Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar

May 8, 2012 Reviews 0

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.

After finishing Night Beach I had the urge to check under my bed for monsters! This book is raw, gripping, and most of all, realistic in portraying its characters and their experiences. The plot is well paced and Eagar’s writing style is incredibly evocative. The darkness that surrounds Kane is very creepy. It’s not clear what is going on, and Abbie’s perception of reality is very quickly warped so that neither she, nor the reader, can clearly distinguish between the real and unreal. Eventually, when everything was explained, I found myself in awe at the author’s mastery – she is able to execute the convoluted story well.

Abbie’s obsession with Kane is the dark and twisted thing fuelling her artwork. Initially it is hard for the audience to connect with Abbie at all because of her weirdness about Kane, but as the book progresses her strength is revealed and she becomes more likeable. Abbie is also broken inside because of the divorce of her parents, which occurred a long time ago but has emotionally stunted her, and the sudden desertion of her sister and best friends, who all seem to have lives of their own while Abbie is stuck living with her mum and her husband. Abbie’s emotions are so raw and vivid on this matter that I absolutely related with her.

In a similar manner, Kane stands out because he is the antithesis of a typical young adult hero – he barely notices Abbie, and when he does, it’s only so he can have guilt free sex with her. He’s mean and manipulative, and absolutely no good for Abbie. I like that Eagar is brave enough to write a character like him, because he brings a sense of reality to what could have been a rather whimsical story – like a bucket of cold water.

Night Beach is brilliant, but I’ll tell you now it’s not for everyone. If you need your books clear cut and well explained then give this a miss. But anyone who is up for one hell of a mind trip should read it! It has the best of the contemporary, gothic and horror genres, and blends them together perfectly to create a masterpiece that I won’t ever forget.

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