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You Saw The Whole Of The Moon

A book review of Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley.

You Saw The Whole Of The Moon

BOOK REPORT for Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Cover Story: Two Winners
BFF Charm: DEF!
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Double Trouble
Bonus Factor: Banksy
Relationship Status: Let's Stay Up All Night Together

Cover Story: Two Winners

Above are the two alternate covers on the bottom (US version) and the top (Australian version), and (for once) I actually like them both! The US version has a decent enough photograph and I like the graffiti title. I don't love the cover, but I like it and it certainly won't embarrass me. The Aussie version is my favorite of the two, because it is the bomb dot com. Love the spray paint can -- it's simple and classy.

The Deal:

Lucy is obsessed with a guy she's never met. He's a graffiti artist named Shadow and Lucy (an artist herself) has been convinced by his artwork that he is the perfect guy for her. And considering her only relationship experience is with fictional men (and that one epically bad date she had in Year 10), pining over someone she's never met could be considered a step up. On the last night of Year 12, Lucy's self-proclaimed psychic friend Jazz predicts they will have an eventful night. Which might turn out to be true after the girls run into a group of guys who claim they know Shadow and can help Lucy find him.

BFF Charm: DEF!

Lucy! I love Lucy! She's smart, talented and an unrepentant dork. She doesn't get hung up on anyone finding her weird and genuinely is surprised by anyone not liking her. It's not that she's cocky, it's just that she's fun and cool, so why wouldn't you like her? When she and her friend Jazz wrote lists of all the people they would do, Lucy's list was comprised entirely of fictional people. Which, I'm pretty sure most of the people reading this website who can relate. She's feisty and may have once broken a guy's nose after he touched her butt. She's open about her feelings and is willing to take chances. Basically, Lucy is an awesome girl and totally worthy of emulating or befriending.

Ed is our other main character and I really liked him too. Maybe not as much as Lucy, but she's hard to top. Plus, there are some pretty great (Leo! Jazz!) side characters as well.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Things between Lucy and Ed don't get too heavy for the most part but there is a great deal of delightful tension. The tension feels so genuine and not manufactured -- you understand why nothing has happened yet. The best part is how believable it feels as these two characters begin to like each other. The time span is so short and yet I completely buy these two and their growing feelings. Nothing about it feels superficial or rushed. The progression feels so natural, so real and that to me is more romantic than something with elaborate gestures and grand proclamations of love. There is one scene in particular where these two are lying on top of a van and the whole thing just seems so realistic. Plus, Lucy and Ed have a colorful history, so it's funny to see them overcome their past.

Talky Talk: Double Trouble

This book alternates between the first-person narration of Lucy and Ed (with the occasional poetic interlude from our friend Leo). It's a technique that can work really well for two characters getting to know each other (but can be obnoxious when the two characters are overwrought and ridiculous). Luckily for us, neither Lucy nor Ed is ridiculous and their voices felt very authentic. One of my favorites passages is from Lucy, when she and Ed are discussing his deadbeat dad:

"What was your dad's name?" I ask after a while. "John. Mum can't remember his last name."

"Imagine loving someone enough to sleep with them and then forgetting their name," I say.

"She didn't love him. You don't have to love someone to have sex with them."

"I know that," I say, trying to act like I'm not embarrassed for thinking love and sex are the same thing. I know they're not, but I want them to be close enough to at least brush against each other as they pass.

Oh, Lucy girl, I adore you. That's probably one of the best single lines on sex I've seen come from a YA character.

Bonus Factor: Banksy

Shadow and Poet are a graffiti artist team that paint pictures and words all over the city. What they do is part art, part commentary and completely illegal. So their identities are a closely guarded secret. This book will be a treat for anyone in need of some art appreciation.

Casting Call:

Since this book is another example of Australia's batch of awesome YA writers, I made an attempt to cast some Aussies.

Mia Wasikowska as Lucy

James Frecheville as Ed

Relationship Status: Let's Stay Up All Night Together

Here's the truth -- I'm a bit of a hard sell when it comes to contemporary YA. And one of tropes that almost always fails me (yet tends to be a favorite for many others) is the meet-cute and fall in love within a very short time frame plot. And yet, this book is an example of that setup that I absolutely loved. Some might even say...I'm over the moon for this book. (Yeah, I went there.) I began the night with this book and was surprised how good our conversation was and how naturally our feelings began to develop for each other. We spent all night talking and by the time the sun came up I knew this book and I had something very special, indeed.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from Random House, via Netgalley. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (damnit!). Graffiti Moon is available now to those in Australia and available February 14 to the rest of us.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.