Audiobook Review: Willow by Julia Hoban

June 10, 2009

Willow by Julia Hoban

Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Group
Rating: 5 stars

It has been seven months since Willow’s parents died in a terrible car accident and she is still flooded with grief and especially guilt, because she was the one driving. Blaming herself for their deaths has taken its toll and without any comfort from her older brother and now guardian, she turns to cutting herself to numb the pain. When Willow’s secret is discovered by another student named Guy, she must face the consequences of her actions, even if it means making herself vulnerable. Little does Willow realize, that Guy has the potential to save her from her own worst enemy, herself.

Because Willow has generated so much buzz around the blogosphere, I had really high expectations for the book. I even let it sit on my nighttable for a few weeks because I wanted to make sure that I’d have enough uninterrupted reading time over a number of days to finish it and ironically enough, I ended up reading it all in one sitting. I literally could NOT put the book down. In one sentence: The writing is powerful and genuine, the characters are complex and despite the depressing and painful subject matter of the book, the storyline was uplifting and inspirational.

Willow is filled with raw emotion and truly gets to the heart of the pain we all experience at some point in our lives. Although magnified, Willow represents the hurt people can feel and their need for comfort and compassion. The book shows us that all it takes is one person to change someone’s life, in the same way that Guy looks beyond the surface and refuses to give up hope.

Although Willow’s primary storyline is about cutting, there is so much more that can be taken away from the book. Even in this wonderful interview on The Story Siren, Julia says that she doesn’t consider the book to necessarily be about cutting. The act of cutting can easily be replaced with any other self-desctructive behavior (drugs, alcohol, gambling addiction) or even self-destructive thinking (low self-esteem..etc.), which are all defense mechanisms that mask something deeper inside. I believe that anyone can relate to at least part of what Willow experiences throughout the book, no matter how old they are.

This book really spoke to me and I was touched by Willow’s story. Willow is NOT just for young adults – I am positive that even someone who has never read any YA books will love this book!

BIG THANKS to Julia who kindly set aside an ARC of Willow and sent it to me for review.

This post is brought to you by Audio Book Update – your source for the latest audiobook reviews, news about audio books and portable mp3 player price comparisons.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: