I'm back! Did you miss me? Other reviews will be up this afternoon, there actually all written out in my spiral notebook, but seeing as its 12am, I only have the mental capacity to type up one review! But look out for *13* reviews later! :)
Willow by Julia Hoban
Published: by Dial- 4/2/09
Series or Standalone?: Standalone
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
My Review: Willow surprised me, to sum it up. I was not expecting what was instore for me, even with the cool edgy cover, but man am I happy that I did pick up this book. This book is awesome!
When Hooked: Immediately. When I say immediatley, believe me I mean immediately. I remember being hooked from the first paragraph. Everything starts out so catchy, and then its all uphill from there.
Hookability: (9/10) Once you start reading Willow, your pretty much sucked in. It's not a subtle hook either, it's a "POW! now your sucked in and won't be able to put this book down" hook.
Writing: (10/10) Julia Hoban is a great writer. Everything flowed from start to finish effortlessly, and was extremely engaging. Also, while I feel for this story 1st person p.o.v. would probably be the only p.o.v. you could use, I feel that Hoban did an excellent job at describing life through Willow's eyes.
Characters: (9/10) First off, Willow, while I sometimes wanted to smack her for her "problem" and how she *cough, cough* handled it, she was still amazing- relatable, and just someone you love (no matter how much they anger you.)
Guy. I looooove Guy! I had times where I felt he was a little too understanding and a bit unrealistic, but we can easily disregard that notion because he is that guy who is so cute and adorable you wish he was "real" so you could have him for yourself.
Also, while she wasn't really a main character, I really liked Laurie. I liked her and Willow's friendship and just thought she was pretty cool.
Plot: (9/10) Wow. Willow's journey was one I'm glad I was able to "embark" on. I certainly won't forget it, and it really put some things in perspective for me.
Originality: (8.5/10) Lets face it, any book dealing with a main character cutting can't be 100% original. However, the way in which it is Willow's story is told is original from any other "cutting book", and really any book in general.
Romance: (9/10) I loved Willow and Guy's relationship. It took you on a rollercoaster that with all it's highs and lows, but it was moving and very satisfactory/enjoyable!
Ending: (9.5/10) In general, a "problem" book can end in one of two ways- happily ever after, or leaving you to hopelessly wonder. Willow was a pleasant surprise; (without spoiling anything) I liked how the author approached it, happy for the little "shake-up", and overall very content with the ending. Kudos to Julia Hoban!
Remembrable: (9.5/10) Willow is one of those books that has so many relatable events that when something happens that reminds you of Willow, you can't help but to smile!
Recommendability: (10/10) Sure, due to some of the content within Willow I wouldn't recommend it to all (especially younger readers), but to all who qualify- I highly recommend. I'm also gonna say girls are going to like this one more than guys, it has more of that feel.
Any particular graphic/violent/inappropiate content? With regards to drinking and drugs, this book was clean of it. Occasionally there might have been a couple mild sware words, but nothing extreme, or really noticable at all. The biggest issue is that the main character cuts herself, though mainly her feelings are portrayed rather than the graphics of the situation. Also, there is one mild scene with sexual content, but more like a fade-to-black kind of thing. I think this book is pretty clean, but I still think it may take someone a bit more mature. (12+)
Overall: (9.31/10) Real, Raw, Touching, and Unbelievable. A wonderful debut that has definitely become one of my new favorites!
Cover Comments: I love this cover! I think that the strips are really cool, and very fitting of the mood. Also, the back, while a little hard to read, does a very good job at portraying what the book is about and its mood. Bonus Points: (9/10)
Want more by Julia Hoban? Me too! I couldn't find anything on what she plans to do next, but if anyone finds out, let me know and I will most definitely read it!
If you liked Willow you will like? Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.