Maja (The Nocturnal Library)'s Reviews > Raw Blue

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
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I wish I could pay someone to write this review for me… I think it will turn out to be one of the hardest I’ve ever written. Or one of the easiest… who knows with these things?

First of all, don't you just love this cover? Maybe you need to read the book to fully appreciate it, so all of you who haven't… what are you waiting for?
There aren’t many authors who can portray emotions and transfer them to the readers like Eagar does. Her writing style is readable and clear, and still it draws you in completely, making you feel so many different things. For me, sometimes those feelings were pleasant, but most of the time powerlessness and sense of detachment overwhelmed me, so much so that I feared I would suffocate. That probably sounds like a bad thing, but it depends on what you’re looking for in a novel.

Some of the most beautiful and the most honest moments in Raw Blue are related to surfing, and while I don’t know anything about it, and despite not being a water person at all (terra firma for me, thank you!), I can certainly understand the passion and the single-mindedness behind it.

Carly is one of those characters that crawl under your skin and stay there. And Ryan… he is the perfect person for Carly precisely because he’s not perfect at all. He doesn’t feed her insecurities by having none of his own. He’s a guy with many flaws, but he’s also the one to find all the undamaged parts of Carly’s personality and bring them to the surface.

I thought that the awkwardness of having sex with someone for the first time was amazingly well described. It makes me happy that there are YA authors who write sex scenes the way they should be written, removing any illusions and silly expectations. We’ve all been there: the little insecurities, self-consciousness, fear of not being accepted, of doing something wrong. Carly worries about all that and much more because her mind is not that of a normal 19-year-old.

The value of this book lies partly in the secondary characters: the neighbor Hannah, whose life is so messy that her symmetrical name is the only thing she’s proud of; Danny, the precious 15-year-old with synaesthesia; Emilio the café manager and others that make this story far more real.

I've posted most of my favorite quotes as status updates.

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Quotes Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Liked

Kirsty Eagar
“Once they know they've got a hold of your shame, they can shake it out and hold it up for the all world to see. And you become less than it. You become something disgusting.”
Kirsty Eagar, Raw Blue
tags: shame

Kirsty Eagar
“Shame isn't a quiet grey cloud, shame is a drowning man who claws his way on top of you, scratching and tearing your skin, pushing you under the surface.”
Kirsty Eagar, Raw Blue
tags: shame

Kirsty Eagar
“What did he say? You can't always pick your friends. Well, he's damn right there. I have two friends here: a fifteen year old who sees people in colours and a salsa-mad Dutch woman. I didn't pick them, they just turned up in my life, and I'm really glad.”
Kirsty Eagar, Raw Blue

Reading Progress

4.0% ""8 is just an infinity symbol the right way up." I'm already loving this book." 5 comments
7.0% ""I said I was happy to work here so long as he understood that, which sounds high and mighty, but I said it in a nice grovelling way. And he nodded like he’d heard me. But now he keeps pushing for more, all the time. I hate that about people. Why can’t they just respect what you want, instead of always suiting themselves?""
26.0% ""My father's eyes can be the coldest place on Earth."" 2 comments
32.0% ""My eyes have gone funny and everything’s smudged. Streetlights, traffic lights and the lights of the oncoming cars have a haloed effect. The world’s a blur and it makes it hard to see the white lines, to know where I should be placed."" 3 comments
53.0% ""He’s not crashing the way I want to – he’s just closed his eyes and let go. Not seeing, not feeling, not caring. And seeing him like that hurts; puts little paper cuts in my heart. Because what I feel for him is not the same as I feel for the others: a sudden surge of hatred that washes over me like a red wave.""
59.0% ""Why do they put ‘mate’ on the end of every sentence? Is it to let the other one know the transmission’s finished, like ‘over’ on a two-way radio?"" 25 comments
79.0% ""Georgina asked me about it once, about being in a quasi long-distance relationship. She said, That’s crazy, I don’t know how you do it. And I looked at her thinking she was crazy, because it’s not like you get to pick. You don’t get to choose who you want to be with.""

Comments (showing 1-50 of 64) (64 new)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Starting today with Catie. :)

Limonessa Yay! Did you get the ebook?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Paperback is still not available on the Book Depository.

Limonessa I know, I had it sent from Australia, I so wanted the paperback...

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Wow. Did it take long to get there?!

Limonessa Nah, I ordered it at and it took like 10 days. Trouble is, it got here when I was at the beach so... I came back to pick it up at home. Yes, I'm so bad.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) You really are determined. But I'm not surprised. I would have done the same thing if I wanted a book badly enough.

Catie I'm ready when you are!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yodeling would probably be inappropriate, but I can't help it. Yey!
Let's do it. I have one more book to occupy me the rest of the time so you can set the pace. :)

Catie Ready...set...go!

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

This author has a vampire book out that I want to read. Heard it was really good.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yes, Saltwater Vampires. It should be pretty good. :)

Limonessa Aw, I was uncertain between 4 and 5 stars too. Glad you liked it, it's always nice to find another good author.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I absolutely loved it. However, the last part was a little hard to get through. I almost felt like I was suffocating.

Limonessa I see what you mean.
But I meant to ask you, as a non native, did the parts about surfing go totally smooth to you?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I wouldn't say I understood 100%, but I think it was mostly because I don't know the first thing about surfing. I' not sure a native speaker from Worcester, for example, would have more luck.

But it didn't frustrate me at all. I got used to it pretty quickly and I don't think I missed anything important.

