Monday, 19 May 2014

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

This post contains a review, photos, and a bookish manicure.


Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Published 2009 by Penguin AU
Source: purchased p’back and Kindle book
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: 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?

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?

There is something about reading a book set in your home town. In this case I’m talking about the wonderful Northern Beaches, a place that feels like a holiday destination all year round, a coastline dotted with amazing beaches, perfect for laying out in the sun, swimming, surfing, snorkelling and so much more. I first read Raw Blue in 2011 and immediately fell in love with it, especially the setting of Manly and Narrabeen. I decided to re-read it this month because Jo is visiting and I was going to show her around this wonderful place, and snap a few photos.

Carly Lee is nineteen and moved to Narrabeen two months ago, leaving behind her family on the Central Coast.  She quit her uni course and now works nights at a café in the Corso, leaving her days free to surf the Alley at North Narrabeen Beach. Carly is not only dealing with a mother who wants to dish family gossip every time she calls, but also a distant and cold father, as well as an incident she tries so hard to forget.

Carly has a prickly personality, but she’s just trying to protect herself from the world. Inside she’s carrying around shame and guilt; I immediately felt for her and was drawn in by her story. All she wants to do is work just enough to support her surfing, and keep to herself. Luckily for her she inadvertently meets amazing people who want to help and be there for her, namely Hannah, Danny, and Ryan. Hannah was a sweetie, always there to offer company and a cup of tea. Danny made me laugh so many times, his innocence and happiness was such a contrast to Carly’s shame and sadness. And Ryan, he tried so hard to be there for her, even when he had no idea what was going on, I adored him.

There were so many things that I clicked with during this story, not only the setting, but the family dynamics, Carly’s need for independence, the buoyant feeling she got that felt so unexpected but also amazing. This book really sang to me, and I know it has that effect on so many readers.

Shamefully, I have never learnt to surf, but I still enjoyed all the surfing scenes, the descriptions, and the lingo. I don’t think it’ll ruin anyone’s reading experience if you have no idea how to surf or if you’re not a beach person. You can really feel the author’s knowledge and love of the sport through her writing and each scene was so vivid.

Raw Blue is a wonderfully Australian YA novel, perfect for fans of contemporary reads.

Inspired by Rey and The Tome Travellers (that sounds a bit like a band name!), I have a few photos of some of the locations mentioned in Raw Blue.

North Narrabeen Beach, this is where Carly and Ryan like to surf (that sentence makes me think of this song from Cougar Town)



Here’s a look in the opposite direction, all the way down to Collaroy Beach


Raw Blue at Narrabeen Beach


The pelicans that like to perch on the streetlights along the bridge over Narrabeen Lakes.



Sleepy pelican

Northern side of Narrabeen Lakes




Raw Blue at Manly Beach




The Corso


I had to do nails for this book because I love it so!


I started with 2 coats of BYS French White and when dry I added a layer of quick drying top coat.


Once dry I used the watercolour technique – you can google this to find videos and tutorials, but here’s how I did it:  working on one nail at a time, I dabbed on some polish in a few places on my nail, not huge blobs of polish, but enough so that it wasn't as dry as a normal coat of polish. I took a long striper brush, dripped it in acetone, and then swiped over the polish, dragging it horizontally and making lines back and forth across my nails. First I did this with a light blue, Bloom Kate, then I followed it up with a darker blue, Essence Let’s Get Lost. Try not to dig into the nail polish too much, or you will dig into the bottom layer of white. Use more acetone if you can’t get the polish to spread out and work quickly so that the polish you applied doesn't dry before you can get the acetone on it.



Once dry I applied a layer of top coat, this smoothed the polish out, so don't think you've done it wrong if you have a layered feel to all the polish you applied and dragged around!


On my ring nail I used acrylic paint and a very fine brush to paint Carly, and then I gave that nail another coat of top coat.


I wore this manicure for 4 days, that’s pretty long for me, but I really liked this look and I did not want to remove Carly and the waves from my nails!

34 comments:

  1. Mandee, I don't think I could ever re-read this -- it just wrecked me. It's so, so good though and I loved the setting especially, so I'm a tiny bit jealous you love so close by to the beach. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous pictures with us, Mandee, and I'm not surprised this book continues to stun even upon re-read -- it's just that good. :)

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  2. Wow, your nails are so fun!! I can't believe you can do that. Amazing! :)

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  3. Great book review~ Love the nails.

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  4. I have to read this simply because it's set so close to home! I really want to get into Australian literature. I haven't learnt to surf yet either but it's definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for the review! I'll have to look out for it.

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  5. Ohhh, my gosh, the DETAIL in your nails!! and also that's super cool how it's set in your hometown. I've yet to read a book set where I live specifically, but I've been places books have mentioned! Like Almost Dead by Kaz Delany was on the Gold Coast and I could envision the whole thing. It was awesome. ;)

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  6. I love everything about this! Great review for an amazing book, gorgeous photos and those nails are INCREDIBLE! You have some serious talent, Mands!

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  7. Thank you for taking those pictures! This is an all-time favorite of mine, an absolutely unforgettable story. Like Keertana, I'm not sure I could reread, it really destroyed me, but I doubt I'll ever forget a single detail either. It was nice to finally see those places.
    And wow, you're scary good with your nails. :) I could never be that creative.

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  8. Just found your blog and I'm loving it :D Just became a follower through bloglovin!
    Great review-I haven't heard of this book before, but I'm adding it to my TBR list now!

