Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Released: August 1st, 2012
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?
Raw Blue took me a good few chapters to properly get into, due largely in part to its pacing. I've been reading quite fast novels recently, but Raw Blue is different: it builds, slowly, with lots of character development and a serious plot. It's beautifully written and every description made me feel like I was on the beach in Australia, surfing a wave and staring at the sun. Kirsty Eagar definitely has a way with words and she reminds me of Gayle Forman in that respect. Both of these authors have written deep, affecting novels, and both should be commended for treating teenagers as the mature readers they are.
This book doesn't have a huge, action-packed plot, neither does it focus solely on a romance. It's about a nineteen-year-old girl, Carly, coming to terms with life and trying to figure out what she wants. She does all this while surfing every day and working at a restaurant, the first being her passion and the latter being a necessity. She shares a flat with a friendly Dutch lady, works to pay her rent and deals with more personal stuff than she appears to. She's one of those people who has a strong personality, someone to learn from. I honestly felt like I was living in her head, right there on the other side of the world. I can't ask for more than that from a book.
Ryan is the main male protagonist in the book, a twenty-something fellow surfer with a past. He's good for Carly, even if he is a little mysterious to start with. Theirs is one of those chance meetings that has the ability to change their lives and, even though it's a big deal, Eagar's writing never makes it seem that way. It's just another step in Carly's life, but one written with the utmost realism. That's where Raw Blue shines.
This book is about a girl, her life, her past and her future. It's not an epic love story with a grand setting or an ulterior motive, it's just what it is: raw, real, almost unpolished. I was expecting something totally different to what I got, but I wasn't expecting to find writing like this. It's a great find thanks to my friend and her love of Australian YA, and I'm really glad I gave it a shot. (Plus, I now know a lot more about surfing than I did before!) This one's recommended for fans of good writing, serious topics and older YA. Enjoy.