Friday 30 September 2011

REVIEW - 'Raw Blue', Kirsty Eager (Penguin, 2009)

Carly has dropped out of her old life - university, family, friends. She spends her nights working as a cook and her days surfing on Sydney's north shore trying to keep her secrets buried. Can the mysterious Ryan bring her back from the brink?

I've read some great things about this book over the last couple of weeks, and have also picked up on the fact that it's a bit tricky to get hold of outside Australia. As I'm currently residing in Brisbane, but only for the next few weeks, I paid a trip to my lovely local library and bingo, a well-thumbed copy arrives for me to peruse.

How difficult is it to review a book that you love? Well, this difficult.

As with all great YA, the voice is just spot-on magical, gets-you-in-the-gut hooked, utterly, utterly convincing and powerful. I don't think I've yet to read a book that has managed to capture that feeling of late-teenagehood so accurately. Even without Carly's horrendous secret, Eager completely nails those feelings of insecurity, loneliness, the desire for solitude, that wobbly feeling when the you know the guy at work fancies you, the wanting of this attention, but running away from it at the same time. Seriously, so many times this book gave me the shivers and took me straight back to being that oddball teenager again.

One of the main characters in this book is the water. It's there with Carly all the time. The passages depicting her experiences on the waves are pretty intense - I know naff all about surfing, and I suspect many who have read this, or are planning to are in the same boat (I'm really, REALLY sorry). But, these pieces of prose, although most of the detailed content goes completely over my head, just make the book...sing. I'm sorry but I'm going to go a bit wanky and up my own arse here, but they have this rhythm and poetry about them and are used to great effect to show the energy of the characters and the situation they find themselves in. She doesn't worry about scaring off any novices, just goes with it, which I think is just BRILLIANT and what great YA is all about.

Ryan, just such a bloke.
Uncomplicated, buy maybe not so much. Possibly my favourite love interest in recent years. God bloody love him.

This whole book feels so honest and instinctive, but is still polished to perfection. At not one point did I feel I was in rambling territory.

Now I just have to go out and buy a copy before I leave these shores...


  1. I SOOOO want to read this one. I can never find a copy though. I guess I'll just have to wait. Great review!

  2. Thanks! I'm trying to order a copy before I leave Australia. Have you tried - I noticed the other day that there were a couple of copies advertised and the sellers tend to deliver internationally. You HAVE to read it!

  3. I've heard so many wonderful things about this book that I'm surprised it isn't already on my wishlist! (well, it is now)