Graffiti Moon – Cath Crowley

Well, I finally read Graffiti Moon, and it is beautiful. The book is set in Melbourne and truly captures the heart of the city. The story is set over one night and is told in alternating chapters by Lucy, Ed and “Poet”.

Lucy loves art, reading and is a curious individual. Lucy is in love with “Shadow”. She feels she knows Shadow through his graffiti art and that Shadow is her soulmate (if only she knew who he was). Lucy, herself, is also an artist. She is a glass blower and knows that even some of the most beautiful pieces of glass have cracks running through them and this theme is developed as the book progresses through the night. Lucy’s friends are Daisy and Jazz who are both outspoken, frank but likeable girls.

Ed is a dyslexia teen who has dropped out of school and is currently unemployed. His two best friends are Leo and Dylan. Two years ago, Lucy and Ed went out, and Lucy broke his nose. This was there one and only date!

Poet is Shadow’s best friend. He often writes poetry to accompany Shadow’s art.

Daisy, Jazz and Lucy have decided to go out and celebrate finishing Year twelve. Leo and Dylan are also out marking the end of Year 12 and have roped Ed in to join them in their fun. The girls run into the boys while out and they decide to all hang out together, much to the reluctance of Ed and Lucy. In the end, the only reason Lucy stays is that the boys tell her that they know who Shadow and Poet are and will help the girls track the two boys down.

Unbeknownst to the girls but revealed to the reader is the fact that Ed and Leo are Shadow and Poet. Ed is an unenthusiastic participant in this game of finding “Shadow & Poet”, but during the evening finds himself travelling the city with Lucy looking at Shadow’s art and trying to track Shadow down.

The beauty of this book is that it is set at night, and so as a reader, we are able to glimpse into the life of Melbourne teens under the cover of darkness. Crowley allows us to spend a night with these teens who are experimenting with life and living large. They are on the cusp of finishing school and discovering who they are and what they want their life to be. Exams are yet to happen, life outside of school is within their grasp, and their futures are there for the taking.

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The Day I Met Cath Crowley

After reading Words in Deep Blue, I fell in love with Cath Crowley and her writing. While at Somerset Literature Festival I attended one of Cath’s session. During the session, Cath focussed on her book Grafitti Moon, which I understood considering the audience (secondary students), but I so wanted to hear more about Words in Deep Blue. BUT Cath Crowley drew me into her presentation with her beautiful manner and her likeable personality. Cath’s writing is funny and warm, and this comes through when she speaks. After listening to Cath talk about Grafitti Moon, I now want to read it, and I can’t believe I haven’t read it before now.

During her presentation she made me laugh, and I could see within her the beautiful soul that it took to write such an extraordinary book such as Words in Deep Blue. For those of you who haven’t read Words in Deep Blue, you should definitely put it on your ‘to read’ list.

Words in Deep Blue is a love story about a second-hand bookshop named Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets, to words. It is also the story of Henry and Rachel who were once best friends and are now finding their way back to each other. Words in Deep Blue is a book that loves books, words and readers. Cath Crowley draws you into the book with her beautiful writing, and she takes a book about love, grief and death and makes it both funny and heartbreaking. It is a book that will linger with you long after you have finish reading.

Once the session had finished, I made my way to the bookshop where Cath was signing books. We chatted a little, and I told her that when I was reading Words in Deep Blue, I wasn’t talking to my boyfriend. We had a huge fight, and I was shutting him out. At the time he was in Canada, and I was in Australia. While I was reading this beautiful book, I knew that he would love this story. He would want to visit Howling Books (his favourite places are second-hand bookstores). He would laugh with the characters who are all flawed but adorable. So I sent him a text and told him that I had found a book with a second-hand bookstore that he would want to live in and just like that, I broke the freeze and that’s the power of a great book! Lucky for me Cath enjoyed my story (or pretended to) and didn’t think I was too creepy!

It is always scary meeting an author or going to an author’s presentation because sometimes they just don’t live up to your expectations but I am happy to say that Cath Crowley exceeded my expectations. She was delightful, kind and beautiful and it makes me love Words in Deep Blue even more, and I didn’t think that was possible.

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