REVIEW: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

004. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 14, 2012), originally published 2010 in Australia, eARC, 273pp / ISBN 0375869530
Genre: YA Fiction

Read: January 7, 2012
Source: NetGalley

This book will be released in the US on February 14, 2012!


Thanks to Pam for tweeting about this last month! She mentioned that it was available on NetGalley, and as soon as I read the summary I knew I had to read it.

It’s the last day of year twelve and Lucy wants to do something radical before it’s over. She wants to meet Shadow, a graffiti artist she’s been pseudo-stalking for two years and who paints some of the best art she’s ever seen. “Shadow” is actually Ed, who just wants to get enough money to pay rent for the month. He’s got a way of getting it but it means the possibility of going to jail– and of cutting off any dreams of a future in art. When Lucy recruits Ed to help her find Shadow, they go on wacky adventures do a lot of awesome things that I can’t describe in one paragraph or less.1

The author

So, basically, this is what I wanted Brooklyn, Burning to be. I sort of liked BB, but there was just something about it that didn’t click with me. Everything in Graffiti Moon clicked, and it clicked in an almost perfect way. Like The Green Man, Graffiti Moon is about art, poetry, and the people who exist within them. Unlike The Green Man, Graffiti Moon‘s magic comes entirely from the people who inhabit the book. I think anyone who’s watched a John Hughes movie knows what a perfect day and/or night is like when you’re a teen, even if you’ve never experienced one for yourself. Graffiti Moon could totally be a John Hughes movie, and now that I’ve compared GM to at least three other things I suppose it’s time to start talking about the book for its own merits.

Yeah! Graffiti Moon is an AMAZING book. It’s thrilling in the way that your first crush is thrilling. And the characters? Yeah. Totally adorable. I also love that art and making art plays such a big role in the book, especially in the unconventional way it does. Lucy loves glassmaking and Ed loves graffiti! Also, there is poetry. Also, and I’ve mentioned this before, but they’re all adorable people.

Slice of life stuff is something I really enjoy, but I know it annoys some people. There’s not much action besides whatever’s happening in the character’s hearts, and the character development is usually slower and less dramatic than in other genres. But I like slice of life stories because the people in them are usually extremely relatable, and the adventures they have always seem like adventures I could be having, if I were friends with them. And when the writing is as good as Cath Crowley’s, the low action isn’t a problem because you get enthralled in the littlest of things, and it’s ALL exciting.

If you like John Green’s books, you’d like Graffiti Moon. If you like books about people who work through their problems with help from their friends and the events around them, you’d like Graffiti Moon. If you like books that focus on a single important day (or night) in a person’s life and how that short time span affects them for the rest of their life, then you’d like Graffiti Moon. Or, heck! If you just like darned good writing, Graffiti Moon is the book for you!


There was a speedbump near the end that threw me off for a while, but overall it’s an excellent book.


Get your own copy @ Amazon or and support Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog through the power of affiliate earnings!

Other reviews

Good Books and Good Wine: “Cath Crowley’s writing style is gorgeous and seems to follow this trend I kinda noticed where all the Aussie authors I read are unbelievably good. When you read Graffiti Moon, you should let the words and the prose wrap around you and immerse yourself in the experience because Crowley’s writing is delectable.”

Alexa Loves Books: “I loved the way the story unfolds, the events of a single night perfectly demonstrating character and relationship development. It was just plain fun to read; once I started, I simply couldn’t put it down.”

The Allure of Books: “I really appreciated what a huge role art plays in the story. From glass blowing to graffiti to high school art class. All the detailed descriptions of Shadow’s graffiti give us insights both into art and into life. I am far from being truly educated in the world of art, so the fact that I felt connected at all to the world in this story is another pretty brilliant achievement on the part of Cath Crowley.”

Plus lots more here.


Here’s the Australian cover for comparison:

I think the Australian one works better for appealing to boys, but I like the US version because it’s got both Ed and Lucy on it and their entire heads are there and everything! And they’re interacting with each other! Do you know how RARE that is in US YA book covers, y’all?

The author’s photo comes from her website. It’s not mine! Book cover comes from Amazon. It’s not mine, either.


  1. Writing summaries is hard, yo.

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley”

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. It’s set in my hometown, which made it all the more real to me!

    You’re right about the covers, too: the Australian one is my favourite (it’s amazingly striking in person), but I love that the US one actually has people with heads (and not in submissive poses!)

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