Beautifully scripted and intelligently woven, Graffiti Moon is such a stellar example of contemporary at its finest. With dual perspectives, and a timeline that takes place pretty much in just one night, this is a compact but potent read. There is intense chemistry between the characters, just the right amount of back story woven in, and such depth infused throughout the story that this one will suck readers in and not let go.
Lucy is a stunningly done character, someone who has plenty of confusion about how relationships work in large part because of her parents. Though they clearly love her, and love each other, they need plenty of space as well. Her home life is a good one, but definitely one with it's differences, and Crowley quietly fuses the effects of that into the story. A little scared, yet feisty and completely willing to face down just about anything, Lucy puts herself out there even when she’s unsure. I loved this girl, from the way she can defend herself to the vulnerability within her as well. Watching her not only be so enthralled with how she thinks Shadow is, but learning about the boy she spends the evening with as well, and the mixing of the two angles had me hooked and entranced.
Mirroring her is Shadow, known to Lucy as Ed. Trying to hide the truth to his graffiti artist side, and clearly carrying a torch for Lucy even before this night started, he is charming and awkward and so genuine. He has some incredibly poignant scenes and moments, and the different way he views the world will make readers step back and think. With a distinctive voice and narrative to him, standing easily apart from Lucy’s voice, and a very smooth flow and writing style weaving the two together, Ed and Lucy are both sizzling and sweet. Music, lyrical and beautiful, the writing is as notable in this book as the story, characters and concepts.
There are a handful of other characters, some more vivid and present than others, yet each one distinctive and fun. With plenty of mishaps and fumbles along the way, this one has a very realistic element to it yet readers won't be pulled out of what’s happening even once. From budding romance to solid and intense friendships, Crowley includes a range of elements into this one, and does each one perfectly and seamlessly. With a raw honesty to it, a guttural beauty, and an overall enthralling and gripping nature, Graffiti Moon is a book that absolutely shouldn’t be missed.
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 14, 2012