    Finley Jayne
    http://finleyjayne.com/

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  9. So many people loved this book. I'm pretty sure I have a copy lying around somewhere. I didn't know this was set in your hometown, so I'm really happy to hear that. Carly sounds like she's going through a rough phase in her life but I'm glad to hear she meets some wonderful people to help guide her through.
    Beautiful review, Mandee.

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  10. Oh, I'm so glad to see you loved this book so much! I read it over two years ago, and to this day, it remains a clear favourite of mine. I love Ms. Eagar's writing style, and Carly's story truly resonates. Fabulous review...and that manicure is amazing!

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  11. Great review, it sounds like a very emotional read... oh, and wow, the nails are amazing!

    I'm new to your blog but think it's really brilliant, this will the first of many, many visits! New GFC follower.

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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  12. Really cool! And it's amazing how you're able to get the portrait to look so good on a fingernail.

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  13. Woah, I can't believe you drew a person on one nail. That's crazy!

    i love re-reading books that I love; thanks for sharing the photos. :)

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  14. Oh my gosh, that is so amazing you got her on your nail. You are so talented. Loved the photos showing the scenes in the book. I have had this one in my TBR for a long time. I need to read it. I know what you mean about reading books set where you are familiar. I always look for books set in Oregon.

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  15. You've outdone yourself this week, those nails are absolutely stunning! You're so talented. Brilliant review as always, I love checking yours out as you usually have books I have never heard of. You're making my TBR list almost endless but I love it! :)

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  16. I am in awe of your skills! I can't believe you put the girl on your nail. She looks so perfect too, her eye is all shaded and everything. Wow! It must have been fun to read a book set in your home town. I love all the pictures you took of places featured in the story.

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  17. wow ! how i love your nails ! simple the best ! lucky you , you are at Manly right now ! i was there several time 2010yr and the beaches around !
    thank you for nice pictures Amanda ! ❤ and huge hug !

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  18. This is definitely one of my favorite reviews of yours! You can really tell that that you enjoyed the books. Those nails are AMAZING!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  19. Gorgeous photo's Mandee! it is such a beautiful area, you describe it perfectly.

    This book sounds great! I have seen a lot of praise so I really need to grab myself a copy. A fabulous review.

    Your nails are amazing! you are so talented.

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  20. I loved seeing the photos! When I read this book I was surprised at how well I pictured everything and I've never been to Australia (though we do have a penchant for Australian television here- my daughter is always finding shows for us). I loved this book so much! And your nails are gorgeous!

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  21. Ah! I love everything about this post! How cool and special to have a book set in your town and be able to visit the places mentioned--and it's absurdly gorgeous. Another Aussie to add to my ever-growing stack! :)

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  22. So gorgeous! I can never read books set in brisbane because I feel like they always lie about how exciting everything is. I glad you enjoy a book set where you live, but if my suburb had beautiful scenery and beaches like your I might enjoy it more!

    Thanks for the great review!

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  23. Love the beach pictures - and the nails. I have heard all kinds of wonderful things about Raw Blue and have been meaning to read it for around two years now. I'll have to bump it up my TBR!

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  24. Okay, trying to control my jealousy that you live there. Trying, and failing ;)

    And how the HECK did you do those nails?! I fancy myself a bit of a nail artist myself but DUDE those are awesome.

    (Agree on this book btw - I loved it)

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  25. Hey! Thanks for the mention. You are so incredibly amazing at doing your nails. Very jealous. If we come back to Sydney you will have to take us on a tour of Raw Blue locations!

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    1. YES! Defo let me know when you re-visit Sydneytown!

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  26. OMG wow,GORGEOUS pictures!! Thank you so much for sharing Mands ♥ I wish there were more books written from where I come from >.< I imagine it must make for such a rich experience for the reader! Carly sounds like an MC I could connect with as well - and I already want to know her secret!! Oh and your nails to match are incredible!! Wow! Anyhoo, wonderful review Mands - I sure hope I get to visit down there at some point in my life :)

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  27. I'm so glad this was such an excellent read for you, and I really liked that you took pictures to show some places from the book! It's really special when a book you love is set in a place you know, and being able to go see some of the places mentioned would be brilliant! GO TO A CHARACTER'S FAVOURITE CAFE! That'd be amazing. xx

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  28. OMG. OMG.
    Those nails are absolutely incredible! You actually painted a character, on your NAIL. On your nail!

    I'm totally blown away. You have to let me feature you on my Beyond the Books on my STS post each week. I'm doing a series of the creative side of book bloggers, and you're perfect Mands :)

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    1. You're too kind, Kel! And thanks for offering to feature me! xox

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  29. So jealous that you get to live so close to the beach and water. Those pictures are so gorgeous. I have heard great things about this book. I'll have to see if I can snag a copy. Great nails, too. I love the watercolor look. Great review and awesome nails! I hope you have a great time with your friend when she visits (or had a great time if it has already passed).

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  30. I love your use of the watercolor technique here! I haven't seen anyone do lines with the watercolor technique it's always just blobs of color. The effect you created really does look like the water on the book cover. Great job on the freehand character too! :)

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  31. I like it when the supporting characters are awesome. Sometimes I think the focus becomes so much about the MC and everyone else is just there to make them look good by being either their wingmen or terrible people that make the MC shine in comparison.

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  32. This could have been a great book, but is let down by the author taking on too much and ultimately failing to do the story justice.

    Marlene
    Info site for Auto Repair Kent Company

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.
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Mands xox