From Back Cover: Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafe. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week. But when Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, she 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?
My Rating: 5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar is an emotional and powerful novel that explores what happens to the victim in the aftermath of rape. Carly is a girl who is furious at the world and has isolated herself from others. She is haunted and ashamed by what happened to her, and her only solace is surfing. At first, it was slightly hard to connect with Carly because you didn’t know what exactly happened to her (since Eagar purposely kept it vague) and because it felt as if she had managed to create a bubble for herself from the reader too. Nonetheless, it becomes impossible not to fall in love with Carly over time and want to protect her from anything bad ever happening.
I also loved Eagar’s secondary characters because they weren’t just some stock characters. They felt real, had their own interesting pasts and were dealing with their own problems. At twenty-six, Ryan is a few years older than Carly and has been to jail. He may not be the prototypical YA love interest, but he was perfect in my eyes. Ryan acknowledges that everyone has issues and was willing to build a relationship slowly with Carly on her own terms – being understanding with her mood changes, telling her when he isn't going to be in town and giving her space when she needs it. Who needs a Prince Charming when you can have a guy like Ryan?! Hannah and Danny were awesome characters as well, and I loved how they managed to integrate themselves unexpectedly into Carly’s life.
Eagar’s writing was a joy to read. It was simple and yet so touching. The addition of Aussie and surfing slang really gave the book an Australian feel, and the passages describing the ocean and its waves allows the reader to understand Carly’s love affair with the ocean and the allure of surfing.
A novel I’m going to recommend to anybody and everybody, Raw Blue will leave readers with a lasting impression and the indelible gift of hope.
Raw Blue was released by Penguin Books Australia in June 2009.
Comments About the Cover: I’m not sure if I’d pick up Raw Blue just from the cover because it looks a little too emo-ish for me. After having read the book though, I think it goes very well since the ocean and a surfer are present in the background and a girl with long hair covering her face and shielding herself from anyone’s gaze is in the foreground.
In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from Linds at bibliophile brouhaha.