Kat Kennedy's Reviews > Night Beach

Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
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My first inclination upon finishing Night Beach is to flood my review with several happy, dancing gifs.
excited girl
Yeah, that will do.

That would be a helluva lot easier than trying to express why and how I loved this book so much.

However, allow me to give you some very valid reasons to read this book:

1. Eagar is an extremely promising Australian author.
2. This book is blurbed by Melina Marchetta for a reason.
3. I told you to.

Not everyone is going to completely get Night Beach.  Eagar's style is both raw and brutal, showing no mercy.  Her characters, so real, tangible and lovingly created, are stripped bare for her audience.  Nothing is hidden or glossed over.  No emotion is withheld and no reality is too stark to express.

At first Abbie seems an unlikable character, but her self-awareness and patheticness lends her a touch of palatability.  But there is a depth and strength to Abbie that becomes increasingly evident as the book progresses.  At first you think Abbie's obsession is like Call of Duty Nazi Zombies - endless and a little pointless but you can't stop yourself.  But Abbie has so much growth, so much passion and so much heroism that she was almost addicting.

Kane was... Kane.  Kane was many young, stupid Australian boys that I've met and Eagar's ability to capture the young, male Australian specimen for display here is almost a feat of genius.  I think the brilliance of Eagar's writing for Night Beach is her ability to mirror a longing in the audience that is reminiscent of Abbie's own feelings and obsession.  Those brief flashes of something worthwhile and lovable in Kane which are briefly littered through out the novel.  It keeps you hoping that maybe, just maybe he'll be good enough for Abbie.  Maybe one day he'll be all she wants and needs from him.  

If I were to describe Eagar's prose as ambitious and artistic, some readers may have horrifying Shatter Me flashbacks.  This is a different kind of ambitious and artistic.  Phoebe North, I believe, said it best in her review when she wrote:

"I believe that the onus is on the writer to earn our trust in their mastery over prose. I never was quite convinced that Mafi was the master here; her writing was just too imprecise, connoting all the wrong things (and clearly not intentionally) entirely too often."

Purple Prose Cat
In other words: your language seems pretty but, on reflection, is stupid, painful and nonsensical.

This sentiment, and her entire review, I completely agree with.  Happily, it is not the case with Night Beach.  Eagar's language is descriptive and powerful, but it is also precise and Eagar wields it with precision and great skill.  I wanted to find an example of Eagar's skill and the tightness of her prose.  But her language is so understated and appropriate for the narrative that excerpts simply don't do it as much justice. 
The plot issues I had with Raw Blue were nonexistent here.  The book felt complete and entirely satisfactory in its ending.  What's more is that it made sense and was true to the themes and the characters.

Perhaps the best part of all this?  Kirsty Eagar has joined with Melina Marchetta and they are both now my favouritest authors ever.  They both live in Sydney.  Guess where I live and what I'll be doing now?

stalking cat

The review is also posted on my blog, Cuddlebuggery
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Reading Progress

02/21/2012 page 96
30.0% "...Me gusta..."
02/21/2012 page 100
31.0% "Oh damnit. I NEED to sleep. I have to be up tomorrow. *Can't put down*"

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Taneika (Flipping Through The Pages...) Good? I am starting this soon :D just got approved *dances*

Kat Kennedy So far, yeah. Only just started but I'm enjoying it more than Raw Blue. The writing is, as always, rather stunning.

Kat Kennedy This a pre-review comment, Stephen! You can't arbitrarily like a pre-review comment! What the hell are you going to do if I write a fantastic review?

message 4: by jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

jo mo does it end w/ a cliffhanger or open ending?

Kat Kennedy Neither. This is not a series. It's standalone.

message 6: by jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

jo mo phew, perfect :)

message 7: by Becky (new) - added it

Becky Kat wrote: "Neither. This is not a series. It's standalone."

Excellent! There are a few too many series running amuck out there in the world. It's nice to find a book that stands on its own.

Kat Kennedy Yes, it is SUCH a relief to read a book that you know isn't going to spawn into a series that needs following!

message 9: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Ritchie Okay... this sounds very interesting, and your 5 stars make it a "must read" for me! Thanks, and looking forward to your review.

message 10: by Vinaya (last edited Feb 25, 2012 03:43PM) (new)

Vinaya Really? I've been wondering whether to give Eagar another shot - Raw Blue didn't quite do it for me, but I know you rated that one 3 stars too, so I'm going to assume this is more to 'our' taste? :)

Kat Kennedy Yeah, Vinaya. Raw Blue was a good but flawed read for me. This one was so perfect as far as I'm concerned.

I would definitely suggest you at least give it a go.

message 12: by jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

jo mo OH! good to know. i rated RAW BLUE with 3 stars as well. NIGHT BEACH just looks more and more promising.... *drool*

message 13: by Skittles (Skyla) (new)

Skittles (Skyla) You had me at Aussie author. Must get hands on this book soon.

Taneika (Flipping Through The Pages...) See? I knew your review would be a million times better than mine! And I agree-Kane was basically your typical Aussie teenage boy!

message 15: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Ahhhh. The Purple Prose Cat killed me.

message 16: by Shirley (last edited Apr 10, 2012 07:22PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shirley Marr You're killin it Kat.

I completely agree, not everyone is going to get it. But I hope it gathers a strong following and becomes cult.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Another Aussie book I want to read but can't. I've been dying to read the Lumatere Chronicles but unfortunately, it's too expensive! AND NOW THIS. Moments like this make me wish I was a billionare.

Kat Kennedy Ah! We have three copies of Night Beach up on our blog right now. You could enter and try to win! We have a lot of Aussie books go up for giveaway.

I know it's still a long shot but three copies for three winners is better odds than most, I guess.

message 19: by Tekla (new) - added it

Tekla "At first you think Abbie's obsession is like Call of Duty Nazi Zombies - endless and a little pointless but you can't stop yourself."

Only for this, I want to read this book. ;)

message 20: by Shelley (new) - added it

Shelley If I understand correctly, this book has a balance of that kind of obsession you feel when young and infatuated, with growth we hope will come from the experience. Am I right? I hope so because I can remember a time when I was not a model of the strong teen we hope for, but rather the slightly pathetic one in the midst of infatuation. I think that's not too uncommon, so this would seem real to me. If I've totally misunderstood, please ignore revealing comment. It's super early and I'm reading this review before I have to get my son ready for preschool. :)

Kat Kennedy You are right, Shelley. Abbie has a lot to learn and is by no means a model of restraint.

message 22: by Shelley (new) - added it

Shelley Ahhh teens - big on the amygdala, little on restraint.

message 23: by H.I. (new) - added it

H.I. Al-Muhairi If I were you, I wouldn't mind watching authors too. Too bad there aren't any here that I know of XP

Awesome review by the way, you had me at that creepy pic, the first one. It's gonna haunt me at night now.

message 24: by Lark (new) - added it

Lark Alexandar Cats. Yes, cats.

message 25: by Allison (new) - added it

Allison Another expensive book that I'm dying to read

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