Dial Books for Young Readers
Most teenagers when it comes to things they have to worry about the most common answer would probably if and what college they are going to after graduation. This, however is not the case for the main character in Julia Hoban’s novel Willow.
Nine months previous to when this books begins Willow is in a terrible accident where both her mother and father are killed and she is badly injured. If that is not bad enough, Willow feels terrible guilt because it was her who was driving the car when it crashed. Her parents, having wanted to have a little extra to drink at dinner out asked Willow if she would mind being the one to drive home. The weather was very bad, torrential rain which turned the roads slick and caused her to veer off the road into a tree.
Since then Willow has moved in with her brother and his wife and daughter living in a converted half bedroom in there tiny home. She copes with her pain and anger at herself in one of the worst ways possible, by cutting. In order not to feel the full weight of what she feels; she thinks this is the only way to survive.
That is until she meets Guy a charismatic sort of emo guy at the local college library where she works part time. He stumbles upon her secret and takes it upon himself to do what he can to help her. She strongly dislikes him at first though she finds him attractive but slowly thaws letting him in more then she ever thought she’d let anyone after the accident.
This is a great book! You can tell that the author did a lot of research into the world of self mutilation and talks about it in a very frank and accessible way. This book, however because of the subject matter is best suited for 11th grade and up because at times the descriptions are very graphic. All in all definitely an author I would like to read more from!
4 out of 5