I did meet a Boy,' Midge snaps. 'He has wavy brown hair, and he's English. I met him at the Library.Read Review
Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago. Then she meets Ryan and Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?
I quite enjoyed reading this novel. It made me think and feel a different way.
Loved this book – it has become one of my favourite reads of the year. Once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down. Very deserving of all the praise I’ve seen heaped on it (and what encouraged me to finally pick it up and see what all the fuss was about).
This is a great young adult novel that is authentic and involving. It has trauma and anguish but the story and emotion is always wonderfully controlled. There is a quality of self-assurance to the writing – it is clear Eagar knows what she wants to say and has tapped into the best and truest way of saying it.
Full review at:
I was hanging out to read this because:
Melina Marchetta mentioned it as a fave read of 2009.
Author Julia Lawrinson said: 'If you only read one book this year ... it should be Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue …"
with a 19 year old protag and a 26 year old love interest, it's my kind of fave upper YA
surfing, Sydney, haunted past, Aussie YA :)
My Review: Mate, Raw Blue is so Australian, hey? It is also so authentic that I experienced little pools of tension in my gut and tiny bubbles of hope that Carly would be okay. A powerful, raw and beautiful novel that now sits proudly on my all time faves shelf.
It has this languid, quietly intense pace which you sit back in the pocket, holding your breath. I was only a fifth in when I was startled to discover that Carly had gotten under my skin in a way that a literary character hasn't for a very long time. I was crazily invested in her and felt all ripped up and torn inside-out as the novel progressed. I so wanted her to be okay.
Carly is such an awesome protag - 19, tough surfer girl, vulnerable and alone, hurting (after a traumatic/shocking event @ schoolies) not letting anyone in. Enter Ryan - surfer, 26. With his own dodgy/dangerous past. And, he likes Carly. The scenes of them meeting and starting to hang out and then Carly deciding whether to trust Ryan - it's mesmerising and lip-biting and beautiful and painful all at once. These characters are contemporary YA at it's best.
The characters and dialogue were not only distinctly Australian, but they were so nuanced and authentic that I felt like I was eavesdropping on real life. I loved the surfing scenes, where the ocean was like a living, breathing all-consuming force. Kirsty has such a way with words that you are engaged in the scene with all your five senses.
Also, I have to mention Danny, one of my fave characters. A 15 year old surfer with synaesthesia (so completely fascinating) who befriends Carly and was an awesome dude in general.
I read this in one gulping heap and even now Carly's story continues to linger. Not only was this novel brilliantly engaging - but it's also an important novel about hope and pain and healing. I've re-read it already, as if hoping to absorb some of the magic of Kirsty's writing into my own (ahh, hasn't happened yet). Kirsty Eagar has shot straight up onto my list of whoa-crazy-good authors.
I hardly ever give 5 stars
I only like to save them for the best of the absolute best.
This is 5 stars all the way
“The ocean is a vivid emerald colour and the wind ruffles the wave faces so that they shatter the sunlight like glass. Seeing that glittering skin always tightens my throat with joy. It’s stupid, but that how I feel: joyous. I forget about the underbelly of things, my secrets, and I feel easy and free. I know that I’m meant to stay on the surface and be happy. Just enjoy being alive.”
I don’t know why but I find it so hard to write reviews for books I love. I have been struggling with this review for hours now and I don't think I will do it the justice it deserves. So I am going to try a different approach. I am going to list Reasons why I loved Raw Blue:-
- This book is truly Australian. The language, the surf culture, the characters, it all feels like home to me.
- It is effortless to read. It just has a nice flow to it. Still can’t believe this is her debut novel.
- It was intense, honest and beautiful. A book that lingers in your thoughts.
- Believable characters. I think characters should work for their happily ever. You want to see them grow and change. And Eagar did this perfectly.
- Carly is such a compelling character. You can’t help but become emotionally invested. And it keeps you up at night reading because you just want to know that things will turn out right for her.
- Ahhh…Ryan 'mate'. I have found a new literary crush. What I liked about him was that he wasn’t letting his past dictate his future and that he never gave up on Carly when a lot of guys would have said it too hard.
- Danny because he made me laugh. Such a smart *** kid.
- Because the way Eagar wrote about the ocean it felt like it was another character. It made me want to go down to the beach and watch the waves roll in.
- Because most of all it was a story about love. Falling in love, doing the things that you love and loving yourself.
An amazing read!
Raw Blue can be described in one sole word - powerful. It's a book that examines the tough elements and people in life with a roaring crash tackle. Carly has experienced something (deliberately being vague) that has wiped her previous life away, instead all she looks forward to is the joy of surfing.
Carly's one messed up, ball of anger. She's alone, vulnerable, and in immense pain. She also a walking contradiction - an absolute slob at home but paranoid about food poisoning at her cafe's kitchen. Eager fills the page with the minutia of Carly's work life - her responsibilities as a cook, her feelings and concerns for her co-workers and how to make Eggs Benedict. In contrast, her life outside of her work and that of her past, is spotty at best. It's an excellent depiction of the effect unresolved anger has on every facet of one's life.
It's a truly impressive debut work - dark, full of turmoil with the occasional cloud break - just like the ocean. The characters are all well crafted. Danny is one that particularly struck me because he was so unexpected, for the reader and for Carly also. He adds some vital whimsicality to the novel, his synaesthesia is a condition that I have never heard of and now wish to know more about. It's a book that challenges the reader to stick with it, just as Carly challenges those to stay with her.
It's an extremely real, tense book that will move you. It's an impressive start to a promising career.