by Julia Hoban
352 painful, gritty, raw, and very real pages
Synopsis 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.
Willow is going to be one of those books that you will talk about for days, even weeks later, after you finish it. There's no sugar-coating or glossing over the harsh reality of Willow's destructive behavior. And I think that's why I was so drawn into the story. I couldn't for the life of me understand why someone would want to hurt themselves in order to feel better. Crazy huh? Hoban does this though, she make you, the read, understand what is going on with Willow and why she chooses self-mutilation as the way she deals with her feelings. I'm sure a lot of parents will shy away from the topic of this book. Some may even feel that their teen shouldn't read this because it might make them want to "cut" themselves. People, that's just plain silly!!! I had to fight to keep Cut by Patricia McCormick, on my middle school shelves. I fought for it because I know of students who do this behavior or have friends that engage in cutting. Reading about it does not make someone do those actions. Instead, it educates that person and helps them to understand that they need to find a different way to express their hurt, anger, and repressed feelings. Willow takes Cut to the next level and really gets into the psyche of a young person who is overwhelmed with guilt, grief, and other unspoken feelings. Yes, it is gritty and painful, but it is so important for you, the reader, to complete this journey with Willow. To see that in the end she does reach out for help, but to get there is hard, oh so hard. For me, this book will put a spotlight on a subject that no one really wants to acknowledge--CUTTING. This is the book that will be the turning point to starting conversations with other teens, teens talking to their parents, parents talking to their teens, and even teens reaching out to a trusted individual for help. To me, Willow will be ranked right up there with the classic, Speak, and ten years from now, we'll still be talking about it, passing along copies to someone, and heralding the brave writing that Julia Hoban has accomplished.
Interested in hearing from the author herself?
Come back tomorrow when I host a Q&A with Julia. I sent her 9 questions which she so graciously answered and I will highlight 5 of those questions on Saturday. Sunday I will feature the remaing 4 and because I BELIEVE in this book so much I'm buying a copy to offer as a giveaway.
- All comments from the 3 posts will be entered for the book drawing.
- I'm opening it up for international.
- Please just make sure that I have a way to contact you if you win!!
- If not, I'll draw again.
- Last day to enter will be Friday, June 5th at 10:00 pm est.
Look at that Book