Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Getting Up by SD Thorpe • contains 200 pages • published by Momentum on 1. March 2013 • classified as Urban Fiction, Young Adult • obtained through NetGalley • read as eBook • shelve on Goodreads
Roket is sixteen – bored, lonely, horny and pissed off.
His mother is hopeless and his dad is gone. Roket loves graffiti, his mum and McDonalds and when the girl with the ultramarine eyes gives him a free Big Mac, it must be love.
He joins a graff crew and drops out of school. But rivalries in his new world, threaten to be fatal. By the end of the week Roket has been pushed to his limits.
One night it all goes horribly wrong and Roket suddenly finds his reputation and his freedom are on the line. Can he prove his innocence, as well as winning the graff battle and the girl?
Illustrated with original photographs taken on location.
Come to think of it, I don’t read about male protagonists all that often, unless the books are written from multiple points of view. getting Up was different for me then simply because it revolved around Roket, a male main character. In a sense, this story kept up with my stereotypical view that teenage boys’ minds are consumed with thoughts of girls. But (thankfully) there was way more to Roket than that.For such a relatively short book, getting Up packed quite a bit of punch. Personally, I think it took quite a while for things to take off but I would attribute that more to the time taken to set things up. There aren’t all that many novels based on graffiti out there, so I appreciated that Thorpe focussed on the setting and the characters first.
Roket’s life is consumed by graffiti. He runs around with his crew doing graffiti though their activities got even more heated when the crew accepted the challenge to a battle with a rival crew. Roket is not so down with tagging though he does concern himself with getting up. He prefers pieces that allow him to be more expressive. If you have no idea what tagging, getting up or piecing mean, fret not. The writing is accessible even to those who have no idea what graffiti is about, and for that I commend Thorpe. Graffiti lingo has been woven in skilfully to realistically portray Roket’s story.
Now, as much as I’m not from Melbourne, let alone even alive in 1989, I am not entirely sure about the accuracy of the historical facts. Although, news about the Cold War and the wall coming down in Berlin did help situate the story in that era. For review commentary on the time period, more on it was written at Biodagar by Leticia. Anyhow, I didn’t think that there were any glaring errors that might hamper anyone’s enjoyment of the book.
In the end, I did enjoy the grittiness of the story. Finding one’s place in the world as a teenager is rarely easy and straightforward. As for Roket, he learnt that the hard way, especially after that one night that really put his life and relationships into perspective.