Willow is a Mormon, who loves to paint and has great friends around her. However, she is unsatisfied with the direction her life is headed. Her best friend continues to steal her boyfriends from her, her father is a tenacious SOB, his words, not mine and her mother just goes with the flow and is Willow's one source of unconventional love.
Willow has a great group of friends, who love and cherish her, she has her own cliche in school, her paint and canvas and everything seems to be going well, that is, until everyone graduates and life intrudes and her comfort zone is removed as all those around her grow in different directions. Willow is left feeling the emptiness, her natural empathic abilities were left with a hollow void that she couldn't figure out how to fill.
Then one day, she meets River, her soul mate, her reason for getting up in the morning. She doesn't quite connect with him at first, there are other people involved that keep the two apart, however, when they do finally connect you find an idyllic first time romance, straight out of a Hollywood movie. The week Willow travels to London with her father to visit her older brother, everything and everybody around her changes. River is distant, her friends don't return her calls and everyone is whispering and acting strange. At first, Willow is confused and she comes to learn the reason for her friends paranoia and suspicions. River decides his life with her isn't enough and moves on, leaving Willow broken, confused and alone in a room full of people.
The first time Willow cuts herself, she is sickened and appalled but it doesn't stop her from doing it and she seeks help. Her therapist helps her to see herself, like a caterpillar's metamorphosis, we read how Willow unfolds and learns from herself and those around her.
I really enjoyed the writing style of The Hippie, her prose is often flippant, witty and profound in places. For some reason, I was able to relate with the main character, Willow, her honest, open, face value personality is one that reminded me of myself at that age. She was the hugger/empath of the group and that was also, once my role and when all my friends drifted to lives of their own, I was too was left with a void. The Hippie was able to portray the insights of Willow quite expressively and sharing her inner thoughts and turmoils was a fresh, honest approach to addressing a subject that is occurring all too often these days. The act of self-inflicted cutting of your own skin in order to feel something...for some it comes and goes and easily controlled at times, for others, the need to inflict pain is a constant demand on their psyche.
I was moved by how the author expressed herself, from being comfortable in her own skin to the revulsion of it to the acceptance of all. The full circle effect was accomplished most eloquently, in a hip, upbeat and expressive manner. The only thing I could say bad about it, would be the staggering beginning, it stumbles a bit when you first take off, but the flow picks up quite quickly and you'll notice yourself sinking into Willow's soul. As well, she has a lot of friends and sometimes you aren't always sure who is speaking, and a bit of back-tracking may be required to reestablish yourself but other than that, I am sure you will find it enlightening as I did, or maybe its just because I am empathic hippie myself and our souls connected with the story. Anyway you wish to view it, this book is definitely worth a read, even if its just a need to find someone else who can emphasize.
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.
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **