Title: Raw Blue
Author: Kirsty Eagar
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published June 29th 2009 by Penguin Books Australia
I was so incredibly excited to win a copy of Raw Blue from Linds over at Bibliophile Brouhaha. (thanks Linds!!) She had raved about this book so much that I knew that I simply had to read it! Once I had read it though, I found that it is quite difficult to write a review about a book that feels like such an intimate, personal story. Its almost like reviewing someone’s journey to recovery, because that’s kind of what Raw Blue is.
After surviving a traumatic event at school, Carly, the main character, had completely disengaged from her life, quit going to University against her parents demands, moved away from everyone she knows, and began working an evening job as a cook simply to pay her bills so she could spend her days surfing along the beautiful Australian coast where she could lose herself and calm her mind and spirit. Despite her best efforts to keep everyone out, she finds herself with several unconventional friends, Danny a teenage boy who sees everything in colors, Hannah her Dutch salsa dancing neighbor, and Ryan a sexy surfer who was recently released from prison. Each plays a part as Carly slowly begins to put the pieces back together.
Raw Blue explores Carly’s journey as she tries to rebuild her life in the aftermath of a brutal assault. Kirsty Eagar unflinchingly recounts each painful moment in such an uncomfortably insightful way that I almost felt as if I was riding this emotional roller coaster alongside Carly. The details of the incident itself were shocking and disturbing, but not overdone in a way that was too much. The beauty of Raw Blue was in the depth of emotion that the author was able to convey with a simple and straightforward writing style, the incredible characters, and the relationship building and interaction between the characters. I loved each of the secondary characters, each one had their own interesting background that made me want to know more about them outside of their place in Carly’s world.
The story felt genuine and relatable with a definite “Aussie” tone. There were many purely Australian words and phrases that I wasn’t sure about the meaning, but it didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys books that are intense and emotional and fans of YA Contemporary as well as Adult Contemporary. I definitely don’t see this as a purely Young Adult book.
Rating – 5