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Willow
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Willow
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Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow's parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it. Willow lost control of the car and her parents...
Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow's parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it. Willow lost control of the car and her parents...
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Description-

  • Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow's parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it. Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.

    Told in an arresting, fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl's struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy's refusal to give up on her.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    THE ONLY WAY TO COPE

    If she let herself, she’d drown in a world of pain. But she can’t let that happen, she simply wouldn’t be able to handle it, not that kind of pain. Thankfully she knows how to prevent such a thing.

    Willow reaches into the pocket of her robe, feeling for what she knows is there.

    She never takes her eyes off of them as she slices into her flesh. The blade bites so deeply that she almost swoons, but still, she never stops looking at David and Cathy.

    Her blood spouts as voluptuously as David’s tears. It drips unchecked, down her arm and onto the floor as Willow watches Cathy dry David’s eyes with her long, long hair.

    Willow knows that she should leave. At any moment they could look up. But she can’t leave, she can’t move. She can only slice deeper and deeper.

    The razor doesn’t hurt her. Not really.

    Not like some things could, anyway. Willow savagely swipes at her wrist.

    Not like some things could.

    OTHER BOOKS YOU MAY ENJOY

    WILLOW

    JULIA HOBAN

    Table of Contents

    CHAPTER ONE

    Maybe it’s just a scratch.

    Willow Randall stares at the girl seated opposite her. Some might notice the girl because she is pretty. Others because of her flaming red hair. If the guys in the class were looking, they would see that the outline of her bra is clearly visible beneath her shirt. But Willow’s eyes are riveted by something else: an angry red welt, about three inches long, that runs from the girl’s elbow to her wrist. If Willow squints hard enough, she can just about make out a few flecks of dried blood.

    How did she get it? She doesn’t look the type.

    Maybe she has a cat. A whole bunch of kittens.

    Yeah, that’s it. Playing with her kitty. That’s probably how it happened.

    Willow slumps down in her seat. But her scrutiny hasn’t gone unnoticed and the girl turns to one of her friends and starts whispering.

    Sshshhsh . . .

    What are they saying?

    Willow looks at the other girls uncertainly. She has a bad feeling that they’re talking about her, and she’s pretty sure that she knows what they’re saying, too.

    She’s the one without parents.

    No. She’s the one who killed her parents.

    Their whispers remind her of the rustling of dried leaves. Willow has always hated the sound. She fights the urge to clap her hands over her ears, reluctant to call any more attention to herself. But she can’t stop the river of noise that flows out of their mouths. Shhhhsshhhsh . . .

    The sound engulfs her. Threatens to overwhelm her.

    Only one thing can make it go away.

    Willow stands up abruptly, but her shoelace gets tangled with the chair leg and she pitches forward. Her books fall to the floor with a crash. She grabs the desk with both hands, barely managing to stay upright.

    Dead silence. Everyone is staring at her.

    She can feel her face burning and glares at the two girls who were whispering.

    “Willow?” Ms. Benson sounds alarmed. She’s clearly concerned, and not just pretending. She’s a good teacher.

    She’s nice to the fat kids, the pimply kids, so why not the orphan kids? Why not the killer kids?

    “I just . . .” Willow straightens up slowly. “Just—the bathroom.” Her blush deepens painfully. She’s ashamed of her clumsiness. Ashamed at the way she looked at those...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 20, 2009
    Seven months after killing her parents in a car accident, 16-year-old Willow Randall has moved in with her married older brother's family in New York City, where she grapples with her overwhelming emotions, as well as her brother's silent anguish, by cutting herself with razors. When Guy, a fellow student, learns Willow's secret, they develop a tentative intimacy. The stark clarity of the present tense, third-person narration echoes the numbing effect that Willow achieves through cutting—“Of course any sharp edge could do in a pinch, and Willow has used them all: nail scissors, a steak knife, a man's razor.... But Willow is a purist.” Despite explicit descriptions of Willow's wounds, the narrative steers clear of moralization—cutting is characterized as part of Willow's fractured sense of self, rather than part of a larger epidemic. Though Guy mainly serves as a means for Willow to rediscover human connection, and is never as fully realized as she is, his need to understand the girl whose favorite book is Tristes Tropiques
    but who carries razors in her backpack, is authentically tender. A credible depiction of a grieving girl's struggle toward self-forgiveness. Ages 14–up.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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