Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saltwater Moons by Julie Gittus

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)

Persnickety Snark review
Author's site
Saltwater Moons @ goodreads

What do you think of the cover? I'm really liking it :D

Have an awesome day/night (wherever you are)


  1. I like the cover and the premise! I love coming across amazing books like this one, which I would not have otherwise heard about. A YA book that depicts teenagers and teen issues realistically is refreshing. Thanks for the review, Nomes!

  2. Gah! How do I get my hands on this book! Nomes, it sounds amazing. And I love the cover. I'm gonna start my hunt for it now. Thanks!

  3. The cover is a beauty. I love this from your review: "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." Sounds great.

  4. Ohhh, I love the sound of this one - guessing it's not in the US though - wah! Beautiful review, though - love it when the word 'authentic' is used!

  5. Beautiful review and it sounds like a beautiful book. I'll definitely try and get hold of it.

  6. Great cover, and this one sounds like an amazing coming-of-age read. I have a great weakness for coming-of-age reads!

    I love that I'm finding all these Aussie titles on yours and Nic's blogs. I am going to add this one to my wishlist and see if I can track it down somewhere. Unfortunately Aussie titles are not so easy to get over here unless they are big releases.

  7. Sounds Amazing, I'm going to try to add it to my list.

    Is it Aussie? (sounds like) If it is, I wanna add it to my Aussie Challenge

  8. I always find such great books when I visit your blog. This one sounds so amazing and heartbreaking and it is definitely something I would read. It's going on the wish list asap.

  9. Brilliant review. I can't wait to read this.

    Melbourne seems to be a popular place for book settings. It is a beautiful city.

  10. Wow another book I would love reading. I love how you describe the emotions in this book, and how well the author explores the intense exploration of teen love and sex. Sadly, I will probably have to wait a while before I can get this one.

  11. Hey Nomes, long time no hear. Life is busy isn't it? Just came by to read a few reviews and let you know that I'm collaborating on a new book review blog and I have linked you on our blogroll. So now I won't miss your reviews!

    I loved this one. I'm thinkng it would be a good one for my senior girls to read. I like the 'authentic' label you've given it. The cover at first looks a bit paranormal, but the true blue dispels this first impression I got from the black border (which I love).

    So you have a great day/week - almost the weekend already!


    Here's the link to our book review blog -

    Reading at Dawn

  12. When I first read the book title, I thought it to be a companion novel to Saltwater Vampires, then I read the summary and was like, 'Where are the vampires?' Heh.

    This sounds like a fantastic read, full of the quirks of life. I really wish I could get a hand on this one.

  13. I love living in Melbourne end of story.

  14. Ahhh, I've added it to my list. Sometimes it takes a while to see your books over here... but I'll keep it on the list until it makes its way here.
    thanks for the rec-- hope you're doing well!

  15. Hey Nomes, I just read Saltwater Moons after seeing your glowing review - loved it (and oh my goodness, imagine my surprise when I discover Sun's from my little suburb! too funny)

    Steph xo


Thanks for the commenty love :)