Genres: Young Adult; Romance
What tickled my fancy: It’s “The Shop Around the Corner” with Australian teens!
What ticked me off: Nothing, really. The end is a little convenient, but strong in other ways.
Who might like this: Fans of Eleanor and Park, who hoped for a different ending.
Graffiti Moon was recommended by Liz at Something More, and I am beyond grateful. You might never guess this from how much time I spend online, but my life is not that exciting! Cooking, cleaning, washing, watering — generally much taking care of various things, very little of which is actually appreciated by the things. Having a really captivating audiobook to listen to while I do all this keeps me that much further away from saying fuck it and hopping a plane to London.
Graffiti Moon has three narrators, all with working class Australian accents. I’m fussy about narrator accents in an odd way: I can’t stand posh, clipped or plummy upper-crust English accents, which means most historical romance is a total bust on audio unless it has Highlanders in it, and those are usually a bust for different reasons. (No offense to any readers with posh accents, I still love you and am positive I will absolutely love your accents when I finally hop that plane.) Any other kind of accent is generally a plus. So anyway, although some people might not find these the most attractive accents ever, they really worked for me.
And even better — despite being a young adult book with two male narrators and one female, this is not a love triangle.
Okay, so I’m really starting to see the downside of this whole blogging thing. If I were on a social media site, I’d just jot down a few random thoughts and call it done, but since this is an Official Blog Post, I feel like I have to analyze the whole damn book and I just don’t want to.
So screw it. It’s about teens who are artists and poets, and searching for people they can relate to intellectually and romantically. One of them, Ed, has some kind of learning disability that he’s too embarrassed to acknowledge or talk about, and is worried that he has no real future. They reminded me so much of myself as a teenager, occasional pretentiousness and all. The entire book happens as the kids hang out together all night, which also brings back memories (even though they don’t go to see “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”)
One of the most interesting things about the book is that, although it all takes place in one night, the stakes are extremely high. Both Ed and his friend Leo are on a scary path, and some bad shit goes down. If you care about the characters — and I don’t know how you couldn’t — it’s very tense in parts. But there’s also a lot of humor, and the romance is… very believably teenager, and very sweet. I think the extravagant writing might have felt too over the top to me in print, so I’m especially glad I went the audiobook route. Also, the dishes got done.
It’s hard to separate the reading from the book, but I’d guess this a B, B+ for the book itself, and definitely an A for the audiobook.
(Audiobook came from the public library, bless them forever.)