Monday, March 1, 2010
Willow by Julia Hoban
Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, Willow’s parents drank too much at dinner and asked her to drive them home. But they never made it - Willow lost control of the car, and both her parents were killed. Now the only way she knows how to survive and control the pain is to secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she finds it hard to keep the secret that's written all over her body.
Told in an extraordinary fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl’s struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy’s refusal to give up on her.
In Julia Hoban's heart wrenching story, told through the eyes of Willow herself was horrifically yet beautifully written. Every page is filled with powerful emotions and the story is about more than "cutting" it is about forgiveness, friendship and the importance of family. Each time Willow takes the blade to her body, I found myself cringing in sympathetic pain as she marks herself with the pain she is afraid to feel because she believes she deserves to suffer for the death of her parents, and that giving into the emotional pain would be more devastating than dealing with the physical results of the razor blades. When she meets Guy, Willow does everything to keep him at an emotional distance, but her efforts quickly become futile as Guy becomes the catalyst that allows her to start to look for answers within herself. He never stops believing in her and loves her despite her many physical and emotional imperfections. I found I could not put this book down as I was taken on Willow's emotional journey of pain and healing, from the first page I was drawn in and didn't close the book until it was finished.