Book review #36
Willow by Julia Hoban
Rating: Three stars (refer to the rating system on the right)
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
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.
I read this book way over a month ago, but I couldn't get myself to write the review. I've never been so torn about how I felt about a book. After reading several raving reviews claiming Willow to be one of their favorite books, I knew I had to read it. Saying that, I was a bit disappointed. I had some issues with parts of the book, but there were several things I did enjoy. Willow was powerful, emotional, and heart-breaking.
After the tragic accident killing both of her parents, Willow is left as a completely different person. Living with her older brother and his small family it becomes obvious that her brother is clearly a different person as well. They're relationship is severely damaged, just making everything worse. Willow leaves behind her old lifestyle, friends, due to the belief that she is the cause for her parent's death. The only good thing she has going for her is working at the university library. When things get really tough, she turns to the razor for help. Then Guy squeezes his way into her life, yet again making everything different.
The plot and the descriptions is what really made the book. It doesn't have very much action, but the content was enough to keep you very engaged. The cutting scenes were intense and hard to read. It definitely makes you feel uncomfortable. The scenes at the library definitely helped make the book more peaceful. I loved how a lot of the book was set at the library, surrounded by books. I just adore it when books are such an important part in the characters' lives.
The part I didn't enjoy so much was Willow herself. I definitely understand and feel sympathy for her situation. But I found the way she handled everything was whiny. It's hard to read about characters who absolutely hate themselves. Willow blamed everything she did, not only her parent's death, on herself. Yes, she was driving the car, but that is certainly not all there is to the story. Even if it really was her fault, that shouldn't mean that she's an awful person. Willow does go through some changes, but very gradually.
Although I didn't love Willow, I absolutely loved Guy! He was such an amazing person, in fact he made the list for my top favorite characters. He was sensitive and caring. After discovering Willow's problem, Willow who was a mere stranger to him at the time, he could have just left...but he didn't. Guy made Willow such a better person. Together they had something words can barely describe.
Willow definitely picked up in the second half of the book. I am glad that I did read it. I've never read a book about this subject, so it was nice to go inside the head of cutter...to somewhat understand their reasoning for inflicting so much pain upon themselves. Willow had its ups and downs, but if this sounds like something you would enjoy, then go ahead and give it a go.
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