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Graffiti Moon

Graffiti Moon - Cath Crowley I’m going to preface this review with a warning that I find it hard to talk about this book without gushing - an urge that has not diminished with each subsequent reading. I'm not sure how to sufficiently express how much I adore this book, so I may just start flinging adjectives wildly as I go on. Sorry. Taking place over one unseasonably hot night in Melbourne, Graffiti Moon is a story about art, poetry and love. About secret identities, past mistakes and punches in the face. About pink vans and an elusive perfect shade of blue. And a girl on a mission to find Shadow, a graffiti artist who documents his thoughts on walls around the city. Crowley weaves the plot together through the perspectives of Ed and Lucy, two unique, nuanced teenage voices, interspersed with the works of Poet as the night unfolds. A slight overlap between some scenes allows you to see how the same events are filtered by each of the protagonists, and watch as the relationships between them develop and change. The interactions between the characters were refreshingly realistic: Dylan and Daisy’s barbed exchanges, Ed’s caution, Lucy’s unfiltered observations. I loved them all. Flawed but charming boys, girls with style and strength. Chemistry that fizzes from the page. A story by turns funny and poignant, Crowley’s prose is lyrical yet understated. The writing is evocative, pulling you in and immersing you in the story. Its an experience not unlike the way Ed describes a Rothko painting: “.. for a while, as long as you’re looking at it, that painting is the world and you get to be in it.” (p 167). Graffiti Moon is the type of book that holds you close, wrapping you up in the tension, until the final page. I particularly enjoyed the discussion and use of art throughout the book, from references to local artists Ghostpatrol and Angela Brennan, to the ongoing motif of Rene Magritte’s The Lovers in Lucy’s point of view. I’ll be the first to admit I know next to nothing about art, but I found the use in the story both relatable and effective. Also, the shout outs to Melbourne’s street art really made me want to go out and rediscover the city I live in :)Graffiti Moon in a gorgeous book that captures the hopefulness and uncertainty of standing on the brink of your future. It now has a permanent spot as one of my favourite reads of all time.