GoodReads): Willow is nineteen, naive, and Mormon. She genuinely sucks at having relationships with the opposite sex, thanks to her daddy issues-as in she has a dad and wishes she didn't. Her only perfect relationship is with her best friend, Jo. But when Willow and Jo fall for the same guy, Willow finds herself friendless and falling in love with a drug addict. Feeling confused, guilty, and alone, she turns to cutting herself as a way to cope. Snowflake Obsidian presents the memoir of one girl's transformation and gradual shift from the cocoon of a protected religious culture to the wider world and a deeper understanding the many faces of love. As Willow steps into the world outside her religious ideals, she finds herself in situations she'd never imagined: getting a body piercing at a parlor full of sex toys; purchasing the morning-after pill for a friend who had been raped; and attending a support group for co-dependents. She puts all her faith in a snowflake obsidian stone when she can't cope with her depression. She lives with her boyfriend while trying to remain abstinent.
Willow's journey into the world illuminates her dark side-which in turn fully allows her to know the light. Her intelligent and humorous voice shares her story with a straightforward blend of nostalgic observance and cynical optimism in this witty memoir of life, love, and learning.
And here's what I thought: Well, this was an interesting read, and completely different from the other books I've been reading lately. The author's voice is quite clear in this story, and she's very descriptive (and matter-of-fact). The pace is pretty fast, as well. Once you start this book, you are taken through one person's journey to discover herself, through all kinds of situations. She's not always kind to herself, but that's part of her journey. Willow's got an interesting sense of humor at times -- which offsets some of the sadder parts of her story. I did really love the prologue, where she talks about her imaginary friend that she had as a child, and how transformation is a necessary part of life.
That being said, I will admit that at times, this book felt a bit too personal to me. It almost felt like reading someone's journal that they wrote completely as stream-of-consciousness, and I have to admit, if someone just sat and was telling me all of this, I'd feel overwhelmed. At the same time, although it was intensely personal, I never felt like I quite connected to Willow. Maybe we're just too different? Perhaps. I'm sure there are readers who will find this story really resonates with them, and their own experiences, and I think that's cool. The fact that it didn't resonate with me doesn't mean it won't with another reader, so definitely give this one a try if the summary sounds good to you.
First sentences: I was outside, buck-naked and screaming, "MO-GEN-TINE!" I was also five. Mogentine was the name of my imaginary friend. He was a butterfly.
Thoughts on the cover: Definitely fits with the way Willow describes herself, with tangled hair. The blindfold and bound wrists also mesh with the story, and the fact that it's a drawing and not a photograph lends a nice touch.