Raw Blue, by Kirsty Eager
This powerful, moving young adult novel has a backdrop of surfing and the ocean weaving through the narrative, making it the perfect summer read.
The ocean in Raw Blue provides a healing background for teenage Carly's story of pain and healing and coming to terms with a traumatic event from her past. When she is in the water, Carly feels like she can momentarily feel free from the pain that haunts her. The vivid descriptions of the ocean shimmer like sunlight and make this book a joy to read.
It is difficult not to feel completely invested in Carly, even as she protects herself by constructing barriers between herself and everyone she meets.
But while out surfing, Carly meets Ryan, just out of jail, and slowly he starts to erode Carly's defences. But Carly is used to holding all her secrets tight within herself, and as Ryan comes closer to finding out the truth about what happened to her during schoolies week, she begins to panic.
Will Carly have the courage to confront her painful past and learn to trust again?
This is a raw, honest and powerful story that is completely engaging and beautifully written.
And Ryan...well, he is just amazing, and yes I have a huge literary crush on him. He is honest and tough and kind and carries his own secrets and darkness from his past.
Raw Blue is the perfect beachside read - highly recommended. I also recommend Summer Skin - also by Kirsty Eager - which features a cast of strong female characters, a sun-drenched setting, and lots of romance!
Published by Penguin Books