On the last night of her senior year, Lucy and her best friend set out on an adventure. The girls plan to track down Shadow and Poet, a secretive duo who pepper the city with brilliant graffiti and gut-wrenching poetry. Ed, Lucy’s sort-of-ex-boyfriend, wishes she’d see past her prejudices and assumptions. Her obsession with Shadow is sure to lead to disappointment, but it’s like a train wreck from which he can’t look away. As the night progresses, Lucy draws nearer to uncovering the identity of the elusive Shadow, but the closer she gets, the less he seems like the hero she’s built him up to be. Maybe what she’s really wanted has been right in front of her all the time.
Three points-of-view relay the story of a chaotic night: Lucy, Ed, and Poet. Each has a unique voice and identity and bring an essential piece of the story to the stage. Lucy and Ed’s backstory definitely adds emotional depth. Her fondness for classic stories adds a nice flair, since there are definitely some parallels between her story and that of the famed Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Lucy is learning to do some glass blowing. This unusual hobby and the graffiti art add some fresh descriptions and a glimpse into a world of art not often explored within young adult fiction. Lucy and Ed are strong in their own ways. Each brings to the story some biases about the other, which the conflicts in the story begin to unravel. Too often in YA the hero and heroine are not well-matched. Crowley, however, has this one all figured out. Ed and Lucy will have readers rooting for them from beginning to end.
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.
Lucy talks about wanting to have sex with boys, but it’s clear she has high standards of behavior (she breaks a guy’s nose for grabbing her rear on their first date.) She appears to have very limited experience with boys, though her friends try to convince her she’s being a prude. She stands her ground in the face of their pressure.
Lucy broke a guy’s nose while they were on a date. (She elbowed him in the face.) She uses the same move on a thug who tries to hurt her and Ed later. The thug first threatens to pierce Lucy’s nipple, but instead pierces Ed’s ear as a threat.
Lucy, Ed and their friends go to a party. The friends drink alcohol, but Lucy and Ed don’t stay long.