Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Pages: 274
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/New Adult
Pub. Date: June 29, 2009
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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?"
Carly has dropped out of college and left her hometown to live by the coast so she can surf everyday.  She got a job as a cook at a local cafe and only works nights so it doesn't impact her surfing schedule.  You see, Carly is getting over a traumatic event in her life that she hasn't really opened up to anyone about it.  She's been hiding from life and really only socializes with Hannah, her neighbor, and a young boy named Danny, whom she met while surfing.  Carly is perfectly content with the status quo and like I said, she avoids truly living her life, that is until she meets Ryan.  Ryan is another surfer that shows an interest in Carly.  He challenges her both mentally and emotionally; he encourages her to come out of her comfort zone.  The big question is whether Carly is going to let Ryan into her world and let him know the truth or if she'll run from her life and possibly being happy forever?  Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue is a powerful book that had me feeling all of the emotions.

Silly me. I thought Raw Blue was just about surfing and summertime. Boy, was I wrong. Raw Blue is so much more and deals with tough topics, such as abuse.  Carly is such a complex character and my heart went out to her. I just wanted to get her help and have her break down her walls, but when dealing with such a traumatic event, I knew it would take her time.  

I love how surfing is therapy for Carly and is her safe place.  Eagar really brought to life the Australian surfing world.  I loved the lingo, the dialogue, and her descrption of the waves.  Raw Blue is by far the best surfing book I've ever read.

There is a romance in Raw Blue, but that isn't the main focus.  Ryan is an important character, but this novel is all about Carly and her journey.  I really liked the character of Ryan though and felt he was the perfect guy for Carly, especially after dealing with what she had to go through.  Since Carly is nineteen and Ryan is a bit older, I would say that this book falls under the "new adult" genre, especially considering some of the topics it covers.  I just want to give people a heads up that Raw Blue would be better for more mature readers.

Raw Blue made me feel a lot of different emotions. I think Eagar did an outstanding job capturing depression, post-traumatic stress, intense distrust, fear, and anxiety.  I, right along with Carly, really felt all of these things as she opened up more and let us in on her past.  This is all a testament to Eagar's writing style.  She definitely has a unique style and I loved it. It almost reminded me of Hemingway in a sense--very concise, direct, short, but so very memorable.

Like I said, Raw Blue is the best "surfing" book I've ever read, but it's so much more than just that.  I recommend this novel if you are looking for something that is moving this summer.  Carly's story will definitely stay with me. This book needs to be published in the US.


  1. I need to pick up a copy of this one too. I've been meaning to read it since last summer! I get so behind on my reading! I generally like Aussie settings, so I should enjoy this one! :)

  2. I think you'll like this one, Leanna. I hope you get to read it this summer. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I like the sound of the writing style - I can't remember the last time I read a book with a Hemmingwayish way of writing.

    Nice review!

    1. Her writing is very unique. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for dropping by, Lea!


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