Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
Published: April 26, 2012 by Penguin Books Australia
Received: Purchased from fishpondworld
Imagine there is someone you like so much that just thinking about them leaves you desperate and reckless. You crave them in a way that's not rational, not right, and you're becoming somebody you don't recognise, and certainly don't respect, but you don't even care.
And this person you like is unattainable. Except for one thing...
He lives downstairs.
Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.
But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.
A gothic story about the very dark things that feed the creative process. [goodreads]
There is something to be said about Aussie YA writers. I've mentioned it before in previous reviews I've written for Melina Marchetta, Cath Crowley, and even Kirsty Eagar's work; their style of story-telling stands separate from anything else I've read before. I have this gravitational pull towards them, knowing that when I open one of their books, it's an instant love affair I can't put down.
Night Beach is difficult to put into words when it comes to summarizing it's story. Yes, it involves a girl who loves art just as much as she loves to surf. It also involves an older boy who lives downstairs, which shares the same love for surfing. Abbie is the girl and Kane is the boy. I went into this story imagining a lustful love affair between these two characters, the unattainable boy for which Abbie can't resist. What I got, was completely and shockingly different. The story went so much deeper, so much so that I literally said out loud a few times, "what the *insert inappropriate word here* is going on??!!" There are elements in this story which literally left the hairs on the back of my neck standing, prickling all the way down to my fingertips holding the book which my mind said to close, yet my eyes kept racing forward - page after page.
This book is every bit haunting and beautiful. It digs deep inside the creative mind and shows how powerful and ugly it can be. Abbie struggles passionately with what is reality and what tricks her mind is playing on her. The same tricks seem to plague Kane, and she spends her time trying to weed through the nightmares, in search of answers that Kane refuses to give. I know this is such a vague summary, but I really can't explain much more without giving away the plot itself. You must read this story for yourself and endure this delicious nightmare.
Kirsty Eagar blew me away with her writing in Raw Blue. She's done it again with this particular piece. Night Beach reminds us that the world we live in is not always black or white. The shadows that creep inside our lives throw color -- some pretty and majestic, others dark and haunting -- inside the spaces that are often over looked. Eagar does such a superb job of placing you inside the twisted mind of Abbie, a girl who feels so real and so normal, yet splashes each page with such fierce emotions. I was completely drawn to her and could not stop reading until I found that last page.
Though Eagar's work is not published in the U.S., you can still purchase her books through fishpondworld - spending the extra money and waiting a few weeks for shipping is definitely worth it, in my opinion.
Wow. Just wow.