Book Club Pick: January 2015
Title: Graffiti Moon
Author: Cath Crowley
Series: Stand alone novel
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
First Published: 2010
It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.
His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.
Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.
But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.
The story follows a group of young friends over a 24 hour period in the fantastic art and culture infused city that is Melbourne.
Lucy has just finished Year 12 (final year of high school in Australia) and is about to take her HSE exams. Lucy’s parents are creative artistic types – her mother is writing a novel and her father, who is living in the shed, is a comedian/magician. Lucy also a creative soul spends her night in search of the mysterious anonymous graffiti artist known as Shadow. The last person she wants to be with is Ed. But Ed knows Shadow so she needs his help. The pair have an awkward history; back in Year 10 Ed and Lucy went one date, which ended with Lucy punching him in the nose.
Ed lives with his solo mum. The only paternal figure in Ed’s life was Bert, who employed Ed at his paint shop after Ed dropped out of school. Bert recently passed away following a heart attack and Ed lost his job. Like a lot of young men Ed is currently at the crossroads in his life, not knowing where to go next.
Ed and his best friend Leo are planning to rob the school in order to pay back a debt to the very scary Malcolm Dove. If they fail to do so poor Ed will have his nipple pierced with a compass. Malcolm demonstrates his compass piercing skills on Ed’s ear so he knows Malcolm is serious.
The novel is written in first person narrative alternating chapters between Lucy and Ed. There is also verse poetry interspersed throughout the novel, written by Leo, which provides a third distinct voice for the story.
Crowley often begins the chapter with repeating the last point of action from the previous chapter from the other character’s point of view. She has a great use of imagery and the dialogue, particularly Lucy’s narration is very witty.
The novel obviously deals with issues of youth crime such as vandalism and burglary. Crowley does not glorify or preach about these issues, instead she presents them as they are in a realistic manner. There are mentions of underage drinking and brief sexual references and strong coarse language.
Graffiti Moon would be suitable for junior secondary school (high school) students.
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.