The Case For Carly

My mother always jokes that she can tell what's truly important to me by the way I pack.  Since I was eight, it's been books first, movies second, music third and clothes last.  All else is fat in my life and can be trimmed.  I recently married, and when I was preparing to move into my new home with my husband, there were a few cherished books that I couldn't bear to move in until the day I moved in.  Raw Blue by Kisrty Eagar was one of the very small group.  It also was the only one not published in the U.S. (my review)

I have no idea why this book isn't published worldwide, but I'll settle for it getting published here in the States for the time being.  Aussie YA really has resonance here in the U.S. among readers, and Raw Blue is an exceptional example of this.  I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book in Fall of 2010, and rather than send my personal copy on a little unofficial tour, I opted to purchase a second copy from Australia instead.  No, I did not want to part with my copy.  Yes, I love and believe in the book that much.

I've linked to some reviews below from all around.  If you think Raw Blue sounds like the kind of book you want to see published everywhere, I encourage you to seek out a copy.  This is an incredibly important story about loving yourself enough to move forward despite the vile and despicable ways your life can be irrevocably changed by the evil in others.  Thankfully, I've never had to go through what Carly did, but I firmly believe that she can be 'any' girl. . . she might be a friend or family member of yours.  She might even be you.  Carly is a remarkable character.  Your attachement to her sneaks up on you, and her story, Ryan and the rest of the wonderful cast of characters will cling to your memory long after you've finished the book.  When you get the chance, please take time to read the reviews below.  People who don't even care for contemporary YA lit seem to really love this book.

Please visit Kirsty Eagar's website here.  To purchase a copy from Australia, go here.  To purchase a copy of the soon-to-be released UK version from the Book Depository, go here ($8.23 and NO SHIPPING).

"To those who haven't read Raw Blue yet: Find a copy immediately. I know it's tough, being an Australian release and all. But don't let that get in the way. Spend your savings on a plane ticket and buy it from one of our nice Aussie bookshops. Alternatively, you could order it online or coerce an Aussie buddy to mail it to you. The moral of the story - read. this. book."
 Need more convincing?  Check out the others bloggers' reviews below.  If you like what you read, and you want to advocate for Raw Blue being published in the U.S., please grab 'The Case for Carly' code and display the badge on your sidebar.

Raw Blue Reviews

"Remember how I said contemporary fiction wasn't my thing? After reading Raw Blue, I can honestly say that this is the epitome of what the genre should be. I've read a lot of books, but Raw Blue is in a league of its own. Raw and real, Kirsty Eagar bottled heartache and let it spill over into the pages of her book, letting the words spin a story that's mesmerizing, heartbreaking and wholeheartedly touching. . .  I give it a firm 5 out of 5, hands down, and I have to say it's probably the best contemporary fiction I've ever read."
i swim for oceans
" Kirsty Eagar does such a fine job of pacing the story and allowing the reader to really take the time to get to know Carly, her past, and what makes her tick, before introducing new characters and new elements. The result was that I was thoroughly on her side for the long haul. . .  Definitely one of the best reads of my year so far."

"Every once in awhile I'll come across a novel that is more than just a story to me, it's a piece of honest artistry that's been molded between the pages. I am honored to post this review as my first 5-star review of 2012.  "
 "It. Was. Fantastic. The writing, characters, plot, setting, imagery… everything was pure gold and why this isn’t published in North America yet is beyond me. If you ever get a chance, don’t miss out on this one, it is gourmet."
holes in My brain
"I was only a fifth in when I was startled to discover that Carly had gotten under my skin in a way that a literary character hasn't for a very long time. I was crazily invested in her and felt all ripped up and torn inside-out as the novel progressed. I so wanted her to be okay."
"You guys, I can even beging to explain how mind bendingly amazing this book was for just being so authentic it made me get all butterflies in my tummy excited.  And  I can tell you guys right now this is probably one of the most intensely beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.  I'm going to hit it while it's hot and say it's without a doubt one of the best books I have EVER read.  EVER.  and i've read a LOT of books.  Like it's completely taken over my life.  I've been reading surf blogs.  I'M NOT EVEN JOKING."
The Crooked Bookshelf

"Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar is very much a quiet, character driven novel – and kind of puts me on the bring of joining an Aussie YA fan club."
Good Books and Good Wine
"When Eagar’s talent for stunning prose meets a protagonist whom we love despite her best attempts to dissuade us, the result is a beautiful and lingering story that reinfuses life into us. I finished RAW BLUE with an optimistic sense of the immensity of the world, of all the little things that we don’t stop to think about that can impact our lives forever."
Steph Su Reads 

