Round 3, Match 1: Graffiti Moon vs. Greenglass House


Judged by Katie • Find her on Goodreads and Twitter

This is hard! You see, I feel roughly the same about Graffiti Moon and Greenglass House. I liked both books, but neither quite crossed that magic line to LOVE. So let’s see where this goes.

I’ve been meaning to read Graffiti Moon for a while, but I kept putting it off because of something Andree touched on in her write up. Here’s the book description:

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

And that just made me roll my eyes because HMMM. I THINK I SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING. Fortunately, the book doesn’t make this a mystery at all! We get Ed’s point of view, so we know exactly what is happening. And Lucy’s reaction to all of this is handled very well.

Greenglass Glass I read in a more timely manner, though I was also nervous about it. It’s those “distinguished” books. I’m never sure if I’ll enjoy them as much as I’m supposed to. But there’s a great story here that managed to draw me in.

One huge thing both these books have in common is atmosphere. Graffiti Moon captures one magic night of youth. And Greenglass House has an old fashioned, almost fantasy feel. And I don’t know if I can put this into the words I want, but both books have hints of many more stories around the edges. We get glimpses of many characters’ lives and it’s clear there is so much more that could be told about them. And yet each book is complete as it is. We don’t need more, though we may want it.

So. These books left me with similar feelings. And I knew this would be the hardest choice for me, when I looked at the books that might come to me. I really loved Okay For Now and Greenglass House would’ve beat anything else from the top quarter of the bracket. But Greenglass House vs. Graffiti Moon! How to choose?

Well, I did immediately have an idea of what I wanted to choose, but I’m conflicted, too. If I hadn’t read the books and was judging based on what the descriptions say, and what my friends have said about them, I’d think I’d like Graffiti Moon best. I tend to gravitate more towards YA than Middle Grade and I like books with a bit of romance.

And I’d say the prose of Graffiti Moon is closer to my personal preference. I know we’ve talked about some of the overly florid writing in the book, but overall, I felt closer to the writing. Greenglass House seemed to hold me at a big more of a distance. I think it’s the writing I found a bit more formal.

And yet…

I have to go with Greenglass House.

The thing is, Graffiti Moon seemed built so much around feeling. Feelings of friendship and falling in love and fears of the future. And I didn’t quite feel what I was supposed to. I didn’t care enough about these people. It was a nice story that I could forget about as soon as I finished the book (er, if it weren’t for this battle!). Greenglass House didn’t quite engage my feelings either, but it did engage my mind. I love the mystery and the sense of place and getting to hear so many different stories about so many people in one book. And, overall, it simply impressed me more.

Congratulations to Greenglass House, which moves on to the final round!


17 thoughts on “Round 3, Match 1: Graffiti Moon vs. Greenglass House

  1. It’s those “distinguished” books. I’m never sure if I’ll enjoy them as much as I’m supposed to.

    THIS IS SO INTERESTING TO ME because it did not win a single award!

    And I like what you said about them having more stories – it reminded me of what you said about Izzy, though I suppose that was more that you wanted the story to continue than the sense that there were more stories to be told within the same time in that world?

    You know I love love love your point about feeling and Graffiti Moon 🙂

  2. I know! It’s probably your fault, since you kept talking about how it SHOULD win them. 😉

    Ha, I was thinking about Izzy, too, when I wrote that! I think I do mean it that same way for all the books. I want more spin offs than direct sequels.

    1. Hahaha. OH NO.

      The only person who’s doing that, it seems, is Melina Marchetta. That is, not even with The Piper’s Son, but if all those rumors of a Jimmy book are true…

  3. Yeah, I mean, there are things like romance series around a group of friends, but that doesn’t feel the same.

    I would definitely count Marchetta, though. GIVE ME THE JIMMY BOOK.

          1. Unless it’s this, from an earlier blog post:

            The novel I’ve completed is a thriller set in London revolving around two bombings, thirteen years apart, and the impact it has on the family of the accused.

            I mean: I WILL READ IT! But I want a Jimmy book.

  4. I didn’t care enough about these people. It was a nice story that I could forget about as soon as I finished the book

    Oh, books like that are the worst. Especially when you know that in all essence you should HAVE LOVED THE BOOK. It hit all the requirements on your checklist. And yet something was/is missing when you finished. I often start those reviews with “it was nice but….”

    1. RIGHT? They really might be the most frustrating books because all you’re left with is, “Something was missing.” “What?” “I DON’T KNOW.”

      1. You know those fascinating conversations where you totally agree and are trying to think of examples? I KNOW THIS FEELING. I CANNOT THINK OF ANY BOOKS WHERE I HAD IT.

        I guess it’s because ultimately, mediocrity is forgettable? BUT WHY CAN’T I THINK OF ANY?

  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, so mystery wins out over magic adolescence! I thought this would happen, just based on the previous reviews; Graffiti Moon kept being good enough/better than, rather than just OUTSTANDING ALL ON ITS OWN. Whereas people really seemed captivated by Greenglass House, just enough for it to be a little more than good enough/better than.

    1. Graffiti Moon kept being good enough/better than, rather than just OUTSTANDING ALL ON ITS OWN.

      WHICH IS SAD THOUGH. Beth (obviously!) and Grace both really loved it, so WHY COULDN’T I? But Greenglass is great and worthy!

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