Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Goodreads description:

“Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers.”

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

Oh my gosh I loved this book!  When I finished it, I didn’t want to send it back to Missie.  I will eventually acquire my own copy for my keeper shelf.

I really liked all the characters in the book.  The main characters were fantastic, but the secondary characters rocked just as much.  Lucy was funny, smart, and tough.  I loved that she punched a boy on her first date.  That was a great place to start from for her character.  I liked Ed a lot too.  I always go for the bad boy that ends up having a heart of gold. ;)  I liked the alternating POVs and how funny both of them were.  The friends were great too.   I liked Jazz and Leo so much.  The Daisy/Dylan relationship kept me laughing, but seemed sincere all the same.

The descriptions of the art were amazing.  I could totally see the graffiti and the glass in my head.  I loved the meanings that the graffiti had to Lucy, Ed, and Leo and the poetry was fantastic.  Very well written and engaging.

I read the Australian version of this book, but it comes out in the US next February.  I’ll definitely have to read it again then, so I can see what changed and relive the brilliance.

Read as part of the Aussie YA Challenge. I received this book through the Go Aussie Book Tours over on The Unread Reader.  Thank you, Missie!

Saltwater Moons by Julie Gittus

Goodreads description:

In the beginning it seems so simple. A poem in the mail. A weekend invitation to the coast. But when Sun says yes to a midnight walk, her life becomes suddenly complicated. Saltwater Moons tells the story of Sun Langley during her final months of Year Twelve. There’s the intensity of her first relationship, complicated by the fact she continues to exchange poems with her boyfriend’s best mate. It’s a story about love and betrayal, about constantly longing for the things we can’t have.

I really wanted to like this book, but I struggled with it a bit.  On one hand, it was beautifully written – super easy to get immersed in.  I liked that a lot.  On the other hand, the characters kind of drove me crazy.  :)

I liked Sun, but I was so mad at her for staying in the wrong relationship when clearly her heart was somewhere else.  I did feel like she was a very authentic character and most of what she did made sense in a teenage brain, but I just wanted to shake her and tell her there was something better out there for her.

I loathed Mark.  Seriously loathed him.  He was just not a good person and he didn’t treat Sun well.  See last paragraph about shaking Sun and telling her there was something better out there.

Tycho I did like for the most part, though I didn’t understand why he continued to exchange poetry with Sun if he wasn’t going to do anything more.  I really liked the poetry in the book and how well it fit in with what Tycho and Sun were going through at the time.

Overall, it was good and a real story of Sun making mistakes and figuring out who she was.

Read as part of the Aussie YA Challenge. I received this book through the Go Aussie Book Tours over on The Unread Reader.  Thank you, Missie!

Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse

Description from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year old twins in Candy-Store crime spree. Twins, Paisley and Beau Argent are in the headlines again. Last time, they were the ‘wonder twins’, when as six-year-olds they were found alive in woods after three days missing following their mother’s death -three days spent looking for their dad. Now at sixteen, life’s not so wonderful. Out-cast and exploited by their money-grabbing grandmother, they’re still clueless about their dad’s whereabouts. Until they discover an old letter from him. That’s when they decide to hit the road – and make headlines again. Holding up fast-food joints might seem extreme but if they can get on the news, and tell their dad they need him, they might get the dream reunion they thought could happen.

I had really high hopes for this book.  It sounds like a fun adventure.  Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me.  I really didn’t like either of the main characters.  Paisley was over the top bitchy and ridiculously impulsive.  Beau was spineless and annoying.  Basically the whole book was Paisley pulling them into some ludicrous  plan that Beau didn’t want to go along with, but he did because he wouldn’t say no to anyone.

The other problem I had with the book was that it was written by a British author, but set in the United States.  Anyone that knows me knows I am an Anglophile, so British wording/spelling doesn’t generally phase me, but when it comes out of supposedly American characters, it was distracting.  I read the British version of the book.  I’m interested to see if those things are changed when the American version comes out later this year.

Read as part of the British Books Challenge.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Description from Goodreads:

In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

I haven’t really been a fan of the recent YA Angel books that I have read.  I was a little hesitant to read this one, but I kept seeing positive reviews for it, so I decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did – it’s really good!

The writing was fantastic.  I found myself sinking into the story and completely captivated.  I love when the writer’s style keeps me in the story and doesn’t pull me out of it because I’m thinking about how they write instead of what they wrote.  No problems here.

The angel mythology was really interesting and believable.  I really liked that the girl was the supernatural creature in this book instead of a boy.  I think that made me love Clara even more, but there were lots of reasons to love her.  She was intelligent and interesting.  I liked that she was focused on her goal, but also a pretty normal teenager.  I liked that she had normal and not normal friends.  I loved her relationship with her brother.  Her mom was kind of frustrating to me, but I did like her.

I had a hard time with Christian.  Clara finds him interesting, so I was supposed to find him interesting, but I kind of didn’t.  By the end, I liked him more, but at the beginning, I thought he was just an obnoxious “mean guy” that was going to hurt Clara.  Tucker, on the other hand, I loved from the beginning.  I loved Clara’s relationship with Tucker and how it grew.

This was clearly the first in a series and I will be totally on board for the next book!

Read as part of the 2011 YA Debut Author Challenge.

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams

Description from Goodreads:

Imagine your name is John Lennon, only everyone calls you Beatle.
And then you meet your dream girl and her name is Destiny McCartney.
But what if you’re already with the perfect girl?
A novel about change, chance and everybody doing the wrong thing.

This book was a lot of fun.  I liked the characters a lot.  Beatle and Destiny were both very quirky and funny.  I was a bit frustrated with Beatle at times because he had a girlfriend while pursuing a relationship with Destiny, but I still had a hard time faulting him for it.  Beatle and Destiny just seemed so perfect for each other while Beatle and Cilla weren’t.

I loved Destiny’s family.  It was big and funny, but also really realistic.  Their names were pretty awesome, too.  I had a hard time liking Beatle’s mom, but really liked Winsome.  I think I relate well to characters with bad attitudes!

I loved the When Harry Met Sally-esque twin stories.  They were really funny and interesting and really added a cool dimension to the story.

This was a really fun fast read that I’d recommend!

Read as part of the Aussie YA Challenge.