"If this book were a feeling, it’d be that feeling you get in your gut when you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the monster to jump out from around the corner, for the giant sob you can just feel coming on.  Even thinking about it now, my stomach feels hallow, like I’m about to head down the drop in a rollercoaster.
Oh man, it’s good."
Anna Reads
". . .  I'm astounded by the phrasing and poetry of words that this author can write.  We all speak English, at least the books I read, and yet the way Kirsty Eagar puts words together is like hearing them for the first time or painting a picture with new colors you've never seen before.  It amazes me to find an author like that.  And Kirsty Eagar is one of those authors.  But it isn't just about the way she has with words.  It's the story and the characters and the surfing and the ocean.  It's the whole damn book.  It's everything.  I can't pick one thing out of it that I like the best." 
Buried in Books 
"And let me tell you now, you will read this book holding your breath – just hoping – to see a glimpse of the actual Carly. I really feel like she is one of the best written characters I’ve come across."
The Allure of Books
"With its clear, evocative prose, distinctive characterization, and unforgettable imagery, Raw Blue hooked me from its portentous beginning to it’s chillingly perfect and poignant ending. Highly, highly recommended. Now if I could only buy a hard copy."
Book Harbringer

"Given that it was a tremendous pain in the ass to acquire this book, the bar had been set pretty pretty high—and it certainly met those standards, and will be permanently filed under “True Book Love.” 
Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

"I don’t know why but I find it so hard to write reviews for books I love. I have been struggling with this review for days now and I don‘t think I will do it the justice it deserves. . .  It was intense, honest and beautiful. It is still lingering in my thoughts."
Irresistible Reads
" Raw Blue can be described in one sole word - powerful. It's a book that examines the tough elements and people in life with a roaring crash tackle. . .  It's a truly impressive debut work - dark, full of turmoil with the occasional cloud break - just like the ocean."
Persnickety Snark

 "It was easy to develop a crush on this book, what with the hotness and the surfing, but as it slowly allowed me into its world, my feelings turned to full-blown love. This book is real and honest with me, and that’s how I know that this isn’t just a summer fling, it’s the real deal. I had to earn this book’s trust, and now that I have, I think we’re ready to spend our lives together under the Australian sun."
Forever Young Adult 
"On page 212 I read the most romantic and sweet thing E.V.E.R.! It is so sweet and simple and real…I wish I could share it with you, but if you haven’t read it I’m hoping this is a push to get you to do so! I literally stopped reading, updated Goodreads, and sat there staring at the page for a few minutes while crying."
The Reading Housewives of Indiana

"Raw Blue is a story that contains a torrent of emotional conflict between its pages, one that handles personal anguish in a delicate and unassuming way so we don't even realize the strength of the connection we've developed with Carly and Ryan until we find ourselves unable to let them go. . . "
Supernatural Snark
"There isn’t a rating to really convey how much this book destroyed me. In the best possible way. My muscles physically ache because of how still and tense I was reading the last half of this book.
There aren’t many books that I can say make me feel like that."
Wear the Old Coat (one of the most unique reviews I've read)

"Raw Blue is full of emotion but I was never overwhelmed because it’s not all pointless teenage angst. You can feel Carly trying to hold everything together and how hard it is for her when things fall apart."
Chachic's Book Nook 
". . .  a part of Carly had seeped into me. She became the type of character I know I will always carry with me. Her bravery, when revealed, was silent, but it was hers and it was full of heart and hope."
The Unread Reader

"Eagar sensitively explores Carly’s pain without exploiting it and as Carly begins to move forward, the author never forces the recovery. It is this visceral realism that engages the reader."
Book'd Out 
"A novel I’m going to recommend to anybody and everybody, Raw Blue will leave readers with a lasting impression and the indelible gift of hope."
Musings of a YA Reader 
". . . it's one that I don't think is going to leave me for a long time. It makes you think, makes you wonder, makes your insides bleed, and then, somehow helps you up, washes your face and makes you stronger and better able to face the world."
Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing 
"The characters were all well-developed. Ryan wasn't the unrealistically perfect love interest you see in a lot of other YAs nowadays, but a real guy, complete with necessary character flaws."
In The Good Books 

"There are a number of vividly painted characters throughout the book, especially some that I personally wouldn't want handling my food in a cafe, ever.  Hannah and Danny are definite faves of mine though.  There were parts in the book where I just cracked up laughing at the dialogue of these pair.  It helps to ease up the darker quality the book slips into."
Spellbound By Books

"So awesome that I can not find the right words to describe this book. This book had so many emotions and so many good characters that I fell in love with it quickly. It also hurt to read the book. Raw Blue is raw. It cuts into your very soul so deep that you can not get out."
Books with Bite 
"Sometimes the descriptions were painfully beautiful, the characters were delightfully flawed, and the dialogue was almost always spot-on." 
The Readventurer