Saturday, October 11, 2014

Will and Whit

Will & Whit
by LauraLee Gulledge
192 pages, 2013
Middle School+

Three things you should know about 17 year old Willhemena, or Will for short: she lives with her aunt (who's decently hip), loves to make lamps out of whatever is lying around in the antique shop they run, and she's afraid of the dark.  Ever since her parents died almost a year ago, she has struggled to keep her cool in the dark.  Shadows make her uneasy and darkness freaks her out.

When Hurricane Whitney comes along, and threatens to leave the lights out for several days, Will starts to get really nervous.  All her usual distractions- making lamps, music, reading- won't be available at night to keep the darkness at bay.  How can she survive for several days without anything to light her way?

So, I really enjoyed this!  Cover is kind of deceiving- while there is plenty of romance and crushes in the book, Whit is a storm, not a person.  But I really like that twist, and how much she interacts with the storm and how much it makes Will grow.  While you see Will interact with several of her friends, strangers, and her aunt, the interaction between her and the storm is what causes her to push boundaries within her other relationships.  While the cover might be misleading, the title is very appropriate.

Several issues are addressed in this book including dealing with the death of a loved one, friendships, betrayals, disappointment, heartbreak, daring to do something new, and facing your fears.  I really like how much it addresses!  Teens rarely have to face one thing at a time; usually they face several issues which all influence each other and keep building and building until something breaks or explodes!  Will is like this- she is trying to deal with all these issues that build on each other until something has to change.

Overall, I just really enjoyed this book.  Lots of things happening so the reader never gets bored, great illustrations that show depth and movement (I loved the shadows and watching how they reflected emotions), and a great story line.  I especially loved a Doctor Who tribute on the last page!  Definitely something to recommend.  Great book with loads of emotion, could help teens face their fears or grief.  This is how I like my realistic fiction!

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