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I grew up reading books like The Babysitter Club and The Boxcar Kids. Now I read Romance, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian and any mixture of these all depending on what my mood is. I love Stephen King, Michael Connolly, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs and many others.


Willow - Julia Hoban I knew when I first got this, it would be a hard one to read. The subject matter is far from fluffy bunnies and rainbows. It's a very real and very serious subject. A subject I can relate to. I've read other books or seen made for TV movies on the subject and I think this is one of the better stories out there. It isn't a story that makes Willow out to be a gothic teen with troubles that aren't really all that bad. She's not a teenage girl seeking attention and turns to cutting to get the attention of a boy/her parents/siblings or anyone else. This was not a shallow attempt at poking fun of someone with a big problem. Instead, it takes a girl who is in such turmoil, in such a dark place and she can't deal with the pain, and more importantly, the guilt.

There is growth in this book. Of both Willow and Guy. Poor Guy. He is thrusted into a place where he can't possibly fathom the idea of cutting. All he knows is that he has to protect Willow. Willow is lucky to have someone who, despite not getting it, is willing to try to help her, even when she really doesn't want help. It's a great thing to see as he slowly helps her, saves her. Even better, is when you see Willow start to allow him to sav eher.

Willow makes a remark in this book. Totally accurate. She stumbles into the bathroom, needing a secret place to give into her dark urges, to see a few girls in the bathroom smoking. She makes a remark that both are illicit habits, only one is much more acceptable. Of all the things Willow could have turned to, cutting is the one that people would look down at her in disgust. In the eyes of society, it would have been better for her to turn into a drug addict.

The one thing I wanted to see, which would have given it 5 stars, is a better resolve of her problem. Cutting isn't something you stop overnight and I wouldn't expect to see that, but what I wanted to see is Willow to go to her brother, to make the steps possible to get better. I wanted to see her go to her family and get the help she needs. Most times I wouldn't care, but since Willow and her brother were both grieving (although in different ways) over the loss of their parents, it would have helped to have gone to her brother with this in the end. That is the scene I think is missing.