Sunday, 19 February 2012

Willow by Julia Hoban

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 had this book on my shelf for ages, so when I finally picked it up I was a bit reserved at first - but after a while, I was completely hooked! Hoban writes the book in the present tense, which is a bit confusing to begin with, but I think it was a effective because it makes the reader feel that they are going through the story along with Willow. And actually, I really enjoyed it. I loved both of the main characters, and found I could relate to each of them equally - which I think everyone can. Willow represents fears and the bad light that people can see themselves in - and Guy represents things getting better. I think the book isn't just about death, love and self-harm - I think it's about the fact that although you can't change the past, you can improve things for the future. And even though it does appear to be quite a depressive book at first, towards the end it is actually quite happy, and you're left feeling quite satisfied with the overall ending. I would have liked a bit more interaction to go on between Guy and Willow, as well as with Willow and Markie. But apart from that, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and recommend it to anyone who likes real-life stories that aren't sugarcoated.

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