Monday, June 28, 2010


by Julia Hoban
336 pages

“except the only times that she’s laughed in the past seven months have been in his company. When he’s with her she’s able to forget the lure of the razor for more than five minutes at a time.”

Summary: Willow is a cutter – that’s how she deals with the grief caused by her parents’ death. She was driving them home and there was an accident. Now she lives with her brother and cuts to take away the emotional nightmare of her life. She’s fine with self-punishment, and she’s not looking for anything else. However, when a fellow student, Guy, comes to learn her secret and yet still cares for her, Willow realizes that cutting doesn’t just stop the hurt but it blocks out everything else. If she wants to feel anything for Guy and be what he deserves her to be, then she’ll have to decide – him or the cutting.

Review: I unfortunately did not like this book, despite all the positive feedback I heard from it. I didn’t connect with the characters, the relationship or the storyline. It was really lacking for me, and I found the writing at times a little superficial. However, that isn’t to say that there weren’t good elements to it and that other people wouldn’t like it. I do enjoy issue novels and I’m glad that this type of literature exists, so those in Willow’s circumstance can find some reflection and perhaps some solace from her story. I think readers will like the honesty of the story, and the fact that cutting is dealt with in a frank manner. I think readers will also enjoy the romance, and Guy as a character; he was well created. For those who like issue novels, this fits in the genre well. I just recommend you read other, perhaps more positive reviews before reading.

You might enjoy Willow if you like books with: difficult issues, emotionally driven storylines, romance, a central character who has to overcome a difficult situation

If you liked Willow you might also enjoy: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Resources: – a great neutral website for people who are self-injurers to talk, get support, be creative (poems, art, etc)

Rating: W2.5/4 C2.5/4 P2/4 O3/4 PP2/4 CR3.5/4
Grade Level: JS ( I put it a little lower because I think this issue affects those younger than in grade 10)


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