full review can be found on my blog, holes In My brain
RAW BLUE was amazing
. I’m not even sure to start off this review, but how about just saying that it is So. Australian. Which is just cruel because it makes me want to go to Australia SO BAD and watch hot boys surf. The diction and slang is so lovely and different, but it doesn’t end there. The descriptions of the waves and the breaks were exquisite and might I also add: the surf culture in this novel is excitingly awesome.
This novel is an example of a perfectly executed character-driven story. Carly is a rape survivor, there really isn’t a euphemism for that. She’s broken and fragile, and spends her days surfing and cooking and little else, scared of the world and hating people. Her narration easily drew me into her lonely world, yet the way she juxtaposed the darkness with the beauty of the waves kept me from sinking into despair. Her innate strength isn’t obvious at the beginning, but what I loved most was her subtle growth and development throughout the novel. It wasn’t boom-realization-instant-change, it was small things and small actions that built up, without you even realizing it. Carly’s characterization is the biggest strength of RAW BLUE, and I couldn’t help but fall completely in love with her.
Eagar manages to keep Carly’s voice raw and honest, which quite frankly is always preferable in my mind. The author doesn’t shelter us from Carly’s pain and emotional turmoil, but the feelings are also not overdone; everything is balanced. The writing in the novel is extremely strong as Eagar writes with a defined, confident, and haunting style.
And of course, how can I not talk about Ryan? This is a boy worthy of a thousand swoons, he has his moments yes, he’s kinda realistic. There isn’t an instant smouldering connection between him and Carly, but rather a simple curiosity that blossoms into something else. I adored the fact that Ryan wasn’t the most eloquent with words, yet when he says something like “how good is this” my heart just melts. *sigh* And he’s all mine ;-)
As Carly’s voice carries a raw energy, Eagar’s secondary characters bring colour and sparkle. Seriously, they are gorgeously well-rounded; from the d-bag Shane and the old crows at the break, to the quirky, Dutch, salsa-dancing roommate… Marty, Emilio, the crew at the Café…. and of course, Danny, the precious boy with synaesthesia (he relates things to colours) who was my third favourite character… Danny, you rock. I wish I could just squeeze him. I adored Carly’s endearing friendship with the younger boy.
RAW BLUE is on the mature side of the YA spectrum, but don’t let this fact stop you from giving it a go. It truly is a powerful and intensely beautiful story of a girl, set on the crystalline beaches of Australia.
a fully deserving 5/5 stars