Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Willow Review: Blue Archipelago
Willow by Julia Hoban Blue Archipelago
Willow by Julia Hoban is the story of Willow; a seventeen year old girl who tries to cope with the tragedy of a terrible accident which took the lives of her parents by secretly cutting herself.
My book review rating: 5 stars - couldn’t put it down
I was beginning to think I’d lost my reading mojo this year; after the vast number of books I got through in 2008 I’ve gotten off to a very slow start. But when I opened the package containing Willow by Julia Hoban, I took one look at the cover and new this book would reignite the spark!
I had to take a four hour train journey today so I settled down in my seat for some uninterrupted reading time. I have to say that this book had me riveted from the first paragraph - I was actually disappointed that I had to take a break in the middle of reading it to attend the conference I was travelling to!
In this Young Adult novel, Hoban takes the very sensitive subject of self-harm and delivers a powerful story. Of how people cope with loss, of our perceptions of the world around us, and how sometimes we see things differently to everyone else, almost to the point of paranoia.
The characters are believable, from Willow herself, a girl wracked with guilt over the death of her parents, who believes the only way to stay strong is to cut her skin with razor blades. Guy - the boy she meets who is the one person she can really be herself with; his sensitivity and understand him make him the kind of person anyone would be very lucky to know. And David, her elder brother who one stormy night finds himself moved to a whole other role, of parent and guardian, and is struggling in his own way to cope with the tragedy that has engulfed them both.
In Willow Hoban forces us to look more deeply into what causes people to resort to self-harm, the effects it has on them and on the people around them. I would highly recommend it to anyone, whether you are a young adult or not, and am looking forward to reading anything else Hoban has to offer.
To read more online book reviews and an interview with Willow author Julia Hoban please stop by Blue Archipelago at