Monday, May 14, 2012

Graffiti Moon -- a review

Graffiti Moon
Cath Crowley
272 pages


What is it about books that take place in one day that make them so tasty? I think my obsession with the One Day Genre started with Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and evolved into something else completely. I even try (unsuccessfully most times) to read them in one day. The One Day Genre book has been rare and elusive with me; only popping up once every few months to please me.

It goes without at saying at this point that Graffiti Moon is a book set in one day. Or, err, night. The book features another favorite of mine: alternating view points. We have Leo, a poet and graffiti artist, whose story is told through his poetry. There's Ed who is a master graffiti artist and high school dropout. Then there's Lucy who is also an artist (a glass blower) and has a psychic friend.

After their last night of senior year the three--and some friends--spend their time wandering around the city. The real story is between Lucy and Ed. Lucy is on the hunt for Shadow (a graffiti artist who happens to be Ed), and the two spend their time talk about art and their futures.

While the conversations between Ed and Lucy were my favorite part I often had to break from the story to Google the artists they were talking about. I needed visual examples of the art because I'm a visual kind of guy. While a minor complaint I can't really blame Cath Crowley for it: my natural curiosity often gets the best of me in these situations.*

There was one thing that stopped me from giving this book my full support. It hinges on the fact that this is a book about nothing. It's often a problem with the One Day Genre. I've made comparisons to Seinfeld and The Big Lebowski before. I think it's truer for this book than previous ones, and I'm not totally against it. We're just getting a glimpse of a few people for one day, and when lives are examined up close it's often hard to distinguished the overarching plot lines from the little ones.

Cath Crowley--while a newcomer to my ever growing collection of One Day Genre books--won me over with a quirky story containing compelling characters that I'll probably never meet again. It was good while it lasted. Which is how these one day books should go.

Full Disclosure: I checked this out from my local library.

*After reading Wanderlove I spent an entire afternoon reading about South America.

15 comments:

  1. I liked this book, the one-day setting, and the quirky characters. I've gotten a few students to check it out of my library and they have given it favorable reviews, so for that I am thankful

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    1. It is completely praise worthy and enjoyable, I would recommend it to guys and girls.

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  2. Are you a fan of one day films too? I didn't know this book was set in one day, I'm curious now especially about the art elements of the book.

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    1. I am a big fan of one day films! Go, Pulp Fiction, etc. But not the movie One Day. I didn't like that one.

      A lot of modern art is discussed. I don't know anything about modern art.

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  3. Oh I loved this book! I love alternating POV. I loved all the tension between the couples and also the graffiti. I really love Banksy - I hope he's one of the artists you either already know or looked up. If he isn't, you should. And then there's a really great documentary about him on Netflix - I think it's called Exit Through the Gift Shop. But I'm straying here. Great book, glad you liked it.

    YAY Monday!!

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    1. Noted. I will watch that documentary. I like documentaries.

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  4. I also really love books that take place over the course of one day (or one night). The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is my favorite of these types of books.

    I liked the beautiful writing of Graffiti Moon, but I felt like there was something missing and was somewhat unfulfilled at the end. I couldn't really put my finger on what was unsettling me at the time, but maybe it's as you said, that this book really is about nothing... and I needed it to be about something?

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    1. Oh man. I loved The Statistical P... you know, that title is too long for me to type at the moment.

      Yes. It was unsettling. It wasn't a "oh good it's the start of our lives" type of thing. It was "oh crap where do we go from here?" type of thing. Does that make sense?

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this one, even though I'm not familiar with the artists that they mentioned. It would have been amazing if they included artwork between the pages, right? Maybe some samples of Shadow's graffiti work?

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    1. I wouldn't enjoyed that as well. But then I'd spend all my time looking at pretty pictures instead of reading.

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  6. I love one-day books, too. (Not counting, of course 'Dustbin Baby') Dude, why do you post so early in the morning? Is that staying up late, or getting up insanely early?

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    1. I've never read that.

      I get up early to workout and post to this blog. I am kind of an early bird.

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    2. Fortunate for you!
      And if you haven't read the book, don't. Another potboiler from Jaqueline Wilson...

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  7. These characters are to die for. I love the dialogue between all of them because they are all so interesting. They are all so diverse yet I see myself in all of them. They are still completely relate able Ugh I wish that it was longer because I couldn't get enough of this beautiful writing. I highlighted so many phrases that I admired. This book is by far and forever will be one of my favorites.

    Marlene
    Trenchless Sewer Line Repair Seattle

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