Author: Julia Hoban
Reading Level: Young Adult/14 and up
Publication Date: April 2, 2009
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 20/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 18/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
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.
Wow, this book just blew me away.
Willow is the heart-wrenching story about a girl who lost her parents and starts cutting to make her feel pain, and the story of what happens when her world is interrupted when a boy figures out her terrible, horrible secret and somehow in the terrible mess she's in, a friendship forms, a romantic relationship even.
Willow started off in full force. When we enter Willow's world we enter her in her most vulnerable state. We follow along in a voice told like I'm reading it aloud to an audience, and having it in the point of view, having somebody else tell the story besides Willow herself, makes the book the much more interesting.
Willow, Guy, David and the rest of the characters are developed in a way no other characters I've read before has been. We don't know what they look like, that is for us to find out. We only know who they are and what they are feeling. That only makes the characters Hoban created original and definitely one-of-a-kind.
Willow and Guy's relationship is, well, swoon-ish. Minus the knowledge of Willow's cutting, the emotional and reality is gorgeous and perfect. I loved reading when they were together, I was always hoping that they would meet again after they left each other. I was sad to see Guy go, or the chapter end. Guy's ability and his knowledge of Willow's cutting made their relationship amazingly strong and deep.
Hoban's ability to create the emotions Willow goes through when she cuts was just brilliant. It felt real. It was real.
Willow is a deep and strong book that will keep you glued to it and you won't be able to stop. I started reading the end of it one night and it took me into late in the night because I just couldn't stop until the novel was done. I cried, I smiled, and I was most of all, hopeful. The ending in this novel was perfect. I couldn't of asked for a better way to end it. So, the novel started with full force, and it ended with a bang, a great, strong bang. I honestly cannot say anything bad about this novel and I can't begin to tell you how amazing this novel is, but I tried.
When Willow hits the shelves of book stores around the country, it will hit it with a huge whack. So head to your bookstores on April 2 for Willow. You will not be disappointed.
Okay now on to the Celebration. I don't want to post all the details on my blog in case I confuse some people, but let's just say that I am so excited to be apart of a huge contest that Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag has put together to honor Julia Hoban and her fantastic book, WILLOW. Julia is super nice and I am so happy I could be apart of this! If you want the details, simply head over to Lauren's blog to find the info about it. It's awesome. Trust me.