May 30, 2013

Graffiti Moon: A Panoramic Review

"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." (from Goodreads)
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

My reaction: Plenty of bloggers have raved about this book, so I'm sorry to have to say it, but Graffiti Moon really didn't do much for me. I don't feel passionate about it one way or the other. It's not poorly written — Cath Crowley has a talent for stringing words together and conjuring up imagery through description — but it just wasn't my cup of tea. 

I found the plot to be quite boring, or more to the point, non-existent. Not a lot really happens in this book, and the little that does happen occurs at a painstakingly slow pace. It's very much about the characters and their relationships and introspective discoveries. Most of the story is just Lucy and Ed wandering around the city one night and discussing artwork. Now, I like art as much as the next person, but unless you are an art aficionado it might get a little old. Also, the reveal of the "mystery" of Shadow's identity (which is not a mystery to the reader for most of the book, but is to Lucy) was anti-climactic and quite frankly, rather confusing.

As for the characters, I couldn't visualize them that well and their personal details just weren't sticking in my head. Generally, they're kind of quirky/strange, with Lucy being one of the more "normal" of the bunch. Lucy's a relatable enough narrator, but she didn't make me care strongly about her. I did feel sorry for Ed, as he's had a pretty rough past. Sometimes he makes poor choices, but he has good intentions and he learns some valuable lessons throughout this book. I thought his perspective was written quite well and, though not a "typical" male teen voice, felt authentic for his personality.

Best aspect: There were some great humorous lines sprinkled throughout, and also some thought-provoking commentaries on life. And I enjoyed seeing Lucy and Ed go from this uneasy, mocking relationship to one where they actually are interested in each other, and trust each other enough to share things they've hidden pretty deep inside themselves.

If I could change something... I'd give it more of a plot, I guess. And maybe cut out a couple of seemingly extraneous side characters so that the main ones get more focus. I didn't feel like we got to know Daisy and Dylan very well, for example, and they really weren't necessary (except, I suppose, as a refreshing change from the more eccentric characters). And I'd make the dialogue more teen-believable. Yes, these are atypical, geeky teens, but they were spouting contemplative, wise-beyond-their-years statements a few too many times.

Ultimately, though, judging by the praise heaped on this book by some readers, I think this is a case of just a wrong fit for me. 

If you haven't read it: and you are into art, "deep" realizations, and plenty of dialogue, you might enjoy this book.
If you have read it: did you love it like most of the YA blogosphere did? Or did you have an apathetic reaction like mine?

Just one more thing I want to mention: it would've been neat to have some actual illustrations accompany this book. That might've heightened the artistic aspect of the story and helped keep my interest a little more.

Final verdict: 3 shooting stars. Since there's virtually no plot to speak of, a book like this hangs on its characters — and I just couldn't care very much about them.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book for review from the publisher.

I'm not positive if this book falls in the "new adult" category, but I'm counting it towards the challenge!


  1. You know what, Danya? I actually appreciate a fairly average review of Graffiti Moon, simply because all I've seen are rave reviews. I definitely still want to read this one because I love the author's writing style, and the premise has hooked me, but I like your take on it!

    Great review :)

  2. I actually pretty much feel the exact same way as you about this book. It was all just very... anti-climatic for me. Like story-wise, and just based on my expectations in general. It was a bit underwhelming.

    And I agree - illustrations def. would have made it better, and a little more unique even. I almost felt that it was trying to be little too much like Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist sometimes.

    Anyway, great review!

  3. I actually really liked this one but that's because I think really appreciated how passionate Lucy was about art since I don't know much about it. I do agree that having illustrations in the book would have made it more awesome.


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