Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Willow by Julia Hoban

Amazon.com Product Description:

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.

5/5 Stars
ARC provided by author


  1. I had this one on my list but I'd forgotten about it! Thanks for the reminder, I'll get it when I can.

  2. Ooh I am adding this one to the Snarktress' Wishlist. You sold me on it!

  3. Nice review. I'll add this book to my list.

  4. Great review. This sounds really good, I look forward to reading it.

  5. This sounds like a good book, Alea. Thanks for the review! (I just noticed that the banner ad for this book on Shelf Awareness today features blurbs from bloggers such as Reviewer X.)

  6. great review and I can't wait to read this book.

  7. I'm glad you love this book. Mixed reviews of this book confuse me sometimes. I really want to read it though : )

  8. Great review. I've been unsure about reading this, but I think you talked me into it.

  9. I can't wait to read this!!

  10. You have convinced me.

  11. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Great review! I was trying to get a copy of this book. Can't wait ot read it.

  12. Great review! I love how you describe things, like imagining picking up the book and rejoining its world. It's something I do too, especially during the semester when I can't read leisurely! I daydream about it instead. ;)

  13. Yay, I'm glad you liked the book, but that a ton of people now want to read it. GET IT FOR SURE. and enter the contest. :)

    But yeah, I loved Willow's world and it was just an amazing story.


  14. I want to read this one. Nice review!

  15. I am so excited to read this one! Can't wait!

  16. Thank you for this review. I haven't seen many books about self harm but I definately think it's a subject that more people need to be aware of and more sympathetic to. I will definately read this book.

  17. H- Awesome, I loved it!

    Adele- Good! If it was out already I would send you a copy!

    Charley- It's seriously great.

    Prophecygirl- I hope you enjoy it!

    avisannschild- Yeah isn't that great about the banner!

    Erika Lynn- Yay!

    Thao- Yeah this book is magic!

    Beth F- Good because it's really that good!

    cupcakewitch- Awesome!

    Beth Kephart- That means so much, I adore it!

    debbiesworld- I hope you enjoy it!

    Amee- Aww yay! I hope you read this one, it's a good sad :)

    Shooting Stars Mag- Go Lauren, you rule!

    S. Krishna- Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

    Shalonda- I hope you love it!

    Michelle- This subject is so hard to read about, but I actually loved reading this book, can't say that for many other books of this nature.

  18. This sounds terrific, I have it on my library list. Thanks for the great review.

  19. I've finally read this and I love it. And you wrote an awesome review. It is so hard to review and not give everything away. I haven't read such a real book in a long, long time.


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