Place(s) Traveled to: Unknown, America
First word that comes to mind when I think about Willow by Julia Hoban is WOW. OMG I can’t even begin to tell you just how fan-freakin-tastic this book is! Willow is the main character of the story and the book starts only a few months after she has lost her parents in a horrible car crash. What makes a horrible accident even worse is that Willow was the one driving the car and so she blames herself for their deaths. On top of dealing with the loss of her parents, Willow now lives with her older brother, his wife, their new baby and is trying to adjust to a new town and school. Any one of these events would be difficult for a person to deal with but all at once its even more overwhelming. Willow feels lost and disconnected from everything and she turns to cutting herself as a way to remind herself about that she should be feeling something…anything.
At her new school she avoids people and doesn’t have very many friends that is until Guy discovers her secret. But some twist of fate there is something in Guy that makes he want to help Willow. He is drawn to her and the pain that she must be feeling. Not just the physical pain that she causes herself through her cutting but also the mental & emotional pain of trying to come to gripes to all the changes that are going on. My heart broke while reading this book. It made me cry and want to go out and hug every teenager that I saw. I wanted to tell them that they were loved, that someone cares about them and that no matter what tragic thing they might be facing that it wasn’t their fault and they could overcome it. When I closed the back cover on this book I just sat in silence totally blown away. I was so shocked by the story and so very grateful that Hoban felt the need to bring it to life.
Like many others out there I have heard about people cutting themselves and I always thought to myself, why? Why would someone do that? I am such a pain phobic person that I couldn’t comprehend why someone would willingly cause themselves pain. This book helped to open my eyes and made me aware of why a person might cut themselves. I was blown away by this book and can’t recommend it enough. This is a must read for everyone: young, old, boy, girl….everyone. Just make sure to have a box of tissues handy and something (or someone) to hug afterwards.