyable adventure where people come to the realization that whatever is missing in their lives can be found closer than it at first might seem.
Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Graffiti Moon for this review.
Have you read Graffiti Moon? How would you rate it?