Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Thoughts: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Published: June 29, 2009
Penguin Books Australia
230 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from Melanie
Series: No
GR Summary: 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?

Things I Knew About Surfing Prior to Reading Raw Blue:
1) Blue Crush.
2) A teenage girl lost her arm to a shark while surfing.

Things I Know About Surfing After Reading Raw Blue:
1) A swell is when there are big waves.

The good news: this is irrelevant. Raw Blue is one of those types of books where you know something huge is brewing under the surface. You can feel it under your fingers as you turn each page and you know you're getting closer, but you have no idea when it's all going to explode. We don't learn much about Carly and her past right off the bat. It's almost like she wanted us to get to know her before she lets us in. Smart girl.

Carly has a SERIOUSLY horrific past. Unthinkable. It's no wonder that she's reluctant to let it all out. The silver lining is that she meets Ryan, a fellow surfer who shares her passion and just....GETS her. The two of them feed off each other and share vulnerabilities and skeletons and commiserate and grow together. It's a beautiful story. It's, well, RAW.

I know I'm not saying much in this review. There's really not many words that can express the beauty of this story. It's all about reading it, experiencing it, living it for yourself through Carly's eyes and words and thoughts. It's about giving yourself to another person, yet being scared to death that you're going to lose yourself. Again.

Best of luck to you finding this in the United States. I got lucky enough for Melanie to lend it to me. Do yourself a favor: find a friend who owns it and BORROW IT. You won't be sorry.


  1. This is one of my favorite contemps. I seriously fell in love with Carly's story, even as difficult as it was. As soon as I finished reading it I was talking to Melanie & knew she needed this story in her life. So that book you borrowed.. I bought her a copy all the way from Australia & I love that she is now sharing it with you & hopefully more. It's a book that needs to be shared. I love it so.

  2. I don't have this book yet, but Estelle was gifted a copy recently. I cannot waitttt to borrow it. :)

  3. This is, hands down, my favorite book. It's contemporary, YA, love, pain, everything done right.

    (Also, Raw Blue is available in ePub format at, which is compatible with most of eReaders.)

  4. I could not put this one DOWN. Loved it so very much.

  5. GORGEOUS story. I love it so so so much. And your surfing facts made me lol.

  6. YES. YES. YES. YES.

    Also I learned the same things about surfing.



    The end!

  7. probably would have not looked twice at this book, had I not read your review.

  8. I think I may have to buy this one. I have not read one bad review.

    lol at what you learned. Unfortunately I know what a swell is prior to your review. got sick on a fishing boat because of "Swells" not so swell hanging over the side of the boat. tee hee.

  9. I love the reviews you do of these contemps.. I recently finished Moonglass after seeing you post about it here, and I loved it.

    It's true that everyone has personal demons. It's hard to let it go, instead of it eating you from the inside. I spent a year of my life doing just that. I pushed everyone away, I almost lost everyone and everything that mattered to me, because I just couldn't deal with the loss. But after a year, that fog cleared for me, and I was able to get a grasp of myself again. So I can really appreciate these sort of novels. I would never have picked some of these up if not for your well written reviews. Thanks for sharing this one, i'll be adding it to my list!

    would really love to try an Aussie one some day. I'll have to order some from that fishpond site.