Sub-Genre: Social Issues / Depression + Mental Illness, Family / Siblings, Social Issues / Death + Dying
Author: Julia Hoban
Age Range: Teen
Item Number (DPCI): 059-13-0594
Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow's parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy--one sensitive, soulful boy--discovers Willow's secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the "safe" world Willow has created for herself upside down. 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.
Willow is a real, honest, and emotional book. From the moment you pick the book up, you are invested in Willow and her well-being. Not only is this story about grief and guilt, it is about love and never giving up. It's beautiful.The characters in Willow are real people with complex emotions and personalities. So many books are just full of stereotypes but Willow is full of character's so lifelike it's hard to believe they aren't actual people. I also really love the world that the author has created for these characters. I couldn't help wishing that I was one of the people hanging out in the library that Willow worked at or enjoying the park or a walk through the city. I wanted to be there in that world.My only initial concern about reading the book was that it would be sad for me to handle or that the cutting would scare me away. None of those things happened, I think having the deep emotional factor that it has only enhanced the reading experience and made it that much more meaningful. The author's skill is so great that for the first time in my life I feel like I understand the reason that people can do such horrible things to their own body. It's always shocked and saddened me but I had never fully understood it until I heard it through Willow's voice.I don't want to talk too much about the plot itself because I think this is one that's best discovered as you read, as you let it reveal itself to you. Reading Willow was definitely one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I've had in a long time. Every time I had to put the book down I daydreamed of picking it back up and re-joining Willow's world.