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Saltwater Moons by Julie Gittus
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Saltwater Moons

by Julie Gittus

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Look out, it’s another Aussie YA book. And another Aussie author who has strong writing skills and uses evocative language. This one ended up being around a 3.5 for me but it still puts a lot of American YA to shame. Of course, and we’ve had this discussion many a time, it is probably because there is so much more American YA so we have to wade through the muck to find the gems. Er, or whatever else you could find in the muck. Clearly, I am no Aussie YA author as I just gave you the mental image of swimming in mud to look for gemstones and that is ridiculous…but it kind of makes me want to go to the spa. But while we’re off on a tangent, let me just tell you about the mental image I am having right now: Aussie YA characters vs. American YA characters in a dance-off West Side Story-style. Sharks v. Jets. (When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet for life) Du-da-nuh-na-na. I bet Jonah Griggs, Rhino, Thomas Mackee, and Tycho could really bring it in a dramatic gang fight. And don’t even try to tell me they’d be going up against Edward Cullen. I’d schedule it for noon in full sunlight, just to be sure.

Aaaand, I’m back on topic. Sunday lives outside the suburbs with her parents, brother, and her horse, Gio. While she doesn’t have too much experience, her best friend Nicky has been fooling around with guys for a few years. Sun meets Nicky’s boyfriend, Mark, and his friend Tycho when they all hang out together. Tycho is one of those contemplative, endearing surfer dudes that seem to exist in abundance in Australia or at least in Australian YA. (whatever, I am not sick of them yet) Even after Mark breaks up with Nicky, Tycho and Sun still talk once in a while, but events take a turn after Tycho invites Sun down to his place for the weekend. It should come as no surprise that alcohol serves as the impetus for the event that sets up the rest of the plot. I just wish all the characters would say the things they mean to say or inquire to see if what they are believing is, in fact, true. I suppose it is realistic, though. Can you really fault me for wanting two characters that work so well together to just be together?

Which brings me to Tycho and Sunday. I love poetry but let’s be honest, a lot of it is pretentious. I thought it was lovely the way Tycho and Sunday sent each other poems in the mail, and I enjoyed most of them. BUT, I couldn’t help but wonder what the inspiration for this book was and whether the author just loves all these poets and wanted to include them in her book. And I’m not trying to be a jerk, I LIKED THEM! Poems can be truly amazing—in some instances, they can replace the feeling of an entire speech with just a few lines. They can evoke emotion and describe experiences so well that I think I’m there. BUT, I think it is cheesy when people read poetry to each other. Just tell the person how you feel. To their face. In your own words. Make up your own metaphors. Sure, someone has said what you want to say before (or seemingly so), but it means more if you actually put it into words yourself instead of copying the emotions of someone else. Unless you are far apart (cue Richard Marx), then write away and poem yourself to death. But if you are living near each other, just use poems every once in a while, when they actually mean something. /personal gripe Just kidding, my gripe isn’t over yet. Say there is a really awesome guy. He has all sorts of quirky habits that are adorable. He sends you frakking poems in the mail and brings your mom seedlings for your garden. He drives you home when his lame friend can’t pick you up. You know who does these types of things? GUYS THAT LIKE YOU. I mean, it was about as subtle as a brick to the head. But I’m glad they are together, or nearly so, at the end.

So, in short, this book is for you if you love poetry, you like artistic surfer dudes, you enjoy reading about family discord, you are piling up your Aussie YA books, or you just want a solid read. I definitely enjoyed it and I will read whatever else [a:Julie Gittus|2837586|Julie Gittus|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-F-50x66.jpg] writes. ( )
  FlanneryAC | Mar 31, 2013 |
Another Aussie Hit!

It’s a true testament to how much I enjoy a book when I forego an entire sunny afternoon to curl up on my couch and read a book from beginning to end in one sitting. I find I do that quite often with books penned by Aussie writers. It’s like there’s a magic and realism about them. Something like tuning into a story you're already familiar with to get another few chapters of someone’s life… someone you feel you know and a story that seems so real. I don’t know how else to put it, but that’s what these books do to me and Saltwater Moons is no exception.

