Title: Blood Moon
Written by: Lucy Cuthew
Published by: Walker Books
An excellent book which I highly recommend. Blood Moon follows astronomy lover Frankie and her experience of period shaming. During her first sexual experience with Benjamin from her class, Frankie’s period starts. They both agree it’s only blood and it isn’t an issue. The next day it is the talk of the school. Frankie believes Benjamin must have been bragging to his friends. Then a graphic meme goes viral turning their private intimate afternoon into something disgusting, mortifying and damaging. She blames her previously best friend, Harriet, as they recently had a falling out. The online shaming takes on a disturbing life of its own – the meme spreads to other schools, people in town recognise her, she is suspended from her part-time job at the planetarium and she starts to receive abusive and threatening messages. Frankie does not know where to turn or who she can talk to.
The novel is Lucy Cuthew’s debut novel and is written as a poem, which includes messages through social media between friends. Described by Lucy as ‘a verse novel about periods’. There is a very powerful message to all about how people should not made to feel ashamed of their bodies. I found myself laughing and crying along with Frankie as she attempts to navigate her way through the devastation to her life that follows this horrible act of cyber bullying. I particular like the way Lucy puts dialogue and thoughts to the right of the page and friend’s comments to the left and the way she uses onomatopoeic writing to give her words more depth. I also like the metaphor between the forecasted blood moon, which she plans to watch and the turn of events.
The characterisation portrays real teenagers, living very real lives. It shows how friendships can change and teenager’s relationships with their parent’s shift. In my opinion this book should be made essential reading for all pupils to highlight the effects and seriousness of online bullying and would be ideal for discussion in PSHE classes. I look forward to reading Lucy’s next book.