Thursday, August 9, 2012

Aussie Book Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Release Date: June 29, 2009

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafĂ©. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

Quote: "You just have to see those times for what they are: a chance to look down at your life. And when you do, you see it’s a skin made up of shiny little moments."

My Thoughts:
Noooooooooo!!!!! Just one more chapter please!
I mean, I can imagine how that conversation went, or I can hope it went a certain way, but I can’t think it better than Kirsty Eagar can pen it. Absolutely beautiful!

I’ve said this so many times before… Aussie writers have this gift. It’s a magical ability to catapult you into a fictional moment that feels so damn real and full of raw emotion that you can’t help but fully connect and when it’s over you feel like you fell on your ass because there’s no more pages left for you to grab onto. It’s like a tight embrace that makes you feel there… in the moment… and when it’s done and releases you, all you feel is the space around you and nothing comes close to that moment when you were in the story. Truly in the story. That my friends is what Raw Blue accomplished.

Absolutely everything about Raw Blue felt so real to me. Maybe because of the setting and how familiar I am with the feel of the sand between my toes, or a wet towel wrapped around me long after I’ve left the beach, the sound of waves crashing, the smell of sunscreen and not wanting it too close to your eyes or stuck on your hands, the taste of the salty water when a wave playfully takes you down. It’s been a part of me my whole life and this book connected with me in a way that felt true and vivid. Kirsty Eagar has what it takes to guide you into that fictional space that commands your attention and your heart. Captivating and emotional!

Carly is a character so carefully flawed to perfection that I couldn’t help but completely fall for her. Everything she went through, every emotion she struggled with, her moments of desperation, and her times of brief happiness. I can’t remember the last time a character made my heart bleed with paper cut precision. Ryan, sweet lord! Rhino! Can someone just tell me he’s real? He’s actually somewhere out there. What an awesome guy! His last voice message, yup, I’m memorizing it. It was a thing of beauty. But, not just the two main characters, Eagar makes me want to believe all of these characters are real and I actually worry about them long after closing the book. Will Marty be okay? Is Kylie going to make it through? What’s going to happen to Danny next? Shane? Roger? All of them are broken somehow and you just want to make sure they’ll be alright.

So if you get the chance to pick up an Australian book, Raw Blue is a perfect example of their greatness. This book is filled with emotional moments, happy events and wish-they-were-real characters. It will stay in my thoughts for a long time and I can see myself reading it over and over again. I absolutely loved it!

Favorite Quotes
"8 is just an infinity symbol the right way up."
"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. I think this and I’m suddenly struck down with gratitude for all the things this place has given me. The break, the ever-changing moods of the ocean and the best surfs I’ve ever had. Tonight my world is a bubble. Clear, round, perfect and fragile."

“I’ve worked out a tattoo – if I had one” says Ryan. I look at what he’s done. He’s got the outline of my hand over his heart and in it he’s written, Her..."

Ryan's last voice message...

Final note: Okay, so here’s the deal. If I were offered the choice between free access to U.S. bestsellers for the rest of my life or 10 Aussie books… the choice is pretty clear… hands down. There’s just some things an avid reader can’t live without and that’s fictional greatness, and Aussie writers have what it takes to deliver that. It’s become my favorite writing style and I feel it should be its own genre. Actually, hold on a minute… I’ve made it so. It’s officially a separate genre because hell yeah the writing stands apart and there so denying it. Try one. You won’t regret it…

5 Snowflakes


  1. Wow! Awesome review!<3 And I agree about Aussie's writing, there's just something so special, raw and addictive about it!

    I think I just died at the tattoo quote. I cannot wait to read Raw Blue too!<3 *adds book to my TBR ASAP list*

    1. Thank you so much Deea! Yes, Aussie writing has something magical about it. I love those books! That tattoo moment was too beautiful for words. I hope you get to read it soon!!

  2. This sounds great, and wondering what exactly has you yearning for another chapter!
    Thanks for review,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. "wondering what exactly has you yearning for another chapter"

      Greed... :P Plain and simple greed. I can never get enough of these stories and when I finish the book, I'm never ready to let go. But for this particular moment, it was a moment between Carly and Rhino that I didn't want it to end. ~sigh~ I wish there was a sequel for this book. Thank you Brandi! :D

  3. You too, Arlene? Everyone raves about this book! I don't know why I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Awesome review, I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Yes Wendy! Me too!! LOL I love this book. I hope you get to read it soon. Thank you for posting! XD

    2. This sounds fantastic. I haven't heard of the book before, but man that was some book love going on in your review!!

      - Jessica @ Book Sake

  4. Okay, you didn't actually give us Ryan's last voice message! I don't know why I've had a mental block about this Aussie read. I thought is was depressing somehow. Am I wrong? Wonderful review, Arlene and I totally agree, Aussie books should be a genre on their own. Always so wonderful. I seriously need to catch up on my Aussie challenge! I'm reading A Little Wanting Song very soon. :)

  5. LOL! If I post it, it will be a big spoiler! Hahaha There were some very sad moments, yes. Thank you so much. I think I've finally made a decent dent in my Aussie challenge. I'd like to finish the year with at least 10 or 12. I have to go back and count where I'm at.

    Oh I LOVED A Little Wanting Song!! I hope you enjoy it.

    Rachel, you always seem to get me to go on and on like a novella. :D Thanks for posting. :)