Now I have to admit up front that I noticed this story caused some heated emotions for some of my Street Corner Booker friends, and I didn’t feel the same way. I’m not quite sure if it was the protagonist or her boyfriend that raised these emotions in them, but I felt tuned into the three main characters, and I had a bag load of sympathy for each of them at the ready.

I really came to like Sun, Tycho (pronounced TySHO) and even Mark in some form or fashion. They each had a sort of vulnerability that was expressed so honestly that I wanted to give them all a big hug. So as far as the cast of characters go, they were awesome. I’m probably one of the only Bookers that came to like Mark. Now don’t get me wrong, what he did at the end was wrong, but the entire time I saw him for what he was… sad, flawed and somehow broken to the point that you really had to look closely to sense his desperation and that broke my heart. I wish he didn’t do that one thing that was meant to destroy his character at the end, but other than that, he was your typical guy that makes mistakes when it comes to girls, lust and love. I tried to understand why Sun made the choice she made that sealed her fate between her and Tycho and I don’t think it was a strong enough reason to set Tycho aside, but she realized that. Tycho was definitely someone that deserved more then he got, but unfortunately he didn’t cease the moment and it passed him right by. But I did have hope for Sun and Ty at the end after all was said and done.

Overall, the storyline was right up my alley. This book to me is about beauty and hope and most importantly wanting something that seems unreachable. It’s also about betrayal and learning to trust again, all the real feelings that come with loving someone you can’t have and being with someone that doesn’t feel quite right. Julie Gittus manages to share all of these feelings without rushing the story. Her pace and delivery has that special element that you feel you’re deep into the story and before you know it, the main character is ending her narrative and you don’t feel hurried along or left with a sense of longing. It’s wrapped up, not in a pretty bow, but packaged in a way that you feel complete.

Thank you so much to my Aussie Booker Angel Nic for sending this all the way from Australia. What would I do without you? ((HUGS)) Now it’s off to Germany to be enjoyed by the rest of the Street Corner. :D

P.S. To all of the Aussie writers out there, there’s something simply magical about the stories you share. They might not all be earth shattering or life changing, but definitely special and emotional in the best kind of way. So keep drinking the water or eating the vegemite, basically keep doing whatever it is you do that fills the pages you write with that something special that makes me crave just one more page before I close my eyes at night… just one more page… May the well never run dry down under. ~sigh~

Song choice: Blue October - Picking up the Pieces ( )
  SarleneS | Jun 28, 2011 |
When I finished Saltwater Moons last night, I had mixed feelings. There were a lot of things that happened that brought out my anger, but I just could not stop reading. I thought the story was intriguing, the setting was nice, and I really liked the writing. (All the Australian books I've read so far have great writing.) Those must have been the reasons why I couldn't put the book down because I know some of the characters weren't the ones who kept me going.

I couldn't sympathize with the main character Sun. I just wasn't able to fully understand her actions and behavior. She allowed the situation between her and Mark to continue... And for what? She knew what type of person Mark was, so it was pretty obvious where the relationship was headed. She also knew that she had feelings for someone else, Mark's friend Tycho. Now, I might have gotten annoyed with Sun, but I don't believe she was a horrible character. She made mistakes like any normal person. I do believe she learned something and gained strength from all this, but I just don't get why she put herself through that. I wish she had the courage to confront Tycho in the first place instead of allowing Mark to take over.

I didn't like Mark. All the things he said to Sun... I'm sure she's not the first girl to hear those words from him. And every time he was with her it never seemed like he was ever completely there. His behavior might be his way of coping with his stressful home life, but I don't believe that's any excuse. As for Tycho, he didn't get nearly as much page-time as Mark, but from what we did get, he sounded like a nice guy. He definitely wasn't perfect though. At least he sounded better than his friend. I honestly wondered what he thought of Mark & Sun. Because, to me, it was obvious Tycho was interested in Sun and shouldn't Mark have known that? But I guess Mark's too selfish to care. And Sun wasn't strong enough to stop it from happening.

I know it may seem like I didn't like this book, and I know it might not make sense with me saying that I have mixed feelings, but overall... I actually did. I just didn't enjoy the decisions and behaviors of certain characters. So would I recommend this book? Yes. And if the author were to write more books, I would definitely be interested in reading them. ( )
  w0ven | Apr 28, 2011 |
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