In the beginning it seems so simple. A poem in the mail. A weekend invitation to the coast. But when Sun says yes to a midnight walk, her life becomes suddenly complicated.
Saltwater Moons tells the story of Sun Langley during her final months of Year Twelve. There's the intensity of her first relationship, complicated by the fact she continues to exchange poems with her boyfriend's best mate. It's a story about love and betrayal, about constantly longing for the things we can't have.(from author's site)
Gosh, what a beautiful book for teenagers.
This is the story of Sun, in the last few months of high school. She meets two older guys and everything changes.
It's a story of love and betrayal and heartbreak and loyalty and getting it all mixed up. It seamlessly portrays that adolescent feeling of muddling through a confusion of feelings ~ of wanting independence from your family, and get tangled up in a relationship which can be beautiful and painful. Of being unsure of yourself but determined to keep doing things your way. Of longing.
It also perfectly captures the complication of girl friendships ~ the fights and fierceness of emotion. The nostalgia of growing up together and all changing as you're balancing on the cusp of adulthood.
And the sex. Wow. It's intense ~ losing your virginity and maybe not to the right guy and nothing is like you imagine it would be. I love the exploration of that. This is added to my list of books that explore teen sex brilliantly: with honesty and all the myriad of emotions that come with it.
So far, I've only really mentioned the vibe and the themes in this book. It sounds like a love triangle in the blurb, and in a way it is: but in an honest way ~ in a way where you genuinely are not sure about love and you hold all your hopes and dreams out and there's longing for one guy while being in your first intense relationship with another. The romance is there but it's not all swoon-y all the time ~ it's much more real and layered, at times, it's a smidgen melancholy.
I could describe this books as authentic. It feels like it's written straight from the heart of a teenager. The emotions are subtly handled, a constant yearning and hopefulness mixed up with sadness.
You can feel Sun's parents ache as she barrels along a path that adult hindsight knows will bring pain and possibly stuff things up a crucial time in Sun's life ~ but for Sun, she is a teenager in the moment and Julie Gittus captures that adolescent ache and intensity so marvellously. It's a classic coming of age. And it's written beautifully. There are poems scattered throughout (which Sun exchanges with a guy) which are just divine to read.
This is another Aussie book set in Melbourne :) It's an easy read and, I think, a lingering one. (it was published in 2008)