Monday, 22 March 2010

Scarred (aka Willow) by Julia Hoban

From Amazon: 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.


Scarred was one of those books I had such high expectations for and it still managed to exceed them all. From the first page I found myself completely immersed in the story and didn’t want to stop reading until the end. Even 320 pages later I found myself disappointed that it had finished. I just loved everything about it and know it will be one of those books I read again and again.

Usually I prefer first person narrative so I was surprised when I got half way through this novel and only just noticed it was written in third person. I think this is because will still get the whole story from Willow’s point of view and are privy to everything she is feeling. I loved how Julia Hoban created this character. Since the story is such a character driven piece it was essential that Willow felt real and this is where the book excels. I don’t think I have a read a book with character that felt more real. She came across with all her complexities and flaws - it was just amazing. The other characters were equally brilliant. Her brother’s grief was almost palpable and Guy was just such a lovable character who was so good and nice you could understand completely how he could be such a positive influence to Willow

The story is essentially about Willow's grief over the death of her parents and the fact that she was driving the car that killed them. Blaming herself and believing no one should forgive her, including her brother, she finds an outlet for her emotions. Self harm. Reading those scenes was just brutal. I think that is the best word to describe how I felt. I applaud Hoban for dealing with a subject that is still such a taboo and hopefully managing to throw light on it. It definitely opened my eyes.

There are some scenes that really stand out for me. A confrontation between Willow and her brother had me so overwhelmed I had to put the book down for a few minutes before I could read on - I was just so invested in the story and Willow’s journey it felt as if her pain was mine. There were also some incredibly sweet moments between Willow and Guy and I just loved their relationship.

Reading over what I have written it still feels as if I haven’t done the book the justice it deserves. It made me smile, cry, wish will all my heart that things could be different for Willow, just so many different emotions. It’s not just one of the best books I have read this year but one of the best I've ever read. Truly brilliant.

11 comments:

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Beautiful review. Your soo right this one is just breathtaking.

Rhiana said...

I ordered this yesterday and I Can. Not. Wait! Thanks for a great review...I'm more excited now.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Excellent review! I want to read this so badly.

Girl on a Mission said...

I'm confused. Is Scarred and Willow the same book but different titles??

Alwena said...

I really loved this book too <3
It's amazing: the history, the characters, the relationship between Willow and Guy...

I think that there should be a sequel to this book in Guy's point of view!

I Want To Read That said...

Rhiana & Sophie - I hope you get to read it soon:) I think you will both love it!

Girl on a mission - yes Scarred and Willow are the same book. I'm not sure why they changed the title for the UK edition.

Alwena - Yes! There definately should be a sequel form Guy's point of view.

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Thank you for this wonderful review! It sounds like such a good book.

prophecygirl said...

Brilliant review Sammee. I need to dig this out and read it soon - your review makes it sounds amazing!

TheBookMogul said...

I have this one to read! I'm glad you liked it.

BTW I have an award for you http://thebookmogul.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-awards.html

Becky said...

Crikey! It is testament to the passion in this review that I am almost tempted to read this. I certainly am not good with books that deal so closely with emotional trauma and turmoil. I love the way you say you invested in the story. It makes it sound so all consuming and powerful. I can understand why you decided to link this one because it really does convey the truth of your feeling for Willow. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Just finished it. best book. i feel a little shivery when she describes her "situation: the first couple of times but its so amazing i recommend it to everyone.

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