Willow by Julia Hoban

Willow is a cutter, suffering from the guilt of her parents' death and from the cruel silence of her grieving older brother, with whose family she lives.

I was really touched by this realistic, raw book.
Willows' problem and her struggles are pictured in detail, as are her inner thoughts, giving the reader a very good idea of what is going on inside a cutter's mind.
Her relationhsips with her schoolmates and friends was also honestly protrayed. Her brother is supposed to be a good man, struggling with his own grief and troubles. However, I thought his behaviour towards Willow to border on the emotionally abusive. He doesn't talk to her and he seems to blame her by his attitude, although he doesn't actually say so with words. I believe he was as much a cause for her problem as her guilt was.

The one who helps her -and the only one who cares about what happens to her- is Guy, a boy a bit older than her, with whom she eventually falls in love. I really liked the romance aspect of this book, it was sweet and tender. Guy is an amazing guy, realistic (not superhumanly good, he has his flaws) and yet unbeliavably strong, able to deal with a problem everybody else shies away from.
He eventually became the solution to her problem.

There is something greatly humane about this book, it leaved you with a taste of goodness when you are done reading it. I loved that it was a journey of healing and of growing up.
 That's why it was different from every other book about cutting out there, and it would have deserved a 5 out of 5, except for one thing.

When all is been said and done, I really can't believe that romance is enough to help you overcome guilt, or give up cutting.  Romance isn't enough. Sleeping with a guy isn't enough certainly, and even being loved by a guy isn't enough.
This book failed to persuade me, and anyway, it's not true.

Please let me know your opinion on this, especially if you personally happen to know someone who is or was a cutter.

Rating: 4/5

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