Ed is a high school dropout whose future goals have narrowed only to a search for the perfect shade of blue paint. Lucy is a glassblowing artist who’s just finished year 12 and is perpetually just barely missing the guy she wants to meet, a graffiti artist who signs his name as Shadow. Shadow, Lucy thinks, will be the sort of sensitive, artistic boy who’ll dazzle her with static electricity—a far cry from her most recent attempt at dating, which ended with her breaking her date’s nose.

When Lucy and her friends Jazz and Daisy decide to celebrate their graduation with a night on the town, Jazz pairs them each with a date, and Ed and Lucy are matched with each other. Lucy has no interest in Ed, but agrees to join the group if they’ll spend the evening trying to find the mysterious Shadow, whom Ed and his friends Leo and Dylan claim to know. As Ed and Lucy learn more about each other and each other’s artwork, they begin to realize that they have more in common than they first thought. And maybe, with or without Shadow, they can help each other rethink their pasts, navigate their present situations and plan for their futures.

Set in present-day Australia, Graffiti Moon alternates between Ed’s and Lucy’s points of view, interspersed with lyrical interludes by Shadow’s equally secretive partner, Poet. The book’s format, an all-night escapade told from intersecting male and female perspectives, is reminiscent of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Fans of Nick and Norah—and readers seeking an uplifting story about art, identity and hope—won’t want to miss Cath Crowley’s latest offering.

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