Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Willow by Julia Hoban

Grade: A+ Synopsis:

Seven months ago on a rainy March night, Willow's parents drank too much at dinner and asked her to drive them home. But they never made it--Willow lost control of the car, and both of her parents were killed. Now the only way she knows how to survive and control the pain is by secretly cutting herself. but when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she finds it hard to keep the secret that's written all over her body.


Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Total Score: 65/70

Obtained: Gift.

Age Appropriate? R

Cussing: It is there, and not altogether mild, but it did not detract from the novel at all.
Drugs, Alcohol, etc: There is some talk of teen drinking (If I remember correctly...)
Sexual Content: One semi-detailed scene, a brief discussion of prostitution
Disturbing Images/Violence: The book is fraught with disturbing images. Bloody car crash memories, anorexia, psychological unbalance, and, of course, much cutting and self-mutilation.


Willow was a tough book to read. The subject matter is heavy, painful, and intense. There were times, particularly at the beginning, when I was hesitant to continue reading because it was so depressing. But I assure you, Willow is written with such delicacy, insight, and sensitivity that it would be even more difficult to stop.

Hoban created a fascinating character in Willow, a girl who cuts herself to deal with her immense pain and guilt. Her suffering was poignant and trapped the reader right alongside her as she tried to fight her way to a better place. It was very real, this suffering, these things that many of us deal with on some scale, and that made her escape, while exponentially disturbing, all the more understandable. Frighteningly so.

I recommend this book to all of you. Julia Hoban's poetic tale of loss, guilt, and ultimately, love will be sure to touch your heart.


  1. This was a great book, and you did a good job reviewing.

  2. wonderful review. this was a great novel that more peoploe should read.


  3. Awesome review! I LOVED this book.

  4. I'm so glad to hear that this was good! I've been wanting to read it but wasn't sure if it would be worth my time. And now that it's out in paperback, I'll definitely be buying it.
    Great review, btw!


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