Monday, October 03, 2011

Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

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Raw Blue
Kirsty Eagar
Published June 29th, 2009
by Penguin Books Australia

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. 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?

Well apparently I’m the only one in the world who didn’t absolutely love this book. It’s not bad by any means. I still genuinely enjoyed it, I just didn’t completely fall in love with it.
Raw Blue is a deep and dark story about a girl who went through a traumatic ordeal and she’s taken up surfing as an outlet to take her mind off of it all and, in a way, punishing herself for having been a victim. Like the title says, this is a raw story. It’s dark. It’s deeply impassioned and very fragile. Though it never becomes overwhelming; you can feel Carly’s anguish throughout the whole story, but it’s more than pointless teenage angst, it just feels true. You feel sympathetic and not just towards her, but the side characters as well. They all give Carly reason and esteem to help her move forward.
The protagonist, Carly, has a very strong voice in this story. She hides behind surfing and cooking, just trying to hold everything together. I loved how real she was. She wasn’t reckless or superficial, she just was. I loved her way with people and her thought process throughout the story. She’s anti-social but she still cares very deeply for the few people she lets in her life – even if she doesn’t realize it.
Ryan, the love interest, is also perfect because he’s so imperfect. He’s got flaws. He’s a human being. Not a perfect guy with a perfect life. How refreshing! I also like the way he spoke. It was very Australian-ey (or so I’m presuming anyways).
I did however have a hard time with the surf speak and local slang. I know next to zero in the subject of surfing. I live in Canada – says it all. So all the parts when she was in the water pretty much all went over my head. The story was not affected by it though. Surfing is a big part of the book, yes, but those parts were still not relevant except for demonstrating how surfing is a way of life for some people; An escape; A craving. There was some non-surf jargon that was also new to me, though I found it more endearing than troublesome. It gave it Australian charm.
When I went into this I was expecting a lighter read. A romance of some sort. Not really chick-lit but definitely not this deep. I think it’s the main reason I didn’t love it. I wasn’t prepared and I kept waiting for the story to progress. But overall, this book definitely is a great work and Kirsty is amazing with words. If you haven’t, I suggest you give it a try.

3/5 hot espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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11 Responses to “Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar”

  1. StuckInBooks

    I struggle when this happens to me. When everyone loves a book and I think it’s just ok or worse, I really struggle with the review. Good job and kudos for saying what you think.

    Thanks for visiting


  2. Amy

    I haven’t read this one yet but I thought it would have been a lighter read too. I will still read this one eventually though

    Thanks for the honest review!

  3. Melissa (Books and Things)

    What? Canadians don’t surf? I guess you surf about as much as I do… this land locked girl… LOL

    It still sounds like it was enjoyable despite the lingo. I have been wanting to try it and I like your description of the character. I still have this one on my wishlist!! 🙂

  4. Alison Can Read

    It’s always disappointing when you don’t adore a book everyone else does. But it sounds like you still liked this pretty well. I like that the main character has such a strong voice.

  5. Kelly

    Great review. I’m not sure yet if I want to read this one or not. I love how you described Carly, so I might want to read it for that alone, but I think I need to check out a few other reviews first. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  6. mfay2

    I want to get this book and it’s cool to read this three and a half review. It balances the four/five stars reviews out there and it’s really helpful.

  7. Lauren M

    I’ve heard predominantly great things about this book; it’s nice to get a different perspective! I’d still like to give Raw Blue a try–especially since I’ll know it’s darker going into it. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  8. Ashley

    If it makes you feel any better, I should have fully and completely loved this one. I have very similar reading tastes to a lot of people that did love it, I actually prefer the darker/deeper reads and I knew exactly what this one was going into it. And although I did like it and I do appreciate the story, I didn’t love it. I liked it, would recommend it, but didn’t love it like I thought I would. You are not alone! 😛