Limonessa True about not missing anything important. Might be that I am a very visual person though and it irritates me when I can't picture the scene accurately in my head.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, that sort of thing doesn't bother me in the least. To me, getting the emotion right is important, the rest I can live with. And Eagar certainly is excellent in getting readers to feel exactly what she wants them too, hence the suffocating part.

Limonessa Yep, absolutely. That's why I totally agree with Flannery when she made the Marchetta comparison. They are very different but there is some common talent there.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I wouldn't know since I still haven't read a Marchetta book. I don't know why.

Flannery Moi? Maja, get your act together and read some Marchetta. If you liked Raw Blue, your body will probably melt with love for Melina Marchetta.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Mea culpa. I promise to change my ways and grow up to be a real Marchetta fan. Ah, the peer pressure. :P

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Where should I start, anyway?

Flannery I know how annoying it can be when people try to force feed you books. Eventually you'll get there, Maja:) And I'll be here, waiting, creepily, to jump in and cheer you on when you do.

Flannery Start with Saving Francesca.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Raw Blue really convinced me that I should try.

Sometimes I want my books to be just fun, nothing else. But there are times when I need to feel like I did something for myself by reading a book, and this is exactly the type of book that gives me that feeling.
I hope I can find the Kindle edition of Saving Francesca. :)

Flannery I think The Piper's Son and Jellicoe Road are actually her two best works but the former should only be read after SF and Jellicoe is a hard one to get into and might put you off from the start.

I know what you mean, though. Books are often escapism or fun for us and it takes more out of us when we get emotionally involved. But it feels good once in a while:) I hope you can find it. You should get WD to readalong with you.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Lol, negotiations are in progress. I'm in the mood for books that challenge me emotionally lately. I did my best to avoid that for the longest time, but it's time to wake up.

Flannery I think the way you two feel about Feed and Deadline is the way I feel about The Piper's Son. (I cannot wait till you get there)

Wendy Darling Hah, I sent Maja an email saying we should read SF together too! I want to read Jellicoe as well, but the twistiness scares me right now. Francesca would be a better way to ease into it, I think. Besides, I had JR for too long, I had to return it to the library.

Limonessa Maja! Shame on you! Go read Marchetta now! :-)
You'll love her I'm sure. No, no, no pressure at all.... but in this case it is all for your own good, it's really worth it. She is one great author.

Limonessa Wendy.... you too???

Wendy Darling Sadly yes, I am a Melina virgin as well. *hangs head*

Catie Let the great Melina Marchetta devirginizing commence!

I started with Finnikin of the Rock. If you like fantasy, you can't go wrong there.

Don't be afraid of the twistiness of JR, Wendy. It's really not all that bad, IMO.

I'll be hovering over Flannery's left shoulder, even more creepily, to stalk your reviews when they show up :|

Wendy Darling Michelle already started the Jellicoe campaign on my innocently bare JR "to be read" book. I think we've decided to start with Saving Francesca first, though! But IF she's as awesome as everyone says, I'm sure the others won't be too far behind.

Catie You'll be hooked Wendy. I am 100% sure of it.

Wendy Darling That's what I'm afraid of, Catie. That's what I'm afraid of.

Wendy Darling I can't wait to read this! Wonderful review, Maja. But I expected nothing less.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) It's a beautiful story. As for the review, I'm not exactly a font of eloquence today, but it will do. :D

Flannery I think this was eloquent. I was shaking my head in agreement the whole way through it:)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you! That last part was SO hard to get through. I wanted to go lie in bed myself and watch TV for days!

Limonessa Great review Maja, you nailed the essence very well!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you, Lisa! I was just looking at some passages again, wondering what it is about the writing that I find so appealing, and I think I finally figured it out. Plenty of verbs, fewer nouns, hardly any adjectives or adverbs. Very straightforward.

Limonessa You're right. This is one of the most realistic among realistic YA books that I've read.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I just noticed that you didn't like Before I Fall either. I think we're the minority there. I actually don't think I would have finished it if not for the fact that it was the only audio I had at that moment so it was either Sam or silence.

Perhaps silence would have been better.

Limonessa You know, I kept the book to pick it up some other time because I felt like I totally missed the point of the book, seeing as practically everybody liked it.
But I realized there are some things that I just can't stand. This is a stupid comparison but, for example, I hate Mr. Bean. It's not that I find it stupid, for me it's just physically painful to watch.
I even had to stop reading A certain slant of Light because it was creeping me out. Before I Fall had the same effect. I hated the MC so much that I wanted to throw the book in the fire.
Many people are perfectly fine with these books and I feel like a white fly but I just... can't.

Catie LOVE this review Maja! You said it all! BTW, I am not a water person at all either! I kind of hate it...probably because I had a scary experience when I was younger. I love dry land! I don't even particularly like swimming in pools.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Thank you! The water part might have something to do with our May birthdays! And the worst thing is, I live by the sea! I never even went to the beach before my daughter was born, I just didn't see the point. Now I go every day mostly because I have to. :)

This book is going to stay with me for a long time. I wish someone would translate it. I want to make all my friends read it.
Oh, well, they've translated Fallen, that's what's important. It will do so much good my country. :D

Catie My little girls love going to the swimming pool too. Most days, I wake up and my oldest already has her bathing suit on.

I just got (view spoiler)

Catie Oh, and the second part of that comment makes me think about all of the literature that I'm probably missing out on because it hasn't been translated. We probably only get the "Fallen"s of the world over here too! :((

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