By Cath CrowleyYoung adult Pan Macmillan
Cath Crowley takes the reader on a thrilling ride through one eventful night in this exciting novel, which plays out over the course of just 24 hours.
The narrative is divided between two main characters, Shadow and Lucy, who each take turns telling their story. It’s the end of Year 12 and Lucy is looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about, but no one has seen – except through his work, which is all over the city. Ed is sure he knows where to find him, and takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.
Graffiti Moon is a book about connections between outsiders, who work out that it’s okay to be different. While it has a strong narrative hook and appealing characters, it’s also steeped in ideas about connecting through art, and a canny exploration of that time of transition on the border between adolescence and the first steps towards adulthood.
It’s the final night of Year 12 and Lucy is going to make it memorable. Ed is entangled in a plan to steal from the high school he dropped out of in Year 10. Lucy is searching for Shadow, the enigmatic graffiti artist. Who is Shadow - and why do his pictures so perfectly capture Lucy’s yearning moods? Point of view switches deftly between Lucy and Ed, creating a delicious tension as the two characters play a game of hide and seek across one warm Melbourne night. With writing that sings at the level of the sentence, Cath Crowley weaves a story about life truths and the power of art.
For such a slim volume, Cath Crowley’s Graffiti Moon sure packs a big punch. Lucy has just finished Year Twelve and she and her friends are out for some fun before the cramming starts. She is chasing Shadow, the graffiti artist who she has fallen more than a little in love with, because his work speaks to her in a way no-one else does.
Ed is a boy Lucy has a history with, and not a comfortable history at that. Ed is the last person Lucy wants to see on her big night out. But Ed knows where to find Shadow and can help Lucy on her quest. So we join them on their journey across the city. It is one night neither of them will forget and neither will we.
The assured and authentic voice of the author is quite brilliant. Cath Crowley’s dialogue captures the nuances of the dichotomy of insecurity and bravado that is young people and the story of this one night rings true and is rightly deserving of the acclaim it has received.
The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist