Raw Blue Kirsty Eagar Book Review

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. Main character Carly is 19, but doesn’t go to college. Instead, she has her own apartment in Sydney. She works nights as a cook so that her days are free to surf. As idyllic as Carly’s life may seem, she’s carrying a lot of pain inside.

Raw Blue, Kirsty Eagar, Book Cover

Raw Blue

“I have two friends here: a fifteen year old who sees people in colours and a salsa-mad Dutch woman. I didn’t pick them, they just turned up in my life, and I’m really glad. I think this and I’m suddenly struck down with gratitude for all the things this place has given me. The break, the ever-changing moods of the ocean and the best surfs I’ve ever had. Tonight my world is a bubble. Clear, round, perfect and fragile”

pg. 148

Raw Blue is a fitting title in that as readers, we see Carly’s emotions as raw – she is laid bare and nothing is held back from us. Carly is never cardboard or stock. She’s not portrayed as the ‘typical’ rape victim. Instead, we get a character who is prickly with this huge guard up and I know I was happy every time Carly let someone in — whether it’s her neighbor Hannah who is Dutch and loves Salsa dancing, Danny the boy who sees things as colors, or Ryan the older surfer guy who has the hots for her. I just fell for the cast of characters.

“Surfing’s the only sex I get. Board fins come in small, medium and large. They’re stiff and give you rides that are smooth and fast. Wax sounds like pornography: Sex Wax. Quick Humps, Mrs. Palmer’s, The Five Daughters. Surfer chicks like a stick between their legs. Gettin a few? Getting any?”

pg. 36

I liked that Kirsty Eagar’s prose isn’t overt and all ‘look at me, look at me being fancy.’ No, it’s clear and concise and gets the emotion across. I never had to reread bits of Raw Blue to decode what exactly is going on – instead I would reread because I liked the way Eagar would describe things like the ocean waves or Danny’s views of different people.

“Longing’s unbearable, something that can’t be endured but has to be. It’s the worst of all; I didn’t know that. It’s sweet and it kills at the same time, an ache eating away at your heart so that air gets in and you don’t know if what you feel is pain or pleasure.”

pg. 203

While writing style is important, I know many of us YA fans come for the swoons. Yo, Kirsty Eagar takes Raw Blue to swoon level midnight. There’s such physical chemistry between Ryan and Carly you can feel it coming off the page. And yo, the sexy times are LEGIT. I’m sure that if Raw Blue ever gets published in the US, it will be in the adult or new adult section (there is lady head — which is why I think this).

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar is a highly recommended, nuanced look at recover and the PTSD sexual assault can have on a victim – yet Carly is more than a ‘victim’. Raw Blue is available through the Kobo store and I think through this other store called Big Pond. Raw Blue is DEFINITELY worth reading and slams into you the same way that Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson does. Cross your fingers like me and hope that Raw Blue gets published in America.

“If you’ve been raped, you become a Rape Victim. When people talk to you, they’ll have a picture of you in their mind – you lying on the ground, men moving over you. But they won’t be empathetic; they won’t put themselves on the ground. They taste power, that little hint of vinegar that puts a twist in their lips and saliva in their mouths.”

pg. 170

Disclosure: Borrowed from Linds at Bibliophile Brouhaha

Other reviews of Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar:

G Reads!
Anna Reads
The Reading Housewives Of Indiana
Fiction Folio
Book Harbinger
Bibliophile Brouahaha
The Allure Of Books

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Books like Raw Blue make me fall in love with Aussie authors even more. And true statement on the swoons – pretty much WHOA.

  2. Raw Blue is a beautiful book. I’ve never even tried to surf but this book made me feel that I was right there with Carly. I want to read more New Adult books like this one, we need more New Adult or older YA reads! I really hope it finds a US publisher. I wouldn’t have been able to read it if I didn’t ask a friend coming home from Australia to get it for me.

  3. Oh wow. I’m going to have to read this.

  4. This books is just… gahhhhh. I adore it so freaking much. I am happy to see that you did, too. Your review is so beautiful April! It makes me want to re-read the book again 🙂

  5. I got my copy from Fish Pond World (fishpondworld.com) out of New Zealand. It took a while to get to me in Florida, but it was worth the wait. Awesome review, love the quotes you included:)

  6. Swoon! Really enjoyed reading this review! It is always good to hear that the plot is not confusing! It definitely always frustrates me when it is! I really love the cover as well!
    Tess @ My Pathway to Books

  7. Raw Blue was so outstanding in so many ways. I loved how clear the language was, and the CHARACTERS are some of the most real, fleshed out characters I’ve ever read. Also, they sexytimes are HOT and LEGIT, just like you said. I loved this book SO MUCH.

  8. I saw this on all sorts of Aussie YA lists last year. I have a difficult time reading books on this topic, but I usually love them when I do (like Speak) because of the powerful emotions they evoke. This was an excellent review, I enjoyed the quotes included especially.

  9. I’ve ONLY heard good things about this one but eeek the contemps scare the living daylights out of me.

  10. I’ve heard SO many great things about Raw Blue, and your review just confirms my urge to go buy it immediately. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s out of stock at the Book Depository at the moment, but I’ve signed up for e-mail alerts when it comes back! 🙂

  11. I want to read this so bad! I must get my hands on it. It sounds like a book I will love.

  12. LOVE the review, April! So happy you you’re on Team Carly (if I may say so). I’m incredibly hopeful that this one get published everyone at some point!


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