Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Willow by Julia Hoban

Willow by Julia Hoban.
Publisher: Dial.
Pages: 336.
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’ve been trying to get my hands on this book for such a long time, and with all of the positive buzz going around on this book, I had a feeling I wouldn’t regret buying it. And I most definitely didn’t. Willow was probably one of the most gut-wrenchingly sad, yet heart-warningly beautiful books I have ever read. Ever.

I’ve had friends who cut before, so I felt myself sympathizing with Guy a lot. Guy has just earned himself a permanent spot on my favorite fictional character list. He was so real, yet one of those guys that only come around once in a lifetime. He dealt with Willow’s problems magnificently, but there were times in which he’d become overwhelmingly angry, which I loved. It’s not an easy issue to deal with, especially if it’s happening to somebody you care about, and frustration is only natural.

I was also saddened by Willow and David’s relationship, but I went through the same waves of emotions that Julia Hoban wrote for her characters. As I read, I went from agreeing with Willow, to scoffing and awing at something David did or said, to wanting to cry when the two finally blew up. The ending didn’t leave you satisfied in knowing that the two were back on regular terms, probably because they never would be. It still left you with a little bit of hope, though.

But the ending was perfect. It wasn’t a story that fast forwarded to years in the future, displaying the change between characters and resolved issues. It was a step in the right direction for Willow, and then an ending, which I loved very much.

I would probably give this a million stars if I could. It was so raw, and real, and I found myself stopping after chapters just to make the story last at least one more day, because I didn’t want it to end. I recommend it to everybody. I absolutely fell in love with it, and I’m almost certain you will too.